Posts by DrJenks

Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Bay Area OCD and Anxiety is offering a 1-2 year post-doctoral fellowship in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and and Anxiety Disorders in the San Francisco Bay Area. Fellows will have the opportunity to work with children (as young as 5), adolescents and adults with OCD and OC-spectrum disorders (trichotillomania, skin-picking, BDD) and anxiety disorders in a private practice setting. Approximately 75% of clients at the center have a primary diagnosis of OCD and 75% are children and teens. In addition to OCD, many of our clients have co-morbid conditions such as ADHD, high-functioning autism, learning disabilities, and other anxiety disorders. Clinical Duties Will Include: -Phone screening to determine suitability for the program -Assessment and treatment planning -Provision of empirically-supported treatment -Family therapy -Participation in the Intensive Outpatient Program for Children and Adults. -Leading support groups and treatment groups (Young Adult OCD Group, Parent Support Group) -Development of a summer camp program for children with OCD. Research Responsibilities: Fellows will be responsible for data collection from measures used throughout the course of treatment. Fellows will manage this data and use it to examine the effectiveness of treatment at the center and identify areas for improvement. Residents will have opportunities for conference presentations (ABCT, IOCDF, etc.). Supervision: Fellows will receive weekly supervision from a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in OCD and anxiety disorders. Depending on interest Post-Docs may elect to work with individuals with OCD and ASD. Location: The center is located in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. The office is conveniently situated in the town of Orinda, located 10 min from Oakland and 25 min from San Francisco (accessible by BART train). The center consists of 5 offices plus a bathroom, shower and kitchen for use in exposure therapy. Within walking distance from the center are a supermarket, coffee shop, library, train terminal, library, and multiple restaurants that can be used for exposure therapy. Training: Fellows will work for 12-24 months, 40 hrs per week, Monday through Friday. In addition to therapy Post-Docs will be expected to participate in practice development. Individual supervision will take place 2 times per week Dr. Amy Jenks, Psy.D.  Group supervision will take place once per week. Training will conform to California’s laws for training Psychological Assistants. Pay: Post-Docs will receive 50% of their fee with opportunities for increased revenue in the second year. Qualifications: The following are required: Completion of an APA-accredited doctorate in clinical or counseling psychology and a pre-doctoral psychology internship (APA accreditation preferred, APPIC membership required). Desirable qualifications and qualities include: -Desire to provide high-quality interventions based on the latest research -Strong interest in developing expertise in OCD and anxiety disorders in children and adults -Interest in working with families -Experience in evidence-based interventions for OCD and anxiety disorders (desired, not required) -Experience in CBT for children and adolescents (highly desirable but not required) -A career goal to join a group specialty practice. – A high degree of professionalism, collegiality, leadership and creativity Application Checklist: A cover letter that describes your interests, relevant experience, and goals for the Post-Doctoral position. Please be specific about what experience or interest you have working with a pediatric population. CV Graduate school transcripts (copies are fine) Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your clinical work and personal qualities In the email please include your phone number, address, date when you are available to start, and names and contact information for the individuals writing your letters. Application due date: Rolling Please submit your application by email to employment@bayareaocd.com Please do not leave voice mail...

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Video- “My OCD Story”

   My OCD Story by “Birdy” age 12   “Birdy” (her nickname) entered our Intensive Outpatient Program in April of 2014. When we met Birdy she was experiencing very severe OCD which made it difficult for her to walk, eat, go to school, and do most basic activities. Every moment of her day was filled with stomping, blinking, tapping, and other movements meant to ward off sickness. Not only was Birdy consumed by rituals, she was also fearful of hundreds of words that OCD associated with sickness.  This made it difficult to write, say or hear words such as ballerina blonde, nine, and blue.   Birdy had become trapped by her OCD and she was no longer the happy, vivacious kid she was before.  Birdy missed her old self and wanted to return to who she was before OCD. Every day that Birdy practiced ERP she got stronger and stronger. Some of her biggest early accomplishments were walking and getting in and out of the car without rituals. With each passing day she learned how to weaken her OCD by “bossing it back” and “messing up” her rituals.  What used to be an elaborate stomping ritual became a silly dance chosen by Birdy. OCD was no longer in charge!  Instead of returning to the girl she was before OCD, she transformed into a girl who was stronger and braver than we could have imagined. Birdy’s experience of overcoming OCD inspired her to become an OCD advocate. We are delighted to support this budding young film-maker share her inspiring story with others.  Here is “My OCD Story” directed and produced entirely by Birdy. Read “A Mother’s Story” by Birdy’s...

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A Mother’s Story

A Mother’s Story

OCD is a mysterious and complex creature that has been controlling my older daughter, Birdy (age 12), for the past several years and robbing her not only from her passions and success but also the basic pleasures of adolescence and joy of life. As a parent, there is nothing more painful and terrifying than watching your child suffer from the oppressive demands of OCD and being controlled by this “inner demon.” My husband and I felt helpless, bewildered and full of despair as we witnessed our once vibrant and successful daughter sink further into the trap of OCD until she was “stuck” to the point of being unable to perform even basic life skills: getting out of bed, walking, reading, eating, bathing, etc.… Historically, Birdy had been a fairly cautious little girl with periods of anxiety starting in the fourth grade, but she seemed to manage her anxiety most of the time, and was highly successful in school, athletics and music. She began her 7th grade year as she had always approached school and life: honor student, competitive swimmer, performing musician, publicist on student council, avid reader, role model big sister and friend to all. But by mid-year she was unable to keep up with the demands of her OCD rituals and compulsions and began isolating herself from everything. Ultimately unable to go to school, swim, read, play her flute, spend time with friends, etc. she became trapped in our home, her actions ruled by fear, anger and frustration. Birdy’s entire life became an exhausting sequence of tapping, stomping, and blinking rituals, which were “protecting her from getting sick.” As her OCD intensified, and her compulsions seemed to multiply exponentially, Birdy’s frustration became unbearable and she began harming herself and running away. Ultimately I had to quit my job to stay home with her and provide full-time care, while we searched to find solutions. Trying to make sense of it all, my husband and I sought help from OCD books, on-line resources and professionals in our rural community for a couple months, but soon realized that Birdy’s condition required a different level of care. All of our research pointed to Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP). We looked at programs all over the country, both inpatient and outpatient programs, hoping to find a program within driving distance. The closest program we found was in the Bay Area, which was 4 hours away. We had family in the Bay Area so we decided to stay with family during the week and drive home for the weekends. Birdy was evaluated for their Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). I cannot explain the relief we all felt after this initial consultation. The therapist who met with Birdy “normalized” her symptoms and she finally felt like she was being heard, as if her OCD story was being understood for the first time. We left that first appointment feeling a sense of hope and a commitment to the journey of getting our daughter back on track. Birdy began the IOP program with ERP therapy soon thereafter. Four to six weeks into the program, Birdy started making amazing progress—it was as if her brain was suddenly unlocked and she could apply the tools and strategies she had learned. Though challenging and exhausting, the ERP therapy allowed her to walk ritual free, read once more, play her flute and have fun. Birdy regained her lost abilities and ERP therapy gave her the confidence to move forward on her life path. Through this process our whole family became involved as coaches and supporters for Birdy. Her younger sister helped...

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20/20 Episode on Childhood OCD

Watch this very important episode on treatment for childhood OCD. 20/20 Episode on Exposure and Response Prevention

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Client Story: OCD, teen

Client Story: OCD, teen

By “Beth” In retrospect my OCD began in childhood but the symptoms that brought me into therapy began out of the blue, years later. One day, I woke up and had the thought, “what if I molested a child?” I was horrified and shocked that I had even thought this, and immediately tried to get rid of the thought. I felt awful about it, but I literally couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. The harder I tried, the more it seemed to cement itself in my consciousness. Every day was a nightmare. I was flooded with anxiety constantly, and I couldn’t let myself relax or enjoy anything at all. I looked for ways to punish myself for having this intrusive thought; I thought I didn’t deserve happiness anymore. Eventually, it got so bad that I began having suicidal thoughts. This was the point where I realized that something was seriously wrong. I found a list online of intrusive thoughts common to people with OCD, and I was immediately flooded with relief and apprehension. If this was what I had, then it meant that I could be treated! However, I was also terrified that I didn’t have OCD, that I would go to a therapist and they would tell me that I was actually a pedophile or something. I was already suicidal, so I figured I had nothing to lose. I had also read online that the “gold-standard” for OCD treatment was called “Exposure and Response Prevention”, a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). I sought out a therapist who specialized in OCD and other spectrum disorders, because I wanted to treat both the intrusive thoughts I was having and my phobia of vomiting (emetophobia), that I’d dealt with since childhood. My only knowledge about going to therapy was from what I’d seen in the media, so I didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect. My therapist and I set goals for tackling my fears, strategized, and talked out whatever I happened to be going through. Inexplicably, the obsession that I was a child molester faded into the background as randomly as it had appeared. It was immediately replaced by the obsession that I was gay, then that was replaced by the concern that I was developing another mental illness, like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. I realized that, this whole time I had been looking for reassurance for specific obsessions, but OCD will take any form it can to provoke anxiety. It didn’t matter what the content of the intrusive thought was, it all centered around the same core fears. Once I was officially diagnosed with OCD, the real work began. My therapist and I created fear hierarchies for my obsessions, as well as one for my phobia.  We began to complete the least anxiety-provoking items on the list and gradually worked our way up. Unfortunately, my anxiety was just too high and resilient for CBT to work on its own. I had to look for additional support to really be able to tackle this. I had been extremely reluctant to take any medication, but eventually I decided to try an SSRI. I was scared that it would change who I was as a person, or that I would have bad side effects, or that I would be dependent on it for life. Today, my only regret is that I didn’t try it sooner. My quality of life is so drastically improved that it sometimes feels like a miracle. I no longer have intrusive thoughts, and I don’t constantly worry about feeling sick. I went...

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