Peace of Mind Foundation Hosts Conference to Educate, Support OCD Sufferers and Caregivers

The Peace of Mind Foundation, dedicated to raising awareness and breaking down the stigma surrounding obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), held a conference in Baton Rouge on Oct. 7 at the Crowne Plaza.     

The event was divided into two sessions, with one designed for professionals and practitioners, and a second session tailored for those living with OCD. 

The disorder affects the lives of nearly 3 million people living in the United States. Presenters at the conference included Elizabeth McIngvale, PhD, LMSW (founder of the Peace of Mind Foundation), and John Hart, PhD (family member with OCD).

Elizabeth McIngvale is a national spokesperson for the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation. After her diagnosis at age 12 with OCD, and her treatment, which included both inpatient and outpatient therapy, Elizabeth made it her life's mission to make a difference in the lives of those living with the disorder. Elizabeth began her advocacy platform at age 17 when she was featured on the first IOCDF public service campaign for OCD, entitled, “What does OCD Look Like? Me, my name is Elizabeth.”

Elizabeth’s journey with OCD has been featured on international, national, and local news outlets, including Good Morning America with Barbara Walters, Inside Edition, and The View. Elizabeth received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Loyola University Chicago, and her PhD from the University of Houston in Social Work.

Elizabeth and her family were once told her OCD was too severe to be treated, but today, she is successfully managing her illness. She is a licensed therapist in Texas. 

The conference's "OCD 101" training, tailored for professionals, gave participants the chance to learn about OCD, related disorders, symptoms, diagnoses, treatment options, stigma, OCD cycle, and relapse prevention.

In the "Managing Life with OCD" session, participants heard “ERP Treatment: A Personal and Professional Perspective,” by McIngvale; and, "OCD & Family," by Dr. Hart.