Message from the President

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Message from the President

Dr. Debbie Sookman

The Canadian Institute for
Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is disabling for sufferers and heart breaking for loved ones. In my work with severely symptomatic children, adolescents, and adults – referred for specialized treatment from local, national, and international sources – it has been my experience that some sufferers are tragically labeled as “treatment resistant” without ever having received best practice specialty interventions. The need for dissemination of expertise and increased resources in this field is urgent. I established The Canadian Institute for Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (CIOCD) to advance evidence based, best practice specialty treatment across Canada for OCD and related disorders throughout the life span. The aim of CIOCD programs is to achieve transformative change in quality of and accessibility to specialized evidence based treatments for these disabling disorders, widely recognized to constitute a dire national as well as global problem. An integral Institute mandate is international establishment of specialty knowledge and competency standards recommended for specialized treatments for OCD through the lifespan. OCD specialty certification/accreditation criteria and processes will be developed based on the established standards and made available to mental health clinicians and treatment centers, in order to increase demonstrable specialized knowledge and skills. The CIOCD Affiliate Outreach Educational Program will include representation from across Canada. Information about national services and training will be made available to OCD sufferers including those living in remote rural areas. The Institute also supports advancement of scientific research designed to improve clinical practice.

Establishment of The Canadian Institute for Obsessive Compulsive Disorders has been a longstanding vision. I look forward to collaborating with national and international colleagues, organizations, visionary leaders in the community, members of the public, and policy makers to realize the essential CIOCD mandates.

Debbie Sookman, Ph.D.


The Canadian Institute for Obsessive Compulsive Disorders


Biographical Sketch