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Our Vision

  • A safe space for individuals living with OCD that consistently offers competent and authentic care, fosters a sense of community, and highlights integrity and transparency in all aspects of client care.

Our Mission

  • To create a community that values inclusivity and strives to empower and motivate others in a safe environment where individuals and families can feel supported, understood, and hopeful about overcoming OCD.

Our Internal Mission

  • To create a culture of motivation and collaboration in which staff, students, and volunteers feel open to expressing vulnerability and accepting accountability; to collectively and individually provide care that is impactful and highlights healthy balance in our lives and the lives of our clients.

Our Story

Merrisa Bragg, ERP Therapist, MSW, RSW

 

We all have individuals in our lives that make a lasting impression. For me, it was my research professor in grad school. Traditionally speaking, social workers are uncomfortable calling themselves experts in a particular field. However, my research professor taught me how to understand research and proclaimed that we could be experts in our area, as social workers, if we sought and used evidence-based best practices.

An assignment I was working on allowed me to consume literature about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and the evidence-based best-practice for OCD treatment. I faced several stark realities throughout this process: The first is that OCD affects 1-3% of the population (Abramowitz, 2012., Bornheimer, 2015). Conservatively speaking, that's approximately 350,000 people in Ontario alone (Statistics Canada, 2018). Secondly, research demonstrates OCD responds to Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP or Ex/RP) better than all other treatment modalities (McKay, Abramowitz, Storch, 2019).  Still, very few mental health professionals in Canada specialize in ERP. Lastly, research indicates OCD can be challenging to treat due to its heterogeneous nature and complex presentations (Bornheimer, 2015).

I knew I could make a difference, but I wanted to do it in such a way as to address the gaps in the mental health care system. ERP training in Canada did not exist, so I flew to Pennsylvania, where I was trained in Exposure with Response Prevention for OCD at the Centre for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

I founded OCD North based on ERP protocol because the research demonstrated that not only do clients have difficulty finding OCD experts, but mental health clinicians have a difficult time implementing ERP protocol into their practice (Bornheimer, 2015). I sought certification in ERP to further my clinical skills in treating the disorder's complex and heterogeneous nature. To date, I have over 1,500 hours of ERP training and consultation.

My mission is to provide those living with OCD with the best-in-class treatment grounded in evidence-based best practice, and I want to do that with a team of individuals who will undergo the same process I did. In so doing, our team can help you overcome OCD.