Meet The OCD North Team

Located in Barrie, Ontario, our team is a growing group of commited individuals from a wide range of different backgrounds. We were brought together by our passion to provide the best treatment available for our clients:  Exposure and Response Prevention. Continue reading to learn a little more about us.

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Merrisa Bragg Founder

(she/her)

Merrisa Bragg, MSW, RSW  

Merrisa Bragg is a registered Social Worker in three provinces, specializing in the treatment of paediatric OCD and family-based treatment. Her joy comes from helping children and parents recognize, un-shame, and boss back OCD all the way to recovery.

While certification in Exposure and Response Prevention is not yet a standard in OCD care, Merrisa acheived this certification in 2018 through the Centre for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) at the Perelman School of Medicine, Univerity of Pennsylvania. In addition, Merrisa has over a thousand hours of training and consultation in the treatment of OCD, including Paediatric OCD training through the Behaviour Therapy and Training Institute at the International OCD Foundation. 

Merrisa enjoys boating on the Georgian Bay, long-distance running, and laughing with her stepkids. 

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April Vass Clinical Director

(she/her)

April Vass, MSW, RSW

April is Certified in Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP or Ex/RP) for the treatment of OCD by the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

During April’s Social Work career in the mental health field, she has learned about the immense impact OCD has on one's life and that recovery is possible with proper treatment!

April supports adolescents, adults, families, and couples navigate OCD recovery. April strives to spread OCD awareness and debunk the shame and stereotypes abundantly present. April hopes to teach individuals how to become their own champions in their recovery process using ERP.

April enjoys spending time in the gym and loves hiking local trails in the summer and fall seasons.

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Teresa Harris Clinician

(she/her)

Teresa Harris, MSW, RSW

Teresa is a social worker and is trained in Exposure with Response Prevention for the treatment of OCD at the CTSA, Perleman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Teresa has several years of experience within Hospice/Palliative Care supporting those who are living with a life-limiting illness or who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Teresa has also practiced psychotherapy in support of individuals experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms.

Whether working with children, youth, adults, or families, the opportunity to provide an effective therapeutic, client-centered approach to those living with OCD is a very rewarding experience and a privilege.

Teresa enjoys creative pursuits of all kinds and time on the lake in her kayak.

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Sarah Bryson Clinician

(she/her)

Sarah Bryson, MSW, RSW

Sarah greatly values person and family-centred care. Sarah practices from a solution-focused and goal-oriented framework, blending the tenants of cognitive behavioural theory into her work with clients and their families. Positive client outcomes are what matter most to Sarah and for this reason, she is committed to evidence-based therapies.

 
With over seven years of experience working with neurodiverse children and families, Sarah has developed a deep understanding of  Autism Spectrum Disorder among other cognitive and developmental differences. Sarah appreciates the complexity of the mind and is passionate about working with clients in their pursuit of overall wellbeing. 
 
Sarah is trained in Exposure with Response Prevention for the treatment of OCD by the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. 
 
Sarah enjoys baking and cooking and loves to recreate and adapt recipes to fit different lifestyles. Sarah also loves glamping - you can find her outdoors in style!
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Melissa Walker Clinician

(she/her)

Melissa Walker, MSW, RSW

Melissa is a social worker that has been working in the community for over 7 years with folks who are dealing with severe mental health and/or substance use challenges. These opportunities have allowed Melissa to understand, and work through, a client centred approach. Melissa believes in meeting clients where they are at in their mental health journey, and working from there.

With lived experience of OCD, Melissa is committed to supporting folks to reach their goals and create a life where they are in charge.

Melissa is trained in Exposure with Response Prevention for the treatment of OCD by the Centre for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

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Shaina Charles Marketing Director/Student Clinician

(she/her)

Shaina is an MSW student at the University of New England and has completed her BA in Psychology from Laurentian University. Shaina is also trained in Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP or Ex/RP) for the treatment of OCD by the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Shaina was introduced to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and ERP therapy while completing her first practicum at OCD North and quickly developed a desire to advocate for this community. Shaina is excited to use her creativity and social work education in both a clinician and marketing capacity. Her mission is to raise awareness on OCD, create resources that add value to the lives of individuals and families affected by OCD who need community and empowerment, and ultimately collaborate with her clients and their families to overcome OCD together! Shaina wholeheartedly believes that there is no shame surrounding the OCD experience and that overcoming OCD is possible.

Shaina is an avid reader, loves spending time with her family, and takes board games very seriously.

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Alyssa Donato Clinic Manager

(she/her)

Alyssa is the oil to our machine and our clients love her. Alyssa puts 100% effort into our clinic and it's that commitment that our clients and staff really appreciate about her. She has experience managing multidisciplinary clinics as well as other small businesses. 

Alyssa is a trained birth doula and early childhood educator (ECE).

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Rana Mitwaly Intake Coordinator

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Rana has completed her studies in English and Professional Writing and Communication at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She has experience as an editor, tutor, and receptionist and is excited to provide service to all those at the clinic.

Rana enjoys creative writing, sketching, and archery.

Careers

Click below to see our current opportunities.