Welcome to OCD North!
Located in Barrie, Ontario, our team is a growing group of committed individuals from a wide range of different backgrounds. We were brought together by our passion to provide the best treatment available for our clients.
Founder & CEO
Hi, I’m Merrisa. I believe those living with OCD deserve specialist care and I dream of putting an end to the difficulty in finding effective treatment for OCD. That’s why I founded OCD North. I quit my job after graduate school to pursue training in Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), and open OCD North. I pursued certification in ERP, becoming the first Canadian to do so (Read More Here). It’s important to mention certification in ERP is not a requirement for therapists, nor is it a regulated profession. Over the course of a year, I spent many hours developing my specialization in OCD through the certification program, and my consultant is why I am so good at what I do (shout out to Dr. Jeremy Tyler @ UPenn).
I quit my job after graduate school to pursue training in Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), and open OCD North. I pursued certification in ERP, becoming the first Canadian to do so (Read More Here). It’s important to mention certification in ERP is not a requirement for therapists, nor is it a regulated profession. Over the course of a year, I spent many hours developing my specialization in OCD through the certification program, and my consultant is why I am so good at what I do (shout out to Dr. Jeremy Tyler @ UPenn).
I have two stepchildren, Luke and Reese, a cat named Pilot, and a loving fiancé, Adam. My family and I love to boat on the Georgian Bay, ski, and travel. I’m enjoying learning how to play piano, and despite being at it for years, I’m still learning how to enjoy running.
At OCD North I mentor, train, consult and supervise Social Work interns and new therapists. If you’re as passionate as I am about working with those living with OCD, advocating for change, and learning, come work with us!
In addition to the hours of consultation required for the certification program, I’ve taken the following courses/trainings:
- Advanced Topics in EX/RP for OCD 1-day workshop, University of Pennsylvania
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for OCD in Children and Adolescents, Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy
- Pediatric OCD training, Behaviour Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) through the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF)
- Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE)
- Clinical Social Work Supervision, University of Calgary
I have participated in numerous consultation groups, including:
- Pediatric OCD Consultation, Dr. Aureen Wagner
- Family OCD Treatment Consultation, Perrie Merlin MSW
- Advanced OCD Consultations, Dr. Fred Panzel
Clinician & COO
Shaina is a Registered Social Worker trained in Exposure and Response Prevention for the treatment of OCD at the CTSA, Perleman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE) at the YCSC, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University. Shaina recognizes the bravery it takes to advocate for oneself and seek help and celebrates with each individual who does so. Shaina wholeheartedly believes that there is no shame surrounding the OCD experience and that overcoming OCD is possible. Her absolute favourite day of treatment is when she can say goodbye to her clients with confidence that they can handle OCD on their own.
Teresa is a registered social worker/psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of OCD using Exposure with Response Prevention therapy here at OCD North. As well, Teresa treats trauma and PTSD using Prolonged Exposure along with other evidence-based methods. Having spent several years working in hospice/palliative care, Teresa is also skilled in supporting those who have experienced the loss of a loved one and understands how these issues may exacerbate OCD symptoms. Over the past several years, Teresa has had the privilege of helping individuals and families find effective solutions that are unique to the individual and best address their needs. Her goal is to help her clients find healthy ways to cope with, learn from, and even grow from the challenges they experience in life. It is deep within each of us to want to live better, healthier, happier lives and discover our true, authentic selves. Most satisfying for Teresa, is when clients begin to view themselves and their circumstances from a place of strength and empowerment, ready to make necessary changes leading to unprecedented growth and success. Teresa would be honoured to work with you and/or your loved one in the treatment of OCD.
Sarah practices from a solution-focused and goal-oriented framework, blending the tenants of cognitive behavioral theory into her work. Sarah appreciates the complexity of the mind and is passionate about working with clients in their pursuit of overall well-being.
Melissa is a social worker that has been working in the community for over 7 years. 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.
Monique completed her practicum at OCD North, where she discovered her passion for working with the OCD community. Monique is a therapist with 5 years of experience working from an anti-oppressive lens to support the mental wellness of children and families. Monique is a Registered Social Worker and is trained in ERP for the treatment of OCD by the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
Heather is a new addition to the OCD North team. She is a married mother of two children and has a 120 lb furbaby French Mastiff named Ginger. In her spare time, Heather enjoys baking, sewing, gardening, and going for walks with her dog. Some of her other passions include attending renaissance faires, camping, and cosplaying as Wonder Woman. Heather is delighted to join the OCD North team and looks forward to a bright future with them.
Social Work Student
Samantha is currently completing her MSW practicum at OCD North as a component of her program with the University of Waterloo. As a registered social worker, Samantha brings more than a decade of experience in social work practice focused on supporting individuals and families with lived experiences of trauma. She applies a strengths-based and trauma-informed lens to emphasize the unique capabilities of everyone, in a safe and supportive environment. Samantha is grateful and excited to be learning and working with the skilled team at OCD North.
Social Work Student
Erin is completing her practicum at OCD North as a component of her Masters level training in Social Work with the University of Windsor. With over 20 years of experience in the medical field, Erin is eager to apply her knowledge in the field of social work, specifically with those struggling with OCD. Erin understands that everyone’s journey is unique and personal experiences shape who we are and how we experience them. Taking individuality into account in crafting individual treatment plans is her forte. She is grateful to be a member of an amazing team of individuals who embrace others for who they are and looks forward to emulating that warmth in her practice at OCD North.
Dhania St. Marie
Social Work Student
Dhania St. Marie is a first-year student at the University of Windsor where she is achieving her Master of Social Work. She is currently completing her ‘Foundation Year Practicum‘ here at OCD North. With over 6 years employment experience working with newcomers, refugees and immigrant population and 5 years of educational training in social services, family and community services, Dhania is eager to learn about OCD and understand how Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy is used. Dhania values honesty, accountability and enjoys being a part of the helping process. In Dhania’s free time she enjoys traveling and spending quality time with family. Her last excursion took her to Dubai. Dhania is excited to be a part of the team and learn from the specialist in OCD.