All programs are transitioning to the new "Stick with the Ick" virtual community in 2024. Learn more here!
Helping individuals with OCD and related disorders live into their faith traditions in value-driven ways as they navigate evidence-based treatment.
Rev. Katie O'Dunne utilizes the tools of interfaith chaplaincy (as an evidence-based component of the Biopsychosocial-Spiritual Model) to support the integration between spiritual and mental health during OCD treatment. For many, faith is a significant value, but separating nuances of an individual's unique religious practices from OCD while remaining fully respectful of each tradition can be challenging. Katie's extensive experience with interfaith chaplaincy, education in faith/mental health integration, and deep understanding of OCD make her uniquely qualified to offer guidance in this area. It is important to note that she is not a clinician and does NOT offer treatment. She is happy to recommend OCD specialists or follow ROI protocols to work directly in partnership with clinicians. At the same time, her extensive knowledge of Exposure & Response Prevention and training in utilizing Acceptance & Commitment Therapy through a spiritual lens helps her give individuals the tools to separate faith from OCD while reuniting with their faith in a value-driven way...without offering reassurance or accommodation. She is honored to offer crucial services in collaboration with clinicians, as we help individuals with OCD and related disorders live into their faith traditions while navigating evidence-based treatment.
Virtual Interfaith Chaplain for OCD & Related Disorders
In addition to helping clients navigate issues of faith and OCD in inclusive ways, Katie serves as a virtual interfaith chaplain for clients/clinicians all over the world: walking alongside individuals and offering hope in the most difficult periods of treatment (without providing reassurance). She sees her biggest role as helping clients:
Embrace self-compassion as a spiritual practice
Lean into uncertainty as a way of embracing faith in all aspects of life (even beyond the ERP journey)
Have radical faith in their treatment, their values, and themselves
Support for Individuals with OCD
Support is currently available for individuals navigating faith alongside an OCD diagnosis. While Katie is not a clinician and strongly encourages ERP with a licensed provider, she assists with the following alongside evidence-based mental health treatment:
Determining what you actually believe while navigating OCD treatment
Reconnecting with faith in a way that is meaningful despite mental health hardships, a lack of affirmation from faith communities, or religious trauma
Trusting the treatment and embracing uncertainty while continuing to engage with faith (and anything else significant to you!) as a value
Support for Clinicians/OCD Treatment Centers
Support is currently available for clinicians seeking consultation as they navigate OCD & faith with their clients. Depending on the recommendation of the clinician, Katie meets with the clinician, client, family members, and/or faith leaders in the individual's community on the following topics:
Helping understand/develop/navigate faith-based exposures during ERP
Differentiating religious rituals from compulsions
Encouraging clients to "have faith" in the treatment itself
Support for Faith Leaders
Support is currently available for faith leaders of all traditions seeking assistance in the following areas:
Navigating their own OCD treatment while serving in their communities
Navigating other mental health challenges while serving in their communities
Creating a safe space within the faith community for mental health discussions & advocacy
A note from Katie: "I do not offer treatment for OCD, but I am honored to offer something uniquely supportive of evidence-based treatment. I work with individuals/clinics/faith leaders seeking to separate faith from OCD or reconnect with faith in a way that is value-driven. I never impose my own theology, but rather use my extensive experience as an interfaith chaplain & education as a faith/mental health integrative specialist to help clients uncover their own uniquely beautiful beliefs through a spiritual application of ACT. Cultural responsiveness, respect, understanding, & inclusion will always ground our work together, as I believe your identity is uniquely beautiful. Remember…OCD is not a faith issue, but navigating stuck points related to faith with a specialist (just like you would with a mental health specialist!) can be important on the journey. I am always happy to sign a release to work directly alongside clinicians as an adjunct to current treatment. Faith & mental health do not have to be mutually exclusive."
Katie offers free 20-minute consultations to determine if regular faith & mental health integrative support might be helpful for you or your practice. She accept clients/clinics in any location, as all appointments are virtual through a HIPAA Compliant Portal. Please feel free to complete the form in the contact section for additional information or to schedule a consultation below.
Integrative Training Sessions
Comprehensive training is currently available for:
Clinicians/OCD Treatment Centers
Develop religious literacy in order to understand, embrace, and respect diverse faith traditions during treatment.
Learn to recognize OCD within your community, take steps to collaborate with a clinician/connect with treatment, and continue to support individuals in a healthy way during treatment
Offer opportunities for faculty/students to develop religious literacy while also recognizing connections between faith & mental health.
Faith & OCD Support Offerings
Free Inclusive Support Groups - Wednesdays at 7PM ET
We are so excited to offer community prayer time and support groups on Wednesdays. All offerings are fully open, affirming, inclusive, and interfaith. Check out the descriptions/times in the graphic below.
Community Prayer Time and the Faith/OCD Support group are open to everyone. The clergy support group is only open to faith leaders (from any religious/spiritual tradition) navigating current mental health treatment or a mental health diagnosis.
All sessions are led by Rev. Katie O'Dunne (Director of Faith & Mental Health Integrative Services) on Wednesdays at 7PM ET / 6PM CT / 4 PM PT, with a focus on offering interfaith/inclusive support for one another. If you are interested in joining an advocacy group, rather than or in addition to a support group, feel free to sign up for the IOCDF Faith & OCD Special Interest Group (led by Katie the second Monday of each month).
Please sign up for any of the free Faith & OCD Support offerings to receive email updates and Zoom invitations (google form link below).