Understanding OCD

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a highly prevalent psychiatric disorder in children and adolescents. This anxiety disorder can be intense and challenging for children and their families and highly disruptive in their daily life. The presentation of OCD symptoms may be atypical and unusual, which may lead to misdiagnosis or a delay in diagnosis. OCD often presents with a heterogeneous symptom profile, intense emotions, and increased rigidity, all of which make treatment difficult for even the most experienced clinicians. In this workshop, Dr. Ortega will review various presentations of OCD and share strategies for working with this challenging population. The focus will be on pediatric OCD, evidenced-based treatment, and intensive treatments programs. 


Dr. Melissa Ortega has been working as a psychologist in the field of clinical child psychopathology and mental health for the past 15 years. She holds a masters and doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Rutgers University. Dr. Ortega specializes in the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders and disruptive behavior disorders. She has extensive training in assessment and intervention with children and adolescents. Her expertise lies in the treatment of Selective Mutism, Social Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, OCD, Executive Functioning weaknesses, and other social, emotional and behavioral difficulties. She is the director of the Selective Mutism Program and ADHD Service at Central Health Partners Child Development Team in Hong Kong. Dr. Ortega also leads the Confident Crew Intensive Therapeutic Program, adapted from Dr. Steven Kurtz’s Brave Buddies™ program, for young children diagnosed with Selective Mutism, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Separation Anxiety Disorder, which is the first of its kind in Asia. She is an active participant and presenter at international conferences. She currently is a member of a multidisciplinary private practice in Hong Kong and works closely with families, schools and foundations in Asia, Australia, and the United States. In her free time, Dr. Ortega enjoys traveling, exercising, and spending time her husband and three small children.