Hi everyone- I hope you all have had a nice day so far. For today’s entry in the Conference Buzz Blog, we will be interviewing Joan Chabrowe, a long-time member of the IOCDF and co-facilitator of one of our Conference support groups.
Joan- What support group during the Conference will you be helping to run? Why do you think Conference attendees should attend your support group?
I will be co-facilitating a support group with Dr. Bruce Hyman, on Friday night, July 27th, from 7:00 to 8:30, for adults who are growing older with OCD, and for anyone interested in issues concerning OCD, Aging and Time. Sometimes it's helpful to look at things through the prism of age and the particular stage of life in which we find ourselves. Aging is a time of significant changes, a time of important decisions and sometimes of increased anxiety. Support groups can offer helpful insights and encouragement, while letting us know that we are not alone in suffering our fears and frustrations.
Tell us a little bit about you, what you currently do, and how you became involved in the OCD community.
I've had OCD since I was a teen, but only got to join the Foundation in 1986, the first year it appeared. Until then, public information and discourse on OCD had been scarce. We were all overjoyed when the IOCDF began to shed its beacon of light and hope. I was a high school English teacher in NYC before retiring to Florida. I still teach privately and pursue my interests with volunteer work. I am interested in being an advocate for older adults with OCD, as I think this is an under-served OCD community, one which could use more support and research. I also think cross-generational dialogues would be helpful to all. Older adults have an abundance of experience and insights to share.
Have you been to an IOCDF Conference before? What are you looking forward to most at this year's Conference?
This is my fifth IOCDF Annual Conference. They've all been mind-opening and exhilarating, and full of the wonderful warmth of sharing. Each conference has strengthened my resolve to keep fighting the good fight and to be inspired by the people who've shared their stories. I am very much looking forward to meeting people I've been corresponding with.
After taking a look at the Conference schedule (located on pages 4-6 in the Conference Registration Brochure and also on the Conference page of the IOCDF website here), what workshops are you most excited about attending and why?
I'm attracted to a number of workshop sessions, including one on perfectionism (my chief nemesis), another on advocacy (which stirs me up), and one or two on the inter-relating of ERP and ACT (something which has helped in my own therapy).
Since you are not from the local Chicago area, what are you most excited about doing in Chicago while you are there for the Conference?
I have never been to Chicago. I am planning on staying extra days in Chicago to do some sightseeing. I wish to see the Art Institute, the downtown architecture, perhaps go on an architectural tour, and if time permits, the science museum. I hope the hotel has a good information desk.
To read more about OCD and Aging, take a look at Joan’s article, OCD, Aging and Time, on pages 16-17 of the Spring 2012 issue of the OCD Newsletter. If you are not already a member of the Foundation and would like to receive the OCD Newsletter, you can go to the Membership page on our website here, or call us at the office at 617-973-5801.
Have a great week!