The grip of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders can be so tight, it makes it hard for those who suffer from them to function day to day.
Fortunately, there are skilled mental health professionals who can help. Dr. Renae Reinardy is one of them.
Renae is a licensed psychologist and director of the Lakeside Center for Behavioral Change, which she founded in 2006. She specializes in the treatment of OCD, compulsive hoarding, trichotillomania, and related conditions. She’s also been an adjunct professor at the doctoral level at Argosy University and the Clinical Work Institute.
Renae earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from North Dakota State University. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Washington, D.C.
She has been interviewed on Good Morning America, The Joy Behar Show, Dateline NBC, and several episodes of A&E’s Hoarders.
“I love the work that I do, and even though I have not sought out media attention, it tends to find me,” Renae says. “My goal is to increase awareness of the disorders that I treat so that no one suffers alone, and will know that treatment is available.”
Renae is the co-founder and president of OCD Twin Cities, a non-profit organization affiliated with the International OCD Foundation. The mission of OCD Twin Cities is to create awareness and resources for individuals with OCD and their family; educate the public and professional communities about OCD; and improve quality of treatment and access to resources for individuals with OCD.
“I am driven to use my mind to benefit other people by teaching them strategies to remove their suffering and find their innate state of well-being,” Renae says. “My experience at Argosy gave me the tools to build a solid conceptualization of my clients and identify my strengths as a therapist.”
Argosy University also provided Renae with comprehensive training in the core aspects of human behavior, assessment, and therapy.
But, she also endured many challenging moments in the process of earning her graduate degrees.
She moved from the Midwest to Washington D.C., where she did not know anyone. She lost her belongings in a fire, dealt with cockroaches for the first time, worked in a dangerous neighborhood in Washington, D.C., dealt with the terror caused by the “D.C. Sniper,” and witnessed the September 11, 2001, attacks on the Pentagon from her apartment.
“It was not just a degree, but learning to develop and grow as a person and clinician from these experiences,” Renae says.
Hardly sleeping, missing her family, fearing failure, and forcing herself to complete her thesis were also some of the emotional challenges she had to cope with.
Renae overcame these obstacles and she encourages students to enjoy the process of getting their education and working toward their goals.
“It is important to not rush yourself, take personal responsibility, and really learn the material,” she says. “You will be amazed by your personal development and gain confidence in the skills that you obtain to better serve your community.”
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