Individuals with anxiety and related repetitive behaviors often qualify for more than one such diagnosis, or they may present with a singular set of symptoms that does not clearly fall into any one diagnostic category (e.g., Tourettic OCD, perfectionism). By shifting away from a categorical approach to viewing psychopathology, the purpose of this presentation is to increase understanding of the commonalities in diagnosis and treatment among anxiety, obsessions/compulsions, tics, hairpulling, skin-picking, and autism. The utility of understanding these relationships will be discussed, including application of key treatment principles that cut across diagnostic categories.
Kathryn Roberts, Ph.D. is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Child and Adolescent OCD, Tic, Trich, and Anxiety Group (COTTAGe). Dr. Roberts specializes in the assessment and treatment of child anxiety and related repetitive behaviors. She has particular interest in mechanisms that underlie the co-occurrence of such presentations and has performed EEG and fMRI research to understand neural correlates associated with these presentations. Dr. Roberts has presented her research at professional conferences, including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the Society for Psychophysiological Research, and has been published in journals like Psychophysiology and Biological Psychology. Dr. Roberts received her bachelor’s degree from The College of William and Mary and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Delaware, completing her clinical internship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.