Eating Disorders and Co-Occurring OCD: Understanding the Overlap

PRESENTERS: Nicholas Farrell, PhD and Stephanie C. Eken, MD

DESCRIPTION: Eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder share a number of important conceptual similarities and frequently co-occur, which can present significant challenges to clinicians. Our presentation will help clinicians to better understand the conceptual overlap between eating disorders and OCD, which allows for effective use of exposure-based treatment strategies to address both problems simultaneously.

OBJECTIVES: At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize and describe conceptual similarities between key symptoms of eating disorders and OCD.

  2. Implement exposure-based therapy techniques to simultaneously address symptoms of an eating disorder and OCD.

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Stephanie Eken, MD, FAAP
Regional Medical Director

Stephanie C. Eken, MD, FAAP, is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, adult psychiatrist and pediatrician. Dr. Eken serves as the regional medical director for the Rogers Behavioral Health System. In addition, she provides medical leadership for Rogers’ pediatric OCD and Anxiety services.

Dr. Eken is a regular faculty member of the Behavioral Therapy Training Institute, sponsored by the International OCD Foundation. She has lectured throughout the United States to professional, academic and lay audiences on a range of topics related to pediatric psychiatry. Her clinical interests include OCD and related disorders (hair-pulling disorder, skin-picking disorder, Tourette syndrome and other tic disorders), anxiety disorders, eating disorders, ADHD, and depression. She is also interested in how the integration of technology can improve the quality of care. Dr. Eken has received a number of awards in recognition of her commitment to psychiatry and mental health advocacy. In 2006, she was named a Laughlin Fellow by the American College of Psychiatry. In 2008, Dr. Eken received the “Catcher in the Rye Award for Advocacy” from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as a leading member of the Kentucky Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, which was recognized for its advocacy efforts in the passage of anti-bullying legislation.

Dr. Eken received her medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 2002. She served as chief resident and completed her triple-board residency training in pediatrics, psychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Kentucky in 2007.

Dr. Eken is a fellow of the American Board of Pediatrics. She is a board examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the subspecialty of child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Eken is a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Academy of Pediatrics.



Nicholas Farrell, PhD
Campus Clinical Director, Clinical Supervisor, Eating Disorder Recovery

Nicholas R. Farrell, PhD, is the campus clinical director at Rogers in Oconomowoc, where he provides clinical leadership and direction for psychotherapy services, including ongoing development, implementation, and refining of clinical protocols and pathways. In this role, he works closely with medical and clinical leaders across Rogers programs with the aim of maximizing treatment effectiveness and improving patient experience.

Dr. Farrell also supervises Eating Disorder Recovery care in Oconomowoc. In this role, he provides training and guidance to clinical team members in Rogers’ Eating Disorder Recovery Residential Care as well as in the inpatient, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient levels of care. He received his master's and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY). He served as a graduate research assistant in the Anxiety Disorders Research Laboratory at the University of Wyoming from 2010 to 2015, and completed his predoctoral internship training as a psychology resident at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (Ontario, Canada).

Dr. Farrell specializes in the use of empirically supported treatments that have been developed based on psychological science. He has co-authored many peer-reviewed articles and has given presentations on topics related to the cognitive behavioral treatment of eating disorders and anxiety disorders. Dr. Farrell embraces an integrated care model that promotes collaboration between patients and the health professionals involved in their care. He is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology and the Academy for Eating Disorders.