President: Marni L. Jacob, Ph.D., ABPP
Boca Raton, FL
Dr. Jacob is a Board-Certified, Licensed Psychologist with extensive training in the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) & Related Disorders. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Georgia, and she completed her APA-accredited clinical internship at the University of Florida (UF) Health Sciences Center, with a primary focus in the UF OCD Program. She then completed a 3-year fellowship at the University of South Florida (USF) Rothman Center for Neuropsychiatry, which specializes in research and treatment for OCD and Related Disorders.
Dr. Jacob has published over 45 peer-reviewed journal articles, written several book chapters, and engaged in numerous presentations on OCD, Anxiety, and Related Disorders. Currently, she has a group practice, the Jacob Center for Evidence-Based Treatment in Boca Raton, FL, which specializes in treatment for OCD, O-C Spectrum Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, and Phobias. Prior to serving as President of OCDCSFL, Dr. Jacob was a founding board member of OCDCSFL and served as Vice-President from 2015-2018. Dr. Jacob is excited to continue OCDCSFL’s efforts to spread awareness about OCD and related disorders, increase access to effective treatment and resources, and foster a sense of community for those affected by OCD.
Vice President: Katie Merricks, Ph.D.
Dr. Merricks received her Ph.D. from the combined program in Counseling and School Psychology from Florida State University and is a licensed psychologist. Dr. Merricks specializes in CBT with an emphasis on ERP for treating OCD and Related Disorders. She completed training at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg Florida. Dr. Merricks also completed training at the University of South Florida’s (USF) Rothman Center for Neuropsychiatry focusing on OCD and Related Disorders. More recently. Dr. Merricks worked two years at Rogers Behavioral Health focusing on the treatment of children and adolescents with OCD and Related Disorders. She now works full-time in a private practice in Clearwater, Florida focusing on individuals with OCD and anxiety-related disorders. Dr. Merricks looks forward to being a part of the change that will take place in the community because of OCDCSFL.
Treasurer: Joseph Brand, Ph.D.
Delray Beach, FL
Dr. Brand first became involved in OCD research and treatment as an undergraduate student at the University of Florida, and he went on to receive his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fordham University. He now works in Delray Beach at the Center for the Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders, where he specializes in treating anxiety, OCD and related disorders. Dr. Brand is excited for the opportunity to serve on the board of OCDCSFL and hopes to make a significant contribution in raising awareness about OCD and helping those who suffer find an appropriate, effective treatment.
Assistant Treasurer: Lori Aitken, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Lori Aitken is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with almost 30 years of clinical experience. She has specialized in the treatment of OCD and related disorders for the past 15 years.
Lori began her career as a CPA upon graduation from Indiana University’s School of Business. She soon realized she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others and began to take classes in psychology while continuing to work at a “Big 8” accounting firm. She ultimately attained her Master’s degree from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.
After owning a private practice in the Chicago area, Lori moved to Tampa in 2017 and worked in Rogers Behavioral Health’s Anxiety and OCD Program. She currently owns a private practice, Anxiety Center of Tampa, which specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents and adults with OCD, anxiety, and related disorders.
In addition to advanced training in CBT, Lori is a graduate of the International OCD Foundation’s Behavioral Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) and has completed a training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with Dr. Steven Hayes, one of ACT’s founders. She is currently studying Inference-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for OCD so that she can offer clients an alternative evidence-based approach to OCD treatment.
Lori is excited to be able to combine both her clinical and business expertise in her role as Assistant Treasurer to the Board of OCDSFL.
Secretary: Lindsay Stewart, Ph.D.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Dr. Lindsay Stewart received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and completed specialized training at the University of Miami in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, including Exposure and Response Prevention, for OCD and Anxiety Disorders. Dr. Stewart currently serves at the clinical supervisor for the Anxiety Treatment Clinic at Nova Southeastern University where she trains doctoral students in the provision of evidence-based treatment for anxiety, OCD, and related concerns. Dr. Stewart also maintains a private practice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Stewart is excited about the opportunity to be involved with OCDSCFL and increase awareness of OCD, and resources available for people affected by OCD throughout the Central and South Florida community.
Marketing Chair: Lori Merling, Ph.D.
West Palm Beach, FL
Dr. Lori Merling is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Florida whose clinical practice focuses heavily on OCD, OC-spectrum, and Anxiety Disorders.
Dr. Merling grew up in Montreal, Quebec, where she completed her undergraduate studies at McGill University in Humanistic Studies with a concentration in Race and Ethnic Relations. Dr. Merling then completed post-baccalaureate studies in Psychology at Concordia University, during which time she headed the volunteer and networking group for the Canadian Institute for OCD. Dr. Merling subsequently obtained a Masters and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University (NSU), where her research and studies centered around OCD and related disorders, and she served as the coordinator for NSU’s Anxiety Treatment Center and OCD and Related Disorders Clinic.
Dr. Merling completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Institute of Living’s Anxiety Disorders Center in Hartford, Connecticut, and her post-doctoral training at Rogers Behavioral Health in Miami, where she functioned as the clinical supervisor for 3 years. Dr. Merling is currently the Clinical Director of The Sydney Merling Center for OCD and Anxiety in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Board Member at Large: Marcia H Rabinowits, Psy.D
Marcia H Rabinowits, Psy.D, is a licensed psychologist specialized in the treatment on Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as well as anxiety disorders.
Dr. Rabinowits graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. She earned her Master of Science in mental health counseling from the University of Massachusetts, Boston and received her Doctor of Clinical Psychology, from Spalding University–School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Rabinowits completed her clinical internship at the Seven Counties Internship Consortium and her post-doctoral fellowship at McLean Hospital Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI).
After completing her training, Dr. Rabinowits worked as a staff psychologist at McLean Hospital – OCD Institute and in private practice. After moving to Miami, Dr Rabinowits served as the clinical director at Rogers Behavioral Health Miami. Currently, she is dedicating her time and knowledge to her private practice (CBT Clinic for OCD and Anxiety) and offers specialized treatment to the Miami community. In addition to her passion to OCD treatment, Dr. Rabinowits is passionate about multicultural issues and has been involved in providing access to treatment to the Latinx community.
Board Member at Large: Jason Spielman, Psy.D.
Palm Beach, Florida
Jason Spielman, Psy.D., a Florida Licensed Psychologist, is the Clinical Director of the Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center of Florida. For 20 years, Dr. Spielman has treated individuals and families specializing in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Anxiety Disorders (social anxiety, general anxiety, school anxiety), Panic Disorder, Tic Disorders, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), Trichotillomania, Body-Focused Repetitive Disorders (BFRD’s), Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections/ Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANDAS/PANS), the Fear of Flying, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Dr. Spielman is a graduate of the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation Pediatric Behavior Therapy Training Institute (IOCDF PBTTI), has primary and advanced certification in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) from the Albert Ellis Institute in New York City, is on the Scientific Advisory Board for the PANDAS Network, is the President of the Broward Chapter of the Florida Psychological Association (FPA), and a Federal Key Psychologist.
Board Member at Large: Rashesh Dholakia, MD, MPH
Child, Adolescent, & Adult Psychiatrist
Altamonte Springs, FL
Dr. Dholakia is a board-certified psychiatrist who works with people of all ages to help enable mental, emotional, and behavioral changes that lead to improving and maximizing well-being. In addition to his work with children, teens, and their families, he helps corporate executives, physicians, and other professionals with stressful careers create balance and equanimity in their lives.
Dr. Dholakia specializes in psychopharmacology and uses evidence-based treatments—including medication management, appropriate psychotherapeutic recommendations, and lifestyle adjustments—to ensure your treatment plan offers you the best possible support. Dr. Dholakia treats a wide range of pediatric and adult disorders, with a special interest in OCD. Dr. Dholakia also provides comprehensive second opinion evaluations for complex cases that are not responding to treatment.
Board Member at Large: Nicole McCutchan, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
St. Petersburg, FL
Nicole followed the all too common path of struggling with OCD for years without being diagnosed or treated correctly. Once being diagnosed correctly and receiving exposure-response prevention therapy, it was not long before she was on a good path. She kept wondering how she could help others receive appropriate information on OCD. Nicole resigned from her corporate job and received a Master in Clinical Social Work from the University of South Florida. Afterwards, she completed a fellowship with the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Pensacola. Currently, she is working as a therapist at NOCD, an organization specializing in the treatment of OCD through teletherapy. Nicole is excited to be able to bring her personal, management, and therapeutic experience to OCDCSFL in hopes of contributing to the dissemination of information about this very treatable disease.
Board Member at Large: Karan Lamb, Psy.D.
Dr. Lamb received her doctorate from The George Washington University, and worked for a number of years at The Johns Hopkins University conducting comprehensive clinical research evaluations for multi-generational family members with OCD and other anxiety-related research. She has received advanced certifications in OCD and pediatric OCD treatments from the Child & Adolescent OCD, Tic, Trich and Anxiety Group (COTTAGe) at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Dr. Lamb worked at Alvord, Baker and Associates, a large group practice in the Washington DC metro area, for 7 years and was the consulting psychologist at The Auburn School in Silver Spring, MD, a private school for children with mild to moderate social and/or communication challenges. She enjoys opportunities to present and discuss with parents, students and professionals on the topics of the neuroscience of anxiety, OCD and perfectionism. Dr. Lamb has a private practice in Tampa, FL, where she specializes in the treatment of OCD, anxiety, and related disorders. For more than 15 years, she has worked with families with OCD and is passionate about increasing awareness and providing hope to those impacted. She looks forward to this opportunity to join the Board of the OCDCSFL.