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Our Co-Founders

Role: Co-Founder 

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Past OCD themes: suicide obsessions

Current OCD themes: moral scrupulosity, driving fears, responsibility OCD, and emetophobia.

What inspired you to create A Penny For Your Intrusive Thoughts?

After attending a session at the IOCDF Conference in 2017 that addressed OCD topics people tend to avoid talking about, I realized how freeing it was to talk about taboo and isolating intrusive thoughts. I didn't even know some of my thoughts were OCD. About six months later I was reflecting on this panel when the idea for A Penny for Your Intrusive Thoughts came to me. When people are given the opportunity to share their thoughts anonymously, they open up about feelings they never would have otherwise. I wanted to find a way for people who have embarrassing, shameful, and taboo intrusive thoughts to share them so they could realize they are not alone.

Meet Cassie!


Meet Darcy!

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Meet Natalia!

Role: Co-Founder

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hometown: Boston, MA

Past OCD themes: contamination 

Current OCD themes: symmetry, perfectionism, ROCD, moral obsessions

What inspired you to help in the creation of A Penny For Your Intrusive Thoughts?

I also attended the IOCDF conference in 2017, which was where I met C. Attending the conference for the first time was life-changing and opened my eyes to the amount of different ways OCD can affect people's lives. I was also relieved to see myself reflected in so many of the panels. I wasn't alone. After C expressed her idea to me months after the conference I knew that I wanted to get involved. One of the hardest parts of any mental illness, specifically OCD, is how isolated it can make you feel. I know what it is like to feel intense shame and I want to help others realize that they too are not alone.

Role: Content Creator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Past OCD themes: "Just Right"/Symmetry, Harm

Current OCD themes: Meta, Contamination 

What inspired you to join the A Penny For Your Intrusive Thoughts team?


While spreading understanding and breaking down misconceptions is important with any mental illness, OCD in particular is one of the most misunderstood, misrepresented, and stereotyped disorders that there is. Creating understanding not only allows others to feel less alone in their struggles, but literally saves lives by allowing those with OCD to access the treatment and support they need to recover. Those with OCD are some of the strongest and most resilient, compassionate, and authentic people I know, and I’m so grateful to be a part of this incredible community.

Meet Dr. Amy Jenks!


Role: Collaborator and Advisor

Practice: Bay Area OCD and Anxiety

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

What inspired you to join the A Penny For Your Intrusive Thoughts team?


I am somebody who first developed symptoms of OCD during my pre-school years. By the time I was 7 my symptoms were fairly severe and I missed most of 2nd grade.. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I thought I was “crazy” and the only one who struggled with these thoughts and behaviors. 


In high school I took an AP Psychology Class and decided that I wanted to help other kids who struggled like me. At 15 I had an OCD flare and I was taken to see a Psychiatrist. However, I did not tell him what my fears were due to embarrassment and the fear that they were true.  Unfortunately, I was misdiagnosed with Panic Disorder and did not receive Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP).


The average amount of time it takes someone to receive a proper diagnosis of OCD is 17 years. I am part of this statistic. I did not realize that I was suffering with OCD until I started graduate school to become a Clinical Psychologist in my late 20’s. Like many individuals with OCD I  saw many therapists over the years who were uneducated about OCD and did not provide me with effective treatment (ERP).


My inspiration for collaborating and advising the Penny Team is to support them as they pursue our common goal of 1) Spreading awareness to kids, teens and parents about OCD, 2) Educating parents about the importance of early intervention for OCD, and 3) Helping kids and teens feel less alone and isolated.  I am so excited to be able to support and mentor such inspiring young adults!

Where can you learn more about our stories?

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