Elspeth Bell, Ph.D.

I have been practicing psychology for over 15 years and can’t imagine doing anything else.

I moved around a fair bit, growing up in the military, but always viewed Maryland as my home base.  I headed to New York for college and graduate school, completing my Bachelor’s degree in psychology at Vassar College and attending Fordham University for both my Master’s in psychology and my Doctorate in clinical psychology.  I returned to Maryland for my doctoral internship and have since remained in the area, getting licensed to practice psychology in Maryland in 2008 and in Virginia and the District of Columbia a few years later.

With extensive background and training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), I have focused on working with Hoarding Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors, and depression.  I began working with OCD during my first clinical experience in graduate school and have focused my work on OC Spectrum Disorders ever since.  There are many other opportunities that my clinical experiences have made possible – presenting at national and regional conferences, collaborating and consulting with Hoarding Task Forces and regional organizations, connecting with professionals across many fields, and supporting communities.  I view life as an on-going path of development and learning.  I want to share my knowledge with others and to find ways that I can further grow myself.

My approach to therapy is that of a collaborative effort between clinician and client.  This relationship helps create a treatment plan that is unique to the individual and their challenges.  I also find that it brings creativity and flexibility into the development of therapeutic exercises.  While I may have a Ph.D. in psychology, no one knows a client better than themselves.  We are bringing together our respective areas of expertise to facilitate a mastery over the individual’s struggles.  I love nothing more than a client accomplishing their goals and “graduating” from treatment.

I firmly believe that therapy is meant to strengthen and add to a person’s life.  It isn’t intended to be a burden.  However, therapy can be challenging work – both during and between sessions.  Recognizing this, I often add a bit of humor or light.  As Mary Poppins says, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!

I currently reside in Howard County with my husband, daughter, and Labrador.  Despite being a long-time Maryland resident, I must confess to being a Yankees fan from my time in New York.  I’ll take any baseball as long as it’s a good game!  I spend my free time completing DIY projects around the house, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Professional Affiliations:

American Psychological Association
Maryland Psychological Association
International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF)
OCD Mid-Atlantic (IOCDF Affiliate) Vice-President 2016-2018; President 2018-Present
Anxiety Disorder Association of America (ADAA)
TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Experience • Expertise • Effectiveness