Harold Kirby, LCSW/BCD
Harold Kirby, LCSW/BCD ​

Harold Kirby

Founder and Director | MSAM

Harold Kirby is a nationally recognized speaker and expert in the treatment of anxiety and OCD. He is a cognitive behavioral therapist (CBT) who specializes in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and the complete range of anxiety disorders, as well as depression. Harold’s unique skills and approach to treatment for anxiety and OCD will help you better understand and effectively manage your disorder and its impacts on your everyday life. He will  provide you the tools and skillset to face each day with renewed strength and understanding.

Harold Kirby’s Experience

Harold is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist with over 27 years clinical experience treating OCD, anxiety disorders and depression. He is a certified mindfulness teacher, training with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. He is also a certified grief recovery specialist, certified by the Grief Recovery Institute. Harold’s additional treatment modalities and strategies include E/RP, EMDR, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and DBT informed treatment. Click on the headers below to view Harold’s extensive experience, trainings, and licensures, and publications.

Professional Experience

  • 2012-present: Founder of The Mindful Stress & Anxiety Management Center
  • 2009-present: Therapist and Co-founder of The Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2000-2009: Therapist, Anxiety and agoraphobia Center, Bala Cynwyd
  • 1996-01: Triage Specialist & Therapist at The Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1996-present: Therapist, CBT anxiety & depression private practice, Bala Cynwyd, PA
  • 1995-96: Clinical Associate & Fellow at The Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, Bala Cynwyd, PA
  • 1994-95: Therapist, Central Intake Unit, John F. Kennedy Mental Health Center , Philadelphia, PA
  • 1994-95: Clinical Associate, Extramural Program at The Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, Bala Cynwyd, PA
  • 1993: Intern, Counseling & Therapeutic Training, Community Service Clinic, Arlington, TX
  • 1992-93: Social Worker, Geriatrics, Doctors’ Healthcare Center , Dallas, TX
  • 1991-92: Case Manager, Children’s Resource Services , Dallas, TX
  • 1991-92: Social Worker, Geriatrics, The Convalescent Center, Dallas, TX
  • 1991: Social Work Intern, Mental Retardation, Community Homes for Adults, Inc., Dallas, TX
  • 1991: Social Work Intern Geriatrics at Juliette Fowler Homes Dallas, TX

Education & Fellowships

  • 1994-95: Extramural Training Program, The Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, Bala Cynwyd, PA
  • 1993: University of Texas at Arlington , Arlington, TX – MSSW
  • 1991: Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA – BSW

Ancillary Training

  • 2002: EMDR, EMDRIA approved level II training, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2001: EMDR, EMDRIA approved level I training, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2012: MBSR Practicum, Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

Conference Papers & Workshops

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2010, July).  Virtual camping and hiking through Chicago: you never thought exposure could be this much fun. Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, Washington, DC.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2010, July) Making Mud pies: Confronting Your Fear of Contamination. Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, Washington, DC.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2009, July).  Virtual camping and hiking through Chicago: you never thought exposure could be this much fun. Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, Minneapolis, MN.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2009, July) Making Mud pies: Confronting Your Fear of Contamination. Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, Minneapolis, MN.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2008, March) Resistance and Non-Compliance in OCD: Poor Excuses for Poor Case Conceptualization or When and How to Modify E+RP for OCD. Paper presented at the national conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Savannah, GA.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2007, July) Resistance and Non-Compliance in OCD: Poor Excuses for Poor Case Conceptualization or When and How to Modify E+RP for OCD. Paper presented at the 14th Conference of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, The Woodlands, Texas.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. Cohen, T., Gourley, L.., Nuxoll, M. T. (2007, July) G.O.A.L. Support Groups – Sufferers Empowering Each Other. Workshop conducted at the 14th Conference of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, The Woodlands, Texas.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2007, March) How to Live with Your Worst Nightmares or Is Learning Acceptance Really Possible? Paper presented at the annual Conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, St. Louis, MO.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2007, March) When Do Traditionally Non-OCD Issues Need to be Incorporated into Exposure and Response Prevention for OCD? Paper presented at the annual Conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, St. Louis, MO.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P., Rosenfeld, J. (2006 July). How to live with your worst nightmares or Is learning acceptance really possible? Paper presented at the annual Conference of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia.

Grayson, J.B,. Kirby, H.P., Erwin, B. A. (2006 July) Making mud pies: confronting your fear of contamination. Workshop conducted at the annual
Conference of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia.

Grayson, J.B,. Kirby, H.P., Cohen, T., Erwin, B. A., Kasmen, L. J., Rosenfeld, J (2006 July) G.O.A.L. Support Groups–Sufferers Empower Each Other.
Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia.       

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P., Raush, D. (2005, July) Making Mud pies: Confronting Your Fear of Contamination. Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, San Diego, California.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P., Cohen, T., Gourley, L., Izzo, T., Muxall, M. (2005, July) G. O. A. L. Support Group. Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Compulsive Foundation, San Diego, California.

Grayson, J.B,. Kirby, H.P. (2005, July) Motivating Exposure: A Workshop on Creating Scripts that Motivate and Expose. Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, San Diego, California.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P., Cohen, T., Er, B. A., Fitzgibbons, L. A., Gourley, L., Izzo, T., Nuxall, M., Kasmen, L. J. (2005, July) Virtual Camping: An ERP Experience. Presented at the annual Conference of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, San Diego, California.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2005, March). Improving treatment of OCD through the use of scripts. Paper presented at the national conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Seattle, Washington.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2004, July). Creating scripts to counter the voice of OCD. Paper presented at the annual Conference of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, Chicago, Illinois.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P., Cohen, T., Erwin, B., Fitzgibbons, L. (2004, July) Virtual camping and hiking through Chicago: you never thought exposure could be this much fun. Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, Chicago, Illinois.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P., Cohen, T., Erwin, B. (2004, July).  G.O.A.L.: Giving obsessives another lifestyle. Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, Chicago, Illinois.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2004, March) Scripts and cognitive techniques in the treatment of OCD: facilitating exposure and schema change.
Paper presented at the national conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Miami, Florida.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2003, July). Cognitive techniques and the treatment of OCD:  their use and misuse. Paper presented at the annual Conference of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, Nashville, Tennessee.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P., Cohen, T., Fitzgibbons, L.,  Kasmen, L., Parrish, K., Frankel, G., Gourley, L. (2003, July).  Getting the dirt on camping: real virtual experience. Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, Nashville, Tennessee.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P., Frankel, G., Courley, L. (2003, July) The G.O.A.L. group.  Workshop conducted at the annual Conference of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, Nashville, Tennessee.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2003, June).  Advances in OCD treatment: cognitive techniques and strategic pressure. Paper presented at the annual Convention of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Grayson, J.B., Kirby, H.P. (2003, March). Adding cognitive techniques to the treatment of OCD: their use and misuse. Paper presented at the national conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Toronto, Canada.

Professional Activities

Kirby, H.P. (2001) Panic disorder:  Diagnosis and treatment.  Intern Training Seminar. Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Kirby, H.P. (2000) Panic disorder: A psycho-educational and behavioral approach. Invited Presentation, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Kirby, H.P. (2000) Anxiety disorders and the use of cognitive behavioral treatment. Intern Training Seminar, Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Kirby, H.P. (1999) Cognitive behavioral treatment of depression. Intern Training Seminar, Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Kirby, H.P. (1999) Diagnosis and treatment of panic disorder. Radio Interview, WXPN radio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Kirby, H.P. (1998) Diagnosis and treatment of panic disorder. Invited Presentation, Einstein Medical Center’s Women’s Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Professional Affiliations & Licensure

  • 2004-present: Board Certified Diplomate, Clinical Social Work, American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work
  • 1994-present: Licensed Social Worker, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • 2003-present: Member, Anxiety Disorders Association of America.
  • 2003-present: Member, Obsessive Compulsive Foundation.
  • 1991-present: National Association of Social Workers

OCD CBT Mindful Stress & Anxiety Management Center (MSAM)

Harold Kirby is the founder of the OCD CBT Mindful Stress & Anxiety Management Center (MSAM). He has been working exclusively with OCD and the full range of anxiety disorders and depression for over 27 years.  Harold was senior staff at the Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center and was a Co-founder of the Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center of Philadelphia with Jonathan Grayson. Establishing a comprehensive OCD and anxiety treatment center has been his primary goal since 2012.

He established the MSAM center to better serve clients through the innovative integration of mindfulness-based interventions with standard CBT treatments. MSAM is built on the philosophy that the needs of each individual are uniquely complex. At each phase of treatment, attention is given to the individual and their specific needs, and a wide range of treatment modalities are utilized to best suit each individual. Harold’s goal is to provide each the client the means to thrive and lead a life that they value.

Starting from the initial assessment, the individual will benefit from guidance to a recommended level of (outpatient) care. Most often, a single weekly individual treatment fits the needs of the majority of people seeking treatment. However, Harold offers an array of options for care as necessary, including: individual, intensive treatment, mindfulness groups, OCD support groups, and weekend retreats. Find more details about the Group Therapy offered below.

MSAM Group Therapy

In addition to Harold’s OCD treatment and anxiety treatment, he also offers a 6-week mindfulness group for both adults and adolescents. Anyone can join the mindfulness groups, but they are most often joined in order to augment individual or intensive treatments. All materials needed for our groups are provided “in house,” including reading material and guided meditations. You can find all the materials and guided meditations used as part of the program on this website.

Schedule an Appointment

Contact Harold at 610-517-3127 to schedule a consultation or appointment to discuss treatment. Harold provides telehealth treatment for clients in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas of Pennsylvania and New Jersey (Main Line, Montgomery County, Camden, Cherry Hill), as well as in the South Carolina Lowcountry (Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort, Colleston County, Dorchester County, Berkeley County, Charleston).

Speaking Engagements

Harold is available for speaking engagements. Please contact him by email at msam.philly@gmail.com.