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From Gratitude to Self-Compassion


Do you have a difficult time being kind to yourself? Loving yourself may not even feel like an option according to your anxious mind. It may say, “You don’t deserve love because….”  You probably can fill in the blank with many unhelpful statements your rule-making mind typically whispers each time you hear someone talk about self-compassion. As we grew up, we were influenced by many people. Words and teachings from our well-meaning parents, teachers, coaches, faith leaders, and society in general have influenced how we think about ourselves. Maybe you grew up hearing, “Good boys don’t cry. Good girls should be nice all the time. You’re not trying hard enough. You should know better!” The list goes on and on. Do you remember ho

Celebrate Your Child’s Dreams


Dreams are the starting point for any achievement. Carli Lloyd, former captain of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team, said this: “You must be able to see it happening in your mind before it can happen on the field. The mind is like a brush-cutter in the woods, a bulldozer for your dreams. It clears away the bramble and thicket so you have a path to follow. The mind sets out the path, and then the training enables you to follow it.”1 Your children can develop the mentality of “Why not me?” One father consistently told his son as he was growing up, “Why not you?”  That constant question and reminder inspired his son to dream bigger and work harder, and eventually led to incredible achievements in his chosen field. When kids a

Responding to Rumination


It has been said that fish don’t know they are swimming in water; they just swim in it naturally unaware of that fact. It has also been said that our thoughts are our water. Most of us are swimming in our thoughts and we are hardly even aware of it. It is our natural state. Would you agree that this is the case for you? The good news is that we can learn to notice our thoughts and recognize when we are actually ruminating and getting deeper in the rabbit hole or the OCD cycle (if you struggle with OCD). Keep in mind that recognizing and acknowledging one’s thoughts for what they are –thoughts– is not the same as ignoring, suppressing, or resisting them. Have you ever had the experience of being at the movie theatre or a special e

Guiding Your Children to Be What They Can See


By Dave and Annabella Hagen “The poorest man is not he without a cent, it is he without a vision.” –Old Chinese Proverb When Michelangelo created his masterpiece sculptures, he had a vision of what they could potentially look like. Your children’s successful life journey also begins with vision–how they see themselves, and how they see their futures. Your children can be taught in your intentional family culture to fiercely believe that they really can accomplish whatever they can see themselves doing.  If your child has a dream and does not believe that they can accomplish it, they are probably right—they won’t. No one else has the right to tell your children what they are capable of. Let them find out on their

Is Rumination Getting You Stuck in the OCD Cycle?


Rumination is what cows do when they rechew their food (cud) to digest it. They spend about eight hours every day doing it. We humans also ruminate. We can spend minutes, hours and even days rechewing our thoughts, especially during times of distress. If you struggle with OCD, your external and internal experiences (e.g., thoughts, memories, feelings, and sensations) are magnified and more persevering during difficult moments, and rumination can lead you to become stuck in the OCD cycle. The OCD Cycle When you get triggered by anything (internally or externally), you will have an initial thought that evokes the obsessions. You may then feel overwhelmed with difficult internal experiences (e.g., thoughts, feelings, sensatio

Are You Living Your Religion Rigidly or Faithfully?


Todd grew up in a religious environment and believed that if he obeyed God’s commandments and follow the tenets of his religion, he would be blessed in many ways including having the spirit of God with him at all times. When he was younger he had spiritual experiences and as he got older he yearned to be closer to God. He thought that if he lived his religion perfectly, he would be greatly blessed. He became hyper focused on this goal. “I need to pray longer. I need to read more chapters from my scriptures. Am I being perfectly obedient? Do I have the right intentions? I need to engage in more service and teach my faith to everyone I meet. Did I sin? I’d better confess!” Todd didn’t know that the rigidity he was experiencing was

Join Mindset Family Therapy at the International OCD Conference This Year!


We, the clinicians, at Mindset Family Therapy are excited about attending this conference. As in previous years, we will be presenting and facilitating some workshops and discussion groups (see below). Come join us! Workshops: The Struggle is Real–Dropping the Struggle and Moving on with Life Description: You may have heard that the problem isn’t with the content of OCD, but rather the struggle with the content. What does this mean? Come and learn how to drop the struggle with your thoughts and feelings so that you can live a life composed of what matters to you. Hear stories of those who were able to do this and thrive. Learn skills of how to identify the struggle, identify how it doesn’t help, and what can be mo

Is Your Adolescent Getting Stuck in the Perfectionism Trap?


Is your teen creative and bright? Does she seem to take pride in the activities she undertakes, only to feel overpowered to the point of wanting to quit? Does your adolescent seem to feel embarrassed or even ashamed when she makes mistakes in front of others? Is she avoiding friends because she compares herself with others she believes are more talented than she is?  Do you have a teen who excels academically and beats himself up when he doesn’t get a perfect score? Does he seem to have unrealistic high standards for himself? Does he also expect others to hold the same high standards? Does he quit when things get overwhelming and his reason is, “I just can’t dedicate enough time to this. I’m too busy!” Does your teen seem to spen

Having Courage and Living a Meaningful Life Despite Fear


“Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed—the courage to say no, the courage to say yes. Decisions do determine destiny.” –Thomas S. Monson You are most likely familiar with stories of courage in the Old Testament. They can help you remember to utilize your faith while engaging in treatment for mental and emotional health challenges like OCD, severe anxiety, or depression. Courage and Trust Joshua was advised to be strong and of good courage. He trusted the Lord. He was told to take the Israelites across the Jordan River. If you had been one of the priests, how would you have felt if you had been asked to step into the flooding river while carrying the Ark of the Covenant? Would you ha

Who Do You Want Your Children To Become?


What is your vision of the possibilities for your young children and adolescents? What are your hopes and dreams for them? What critical life skills do you think they will need to realize that vision? Is your vision for your children to find their own unique potential in life, and feel good about it? Of course! Every parent wishes their children to know who they really are, and who they can become. You can teach your young kids and adolescents how to develop mental and emotional flexibility in their lives so they become who they are capable of becoming, leading them to successful and meaningful lives. Consider these points as you ponder how you can help your children along the way so they can reach their potential: F

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