Mindset Family Therapy

Mindset | Blog

What NOT to Do with Your Doubts During Treatment for OCD


Whether you are considering or have begun treatment for OCD, you might doubt that your unwanted thoughts are related to this mental health challenge. You may believe the unwanted thoughts and doubts are your fault. They are not. It has been said that OCD is the “doubting disease.” So, naturally, you will also doubt whether you have OCD. You may also question the treatment and whether you need to practice psychological flexibility skills to clear your mind. You might not be willing to engage in values-based exposures. You are not alone. Most OCD sufferers experience these doubts and feelings. We can compare treatment for OCD with roadway detours. For example, if you were on your way to work and you encountered a detour, how would

When Treatment for OCD Gets Tough, Follow These Five Steps!


Challenges are certainly part of life, and expecting to be free of it all is not realistic, unless you are a kid. For example, one afternoon, my grandkids were doing art projects at my house. One of them decided to create something that was a little too ambitious for his age. When I realized he was no longer working on it, I asked: “What happened to your project?” He answered, “I quit. It was too hard.” I said, “Oh, that’s too bad.” His older sister quickly chimed in: “When things get tough; what do you do? Here are two steps:  You quit and then forget about it!” She likes to tease and be mischievous sometimes. Her parents often talk about doing hard things and to keep trying instead of quitting. So I said, “Sweetie, you can

Five Ways to Let Go of Religious Scrupulosity


Drew had been raised in a religious environment. He had been taught to love God, but when he was a teenager, he began to have doubts about his faith. When he did, he felt guilty. He truly loved God and wanted to have a close relationship with Him. However, the more he wished to be good and serve others perfectly, the more doubts he seemed to have about God’s existence. He was terrified to experience intrusive thoughts and doubts while participating in religious activities. He believed the thoughts were his fault for not completing his “spiritual to-do list.” There just didn’t seem to be enough time to do what he believed had to be done so “God would be happy with him.”  The more he tried, the mo

Six Signs You Might Have Religious Scrupulosity


“Why can’t I get rid of these horrific thoughts? I’m supposed to have pure thoughts according to my faith. Will God ever forgive me?” Jon’s incessant thoughts were evoking extreme anxiety, doubt, and guilt in his daily life. He would excessively pray to ask for forgiveness. When the unwanted and unpleasant thoughts would show up, he would try to replace them by singing or repeating verses from his holy books. When he chose to confess his perceived sins, his religious leader told Jon that he had not sinned and to not worry about those thoughts. The faith leader reassured him by telling him that he was a good person. Despite his faith leader’s reassurance, Jon’s thoughts kept coming back. Jon blamed himself. He fe

Six Signs You Might Have Moral Scrupulosity OCD


Amber was an agnostic with high morals. Unfortunately, she often questioned her motivations regarding her behaviors and values. “Did I really mean to give that donation, or is it my savior complex? What if God really exists and I am sinning by not believing? Did I inadvertently offend my co-workers yesterday?” She seemed determined to be perfectly good, and was harsh on herself when she realized she failed at it every time. Does Amber’s story sound familiar? Do you often experience the urge to be perfectly good, though you know it’s impossible? Do you believe you need to do more and more each time? Is  life actually overwhelming you because you believe you are not a good enough family member, friend, neighbor, worker, cit

Scrupulosity OCD and Thoughts


When you struggle with scrupulosity OCD, you probably experience thoughts that are not congruent with your beliefs, who you are, and who you want to become. The natural response to having unpleasant and unwanted thoughts is to want to get rid of them. When they show up, you may wonder, “What do these thoughts say about me? Do I want them? Is that why they won’t go away? If I don’t fight against them, they may become reality. If I let them be in my head, it means I am as bad as if I were acting on them.” These responses can be daunting AND the good news is that you can change the way you respond to your thoughts! First, let’s briefly clarify what thoughts are not, and what they are so you can start learning how to change your rela

In Your Darkest Times…


In your darkest times… Stay hopeful. Stay faithful. Even when you think God is not there. God is there and your scrupulous mind might just be getting in the way. Remember that your scrupulous mind is not in charge of your life or what you choose to do and believe. You are imperfectly good and God loves you unconditionally. You are enough. Keep the hope!

Connect to the Here and Now


Fears about the Present Moment Like many, you may be scared to pay attention to the present moment. It may feel impossible. This is normal as this is a new experience. Few are those who can naturally notice their attention drifting and softly bring it back to what is going on in the present. Lucky them! Most people’s minds are constantly drifting, and that’s okay. In Imperfectly Good I share several exercises to help you connect to the present moment. Try them one at a time at your own pace, slowly working through all of them. Find the ones that you like and that make sense to you. These exercises will enhance your mental flexibility. You can use your senses to help you anchor/focus on the here and now. Notice what you see, sm

Does Self-Criticism Motivate You?


Carson’s self-evaluative thoughts didn’t seem to cease in his life. He was consumed with thoughts such as, “I’m so dumb! Did I eat something that contained alcohol? I’ve sinned” “I’m so despicable for having those impure thoughts!” “I don’t deserve salvation.” “I’m unworthy of God’s love!” Unfortunately, there are many others who also experience these types of thoughts when they struggle with scrupulosity OCD. The human mind’s main function (OCD or not) is to protect us when it perceives we are in danger. However, when you’ve made a “mistake” (believing you’ve sinned, though you haven’t), and start stressing about it, your mind can quickly come to the rescue. It may provide evaluative thoughts so you can do “better next time.” The q

Take Your Life Back From OCD!


When OCD takes over your life, you might feel like you have no choice. OCD can make you believe that avoidance is the only option. It may seem helpful but only temporarily. Though anxiety and uncertainty is part of life, the OCD mind may insist that you can eventually get rid of those feelings permanently. You may fall for its lies when it says, “If you don’t do your rituals, you will be anxious. Your worries may come true. You may end up acting on them. Fear will keep you safe!” Hearing those thoughts coming out from your mind can be scary. You may falsely believe that your compulsions (public and private) prevent you from acting on your fears. You may believe these rituals are actually helping you, but are they? You don’t ha

Page 1 of 22

Contact Us

3355 North University Avenue, Suite 100
Hartford Building at Jamestown Square
Provo, UT 84604


(801) 427-1054

A guide to help you find relief and happiness in spite of religious or moral OCD. Learn more about Annabella Hagen's book.
Imperfectly Good - Book by Annabella Hagen

Join the Mindset Family Therapy Newsletter

Join the newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest articles from Mindset Family Therapy.
First NameLast NameEmail (required)