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Are You Living Your Religion Rigidly or Faithfully?

8.12.22

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!

6.23.22

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?

6.15.22

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

5.26.22

“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?

5.24.22

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

Take No Thought for the Morrow

4.19.22

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought of itself.” What happens when you keep worrying about the future, focusing on mistakes of the past, or judging yourself every day? Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” As we do this, we become observers without making evaluations or judgments about our internal (e.g., thoughts, memories, evaluations, feelings, sensations, and urges) experiences. When you struggle with life’s challenges, your anxious mind provides advice so you can protect yourself from pain and discomfort. Are the coping strategies you are using now providing you with a vital and mean

Is your Adolescent Struggling with Scrupulosity OCD?

3.21.22

Allie seemed to enjoy her friends and extracurricular activities. She was a busy teenager but preferred to spend more time engaging in religious behaviors (e.g., praying, singing religious songs, and reading scriptures) than her friends. Allie’s parents had noticed her altruist behavior and dedication and often praised her for it. Allie’s behaviors were driven by her guilt, shame, and uncertainty. The urge to serve others did not seem to satisfy her doubts. Allie and her parents had not realized that her excessive devotion to follow her moral and religious beliefs were actually an indication she was struggling with scrupulosity OCD. “Do I deserve God’s blessings? Am I good enough? Didn’t Jesus say to be as perfect as he is? These

Intrusive Thoughts and Shame

3.10.22

Julia loved her children more than anything else, but the intrusive thoughts about possibly harming them were relentless. She felt a great deal of shame. She didn’t dare share her thoughts with anyone for fear of being judged, or worst yet, losing her children. She had heard horrifying stories about mothers who lost their children because of abuse. “Will I be one of those moms? Am I going to harm my children?” The more she tried to get rid of those tormenting images and thoughts, the longer they seemed to stay. If you struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder, your OCD may be targeting what and who matters most to you in your life. That’s what the OCD mind does, and it is very painful. When those thoughts show up, you probab

Loving Ourselves Every Day

2.14.22

Do we need a holiday about love to be reminded to love others? Probably not. How about a reminder to be kind and loving to ourselves? When things go wrong and we make mistakes, our natural reaction may be to beat ourselves up, but this response doesn’t provide the joy we all yearn for in our lives. Some people have a list of reasons for not loving themselves. The belief that “even a crumb of love” will lead them to become selfish and uncaring human beings might be included on that list. This assumption may be based on their mind’s unhelpful advice and negative experiences. Though this approach is ineffective, they become stuck with these views. According to research, in order to experience better mental, physical and emotional we

Scrupulosity: The obsessive fear of not being good enough - BBC Reel

1.31.22

Last October, Madeline Johnson, a video producer for BBC Reel, reached out and asked if she could interview me about Scrupulosity OCD. There isn’t enough awareness about this type of OCD, so I was glad to be a small part of this excellent BBC Reel presentation: Scrupulosity: The obsessive fear of not being good enough. Many individuals throughout the world often ask themselves in confusion, “Why are my faith and moral values causing me so much pain and suffering?” Eventually, through friends, relatives, or internet searches, they find out that their anxiety related to their faith and moral values actually has a name: scrupulosity obsessive-compulsive disorder. They feel great relief that there is actually a name for their anx

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