Mindset Family Therapy

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“What you resist, persists”

1.29.13

This past Christmas I received a 27oz. bag of Ghirardelli chocolates. I don’t think I’m a chocoholic but I do enjoy chocolates. The night I received the bag, I ate and shared a few with my husband. They were delicious. I saved the rest for “rainy” days. And this winter, there have been just too many rainy, snowy, and foggy days! The craving and my hippocampus It happens late at night. The need for something sweet. Tangerines usually suffice. It may take as many as four, but my chocolate stash remains intact. But then there are those days — you know which ones — when you just need something stronger to get the job done. It’s then that the thought of my hidden stash pops up in my mind. I say to myself: “You had a great eatin

What Can You Do to Increase Your Sense of Well-Being?

1.20.13

We, human beings, are always looking for experiences, activities, and ideas to increase our sense of well-being.  The Science Daily recently reported on several studies indicating that when we sleep more, give away money, and spend money in experiences –not material things– our sense of well-being will increase. Here is a summary: Sleep: People who experience gratitude are happier and healthier.  However, if people wish to feel more gratitude towards others, more sleep is needed.  Gratitude is a prosocial behavior that enhances our psychosocial well-being.  Unfortunately, many of us “pride” ourselves in getting by with little sleep.  There is plenty of research that confirms getting enough sleep strengthens our physical and our psychologica

OCD, Guilt, and Religion

12.15.12

[See original article published here.] “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he….”  ~ Proverbs 23:7 Grace had grown up in a religious home. She was familiar with the above proverb. She understood it as a reminder to maintain pure thoughts to be a better person. Unfortunately, she was challenged by obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD), and every time she read verses such as this, her anxiety and guilt would torment her. Honesty and integrity were often talked about in her home. Impure and blasphemous thoughts were against her religious beliefs. She had learned that if she were to sin, she could take steps to be forgiven. A broken heart, contrite spirit, and confession were essential. Her troubles began in middle school. She was taking a his

Are You Feeling All ‘Stwessed’ Out?

11.18.12

[Published by MomClick Utah and The Daily Herald here.] Are you feeling all ‘stwessed’ out? The other day, a friend took her 3-year-old daughter to the playground. After getting a big push on the swing, her daughter giggled nervously and said, “That makes me stwessed out, Mommy.” My friend smiled and said to herself, “Oh, to have the problems of a 3-year-old.” This is a cute instance of a young child possibly imitating Mom’s words. It also is possible that this young child is already recognizing her body’s natural “fight-or-flight” response when something is not quite right. This young girl most likely felt a slight stomach ache as she swung, and she was able to verbalize how she

What OCD Feels Like

11.8.12

[See original article published here.] Mike’s thoughts were driving him “crazy. One thought would lead him into another and another. His anxiety would shoot to the roof and he couldn’t stand it. He felt these thoughts would never stop tormenting him. He appeared distracted and aloof to those around him. He was too busy thinking. His brain was constantly on rewind and reviewing his thoughts and actions. Did I say this? Did she say that? What if I said this? What if this happened? What if? What if… were constant questions in his mind. Sometimes he felt as if his brain were going to explode because it was racing a thousand miles per hour. He was sure about one thing: he needed 100 percent assurance regarding his thoughts and doubts. He spent c

Mindset Family Therapy

Healing Those Stubborn Emotional Wounds

11.8.12

Mary was experiencing low self-esteem and worthlessness.   She’d say her eyes were “broken faucets.” She’d cry often, and would easily get irritated and explode at her children and husband. She had gained weight in the past year. She snacked all day and would finish a bag of chips in minutes without even noticing. She had difficulty concentrating, felt muscle tension, and above all, she was feeling like the “worst mother in the world.” One day she reported she just wanted to “escape her world.”   She was not suicidal but just wanted a break. She didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel any time soon. Sometimes she would say things like “I feel my heart being crushed. I am a bad person. I am exhausted and ready to quit. Things

Mindset Family Therapy

I had the opportunity to contribute to this article

10.22.12

Boys with untreated ADHD suffer socially, economically later in life By Celeste Rosenlof   October 19th, 2012 @ 8:37pm   SALT LAKE CITY — Boys who suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may have a plethora of educational and career disadvantages later on, researchers say.   The findings of a 33-year follow-up study published in “Archives of General Psychiatry” comparing men with and without childhood ADHD were somewhat dismal: The majority of men who had been diagnosed as children with the hyperactive disability and not treated, consistently completed fewer years of education, held lower positions in their jobs and earned $40,000 less a year than those without the disability. It also found they were

Before It Knocks You Down

10.19.12

A while ago, I met a client whose family loved the ocean.  Every opportunity they had to go on vacation, they chose a place where they could body surf.  I asked him to tell me the skills one requires to succeed at this pastime many ocean fans enjoy.  I find the parallels useful in understanding treatment for OCD.  I especially use these comparisons when my clients love the ocean also.   Body surfing: Patience is king if you want to learn the trade. Learning to recognize the waves is important so you know what to do. Be in good physical condition.  You need to know how to swim and tread water, in case the ocean water flows high and you can’t touch the ocean floor. When the wave comes, go under it or ride it before it knocks you down. T

If You Have OCD…Consider This:

10.10.12

When I work with children that suffer from OCD, we personify it in order to empower them. When they choose to name their OCD, they will find a funny name such as “germy,” “ozie,” etc.  We talk about shrinking it, and not letting it boss them around.  This empowers them. When I work with adults, they don’t name their OCD, but I help them understand how debilitating OCD can be if they let it run amuck in their minds.   Below are seven statements that summarize the most important issues a person needs to be aware of in order to “be in charge of their own lives again.”   Beware of: Nourishing and fortifying OCD.  When you give in to its demands and continue the rituals, OCD becomes stronger.  Remember, it has been said that OCD is li

Curing the Doubt

9.22.12

Anxiety is something you want to keep at bay. You probably avoid and do whatever it takes to find relief.  Despite hearing and reading “there is no cure” for OCD, you most likely keep your guard up to find at least a few seconds without the doubt.   Curing a doubt becomes a debt that goes out of control just like those loans people get at the Pay-day Loans Companies.  “I’ll pay this debt as soon as I get paid” you tell yourself.  Unfortunately, the days, weeks and months go by and what began as an immediate and small loan has become an insurmountable debt you have to pay.   What happens when you want to cure the doubt? Logically, satisfying the doubt should work similarly to satisfying your thirst.  When thirsty, you gulp a bottle

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