Mindset Family Therapy

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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

ERP: One Step At a Time

9.4.12

When I first talk to my clients about ERP (exposure and response prevention), they have a puzzling and incredulous look on their faces. They seem to be thinking:   “You are telling me, I am paying you so you can make me more anxious?  I am here for you to take away my anxiety, not to give me more of it!” Because I can “read” their mind I explain in detail what ERP means and I will briefly summarize it here:   We clarify the bad reputation ERP has thanks to reality TV shows in which OCD clients are crying, screaming, and on the verge of a full-blown panic attack because they’re being “exposed” to that which they fear the most. ERP is about helping you “habituate” or get used to that which you fear.  However, it is by NO means like you’

When Once Is Not Enough

8.28.12

[View original article published in Psych Central here] “Say good-night mommy, say good-night,” pleaded Johnny every night. It wasn’t as if he had not already read several books, been tucked in, and kissed good night. Johnny’s pleas continued every night. After the third or fourth nagging requests, she would get irritated and say, “I am done! This is the last one. Good night!” Johnny would cry and ask for more “good nights.” Mom didn’t know it at the time, but she was reinforcing Johnny’s need for reassurance. One “goodnight” was not enough, but neither were ten. Ritualized hand-washing or other grooming compulsions were absent. There didn’t seem to be any checking compulsions. If there had been, Johnny’s parents probably would have sough

Mindset Family Therapy

Why I’ve Decided to Blog

8.23.12

I have been working as a therapist for a while and I love my job!  It is inspiring and humbling when I witness my clients’ progress.  It is rewarding when I see them work hard in order to learn skills that will take them to the places they want to be in their lives. In my conversations with a dear friend, we always talk about making a difference and he always says:  “at the end of the day, it is about the people.”  Indeed it is!  I believe I can make a difference at least one client at a time. My hope is that by writing through this blog I may be able to help others as I share ideas, skills, and experiences from either myself and experts in the mental health field. You’ll be hearing from me soon. Annabella

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