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ANXIETY

Anxiety in the United States

8.12.13

Take a quick look at America’s state of mind:  Most likely you know more than one person who is suffering from anxiety. Are they doing anything about it?  Are they getting the right help? Show them this infographic from OnlinePsychologyDegree.net and encourage them to seek help. There is no reason to suffer in silence.

Got anxiety? Don’t relax!

8.6.13

As Sophia came into my office she said, “I don’t know what’s going on, but in the past few days I’ve been feeling miserable. My arms and legs are tense, my fingers and toes are numb, my stomach is in constant pain, and I feel like two walls are crushing my head on each side. My face feels like a dripping faucet of sweat and my heart is ready to jump out of my body anytime.” As I spoke with her, it was evident she was experiencing a severe anxiety episode that was lasting too long. She said she didn’t understand why it was happening; she denied having negative thoughts and was having a difficult time speaking. I had previously taught her some basic Mindfulness exercises and suggested we do them right then. We began with deep breathing as she

“No one has what I have, so it must be me…”

6.1.13

Ron was on the verge of tears as he asked me, “Do other people with OCD have violent and aggressive thoughts? He refused to tell me what his thoughts were on the first session.  I told him he didn’t have to talk about it yet if he didn’t want to.  However, I reminded him that if he wanted the right kind of treatment, he would need to tell me about the thoughts that were distressing him. He said he had not been able to find much literature regarding OCD and violent thoughts.  He said that what he had found was so minimal that he believed he was unique with his particular obsessions.  He held a book in his hands and said, “I bought this book that talks about all types of OCD, and there are only two pages with the topic of violent thoughts.   

Mindset Family Therapy

The Power of Vulnerability and OCD….

5.27.13

Brené Brown’s presentation resonates with me in many ways. As I hear her words while wearing my OCD therapist hat, I believe individuals struggling with OCD could benefit greatly from her perspective. These are some of the points I’d like to emphasize: 1. She talks about the shame people experience because they believe they may not “be good enough.”  They fear that if others see their true selves, they won’t be worthy of connection. –In my practice, I help my clients who may be experiencing this shame and fear.  They have often formed negative core beliefs. I help them identify them and work through them so their treatment can be successful. 2. In her research she found that “whole-hearted people” have a strong sense of courage to be imperf

My Top 10 Most Recommended Books

4.8.13

When my young clients’ parents and adult clients wish to go the extra mile, they ask for book recommendations.  Here is my list: Children’s Books: 1.      Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes. This book has been one of my client’s favorites  Wemberly is a little mouse that worries about everything.  My client adults, teens and children smile as they read it because they can totally identify with Wemberly.  2.      My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss, Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. I use this book to introduce the topic of feelings.  Children know Dr. Seuss books and enjoy seeing the pictures of various animals illustrating different feelings.  This is a great book to emphasize it’s normal to have different feelings.  3.     I Love You

How Do I Know If I Need Therapy?

3.16.13

If a physical pain is not debilitating, we tolerate it for a few days because we believe it will go away. There are times we talk to friends and family members to find solutions to our ailments.  Sometimes we are lucky and the pain goes away on its own.  There are times, however, when the pain becomes unbearable and we end up in the ER having surgery 30 minutes within arrival.  Then after a few weeks of recovery, we go back to being ourselves. What do you do with emotional and mental challenges?  Do you treat them the same way? It’s wise to be informed and learn what may be happening with your emotions and thoughts.  In this day and age, it’s easy to enter keywords online and come up with enough answers.  This can be helpful but it can also

“Will I Ever See the End of My Rainbow?”

3.11.13

[See original article published here.] Mom said: “I’m struggling with my son. He teases his sister so much! He also yanks toys from his baby brother and runs away. The baby starts screaming and I tell Joseph to stop. The other day I told him: ‘I don’t want to see you do that again!’ Then I left the room. But I decided to stay behind the door and wait to see what he’d do. Sure enough, he pushed the baby down. I came in and told him, ‘Joseph, you need to stop hurting your little brother.’ He responded: ‘But mom, I didn’t see you!’” Mom reported her relationship with her son had suffered as she was constantly saying, “No Joseph, stop that! Don’t do that!” Besides doing play therapy with Joseph, I also spent time talking to his parents reviewi

“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

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

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

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