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Comparison: The Perfectionist’s Incessant Urge

9.26.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Alice had experienced many successes in her youth. She was gifted with athletic skills, intelligence, and an outgoing personality. She qualified for a scholarship in college and graduated with honors from a prestigious program. Alice enjoyed the praise of others, and felt she should be happy but was not. She had developed the habit of comparing herself with others. When she could not keep up with what she believed were others’ expectations, she felt anxious and depressed. She would say, “If I make a mistake, others will judge me, and I will be nothing!” Perfectionism is a topic of interest to many because of the impact it can have in individuals’ lives. There is nothing wrong with having a d

Pedophilia OCD: When OCD Targets the Children in Your Life

9.11.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Rhonda was a kind and religious woman. Most importantly, she adored her kids. However, one day, a fleeting thought showed up in her mind, “Did I touch Ronnie inappropriately,” as she was buckling her son in his car seat. Rhonda became anxious and couldn’t stop worrying about it. “Did I really touch him? What if I did? Am I a pervert? No, I’m not! I would never do such thing! But then, why do I feel anxious? Does that mean I did something wrong? Otherwise, I would not feel anxious.” These and many similar thoughts began to occupy Rhonda’s mind. The more she tried to “get rid” of the thoughts or figure out why she was having them, the more they stuck. Gary was single with many nephews and niec

7 Essentials for Parents of Kids with OCD

8.22.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Looking back to what I now know suggests that my 3 1/2 year old son’s long lasting temper tantrums may have been an indication that something was up. I just didn’t know what it was and wasn’t sure how to become better informed. All I remember is that it seemed like it was his way or the highway. He eventually grew out of those temper tantrums by the time he started pre-school. When Jeff was in elementary school, he would erase numbers and letters until they looked “just right!” At night I would spend a few minutes with each of my sons saying good night. When it was his turn, we would talk and then say good night. But as I was leaving the room he would say, “Say good night mom.” I would say,

5 WAYS TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO BE BRAVE by Siobhan Colgan - SPARTAN LIFE

8.1.17

Published at SPARTAN LIFE – Siobhan, a writer for Spartan reached out to me after reading Got Anxious Kids? Be Brave! She asked me to contribute to the following article. No parent wants their kids’ lives to be difficult. But we also know that part of our job is to prepare our kids for the hard knocks and tough breaks they’re sure to encounter. How do we set them up for success in today’s competitive world if they never learn to get up when they fall, to face misfortune and mess-ups with courage and resolve? We can’t. While helicopter parents won’t want to hear it, our kids can’t learn to be brave unless we’re willing to let them fall, and sometimes fall hard. Here are five ways to encourage your kids to become courageous and self-r

Own Your Anxiety and Become a Discoverer!

7.25.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Nathaniel, a college student had been suffering from anxiety for over two years. He found psychological help through his university but continued to feel lonely in his journey. He had chosen to hide his anxiety from his family and friends for fear of been judged as weak. As he continued with therapy, he decided to be open about his challenges. One day he said, “I feel like I can move on with my life. I don’t need to be thinking about hiding my struggles. I can own it because I’m more than my anxiety!” Nathaniel’s anxiety didn’t completely go away, but he learned to notice his thoughts, feelings, sensations, and urges with flexibility and curiosity. He discovered that when he spoke about his

Are You Fueling Your OCD?

7.3.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Imagine that you and your friends go to a park to enjoy a summer evening with a campfire. As your group begins to enjoy the nice bonfire, a park ranger shows up and tells you that all fires need to be put out right away. How would you extinguish the fire? Of course, there are countless options. However, let’s pretend that the obvious resources that you want to use are not available for one reason or another. The only potential medium is a pile of wood logs nearby. Would you use lumber to put the fire out? Of course not, that would be silly since we all know wood is highly flammable. This would only grow the bonfire. What could you do instead? Maybe, the best solution would be to get back to

OCD and the Pervasive Reassurance-Seeking Compulsion

6.26.17

View original article published in Psych Central – “Are you sure I have OCD?” “What if it is something else?” “Am I going crazy?” “Are these thoughts normal?” These are among many questions individuals struggling with OCD ask themselves. Even when they have been thoroughly assessed and diagnosed with OCD by their mental health provider, sufferers’ doubts and the need for reassurance seeking continues. It has been said that OCD is the doubting disease. Uncertainty is the driving force behind OCD. The need to know the consequence of their thoughts or behaviors leads individuals to compulsions. When OCD targets individual’s fears of contamination, they reassure themselves by doing compulsions such as washing and avoiding certain substances. W

When Your Kid Is an Athlete and a Perfectionist

6.5.17

View original article published in Psych Central Joe loved playing soccer and if he had a choice, he would spend all his waking hours playing the sport. He was also a high achiever in other areas of his life. He was proud of the A’s he received in all his classes. He was multi-talented and his parents were pleased with his efforts. However, by the time he entered 10th grade, his parents noticed he had started to become highly critical of himself whenever his team lost. It was difficult for him to get over his own mistakes. He’d punish himself by increasing his practice time and avoid hanging out with his friends. One day, he told his dad that he would like to play soccer at a prestigious university in the future. His dad responded that that

Got Anxious Kids? Be Brave!

4.19.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Besides being loving and patient, parents need to be brave when their children are anxious. This may be one of the most difficult things you do when you see your kids struggle. In the long run, your courage will be one of the crucial elements in helping your children overcome their anxiety. Listed below are the When, Why, and How of becoming a valiant parent everyday. WHEN do you need to be brave?      WHEN: It seems that for the thousandth time you’ve asked your child to do a simple task and he refuses because he feels overwhelmed. A slight change in her routine sets her off, and you choose not to yell or punish her. He gets injured and his anxiety magnifies his aches and shouts. A meltdow

Mindfulness: The Anchor in the Storm

4.5.17

View original article published in Psych Central – Ships in the harbor need to be anchored as they are brought back from a day at sea. If ships and boats were not secured, they would drift away if a storm were to occur at night. This is an ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) metaphor to help explain Mindfulness. Quite often mindfulness is misunderstood. Let’s clarify some essential points: Definition of Mindfulness: Jon Kabat-Zinn defines it as: “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” This means that we can learn to purposely notice what is happening in the here-and-now. As we do, we become observers without making evaluations or judgments about events, ourselves, and/or others. T

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