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THOUGHTS

5 Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness Practice

11.3.17

“It is what makes us human, what distinguishes us from other animals. We can be aware of being aware.” –Jon Kabat-Zinn Are you stuck in the past or in the future? Quite often we are focused on what should have happened yesterday, what we should’ve done, what we didn’t do, or what others should’ve done. When we are not focused on the past, maybe our focal point is what may happen, or what we wish could happen in the future. Perhaps we have ‘what if” worry habits that lead us to heightened stress and anxiety. We may feel angry about the past, or maybe feel hopeless about the future. When our tendency is to dwell on things of the past or the future we get stuck, and life becomes more difficult. Dogs, among other mammals have the capability o

What To Do When You Feel Broken Inside?

10.17.17

In life, there are circumstances in which we simply have no control over; for example, our birthplace, genetic predispositions, cultural background, traumatic events, or illnesses. These among other situations influence the way we see ourselves as well as others. Our natural instinct is to survive and even when there is no physical danger, our mind still does a good job at helping us feel and stay safe. Our amazing problem-solving machine (the mind) gives us advice when it perceives something is not comfortable and pleasant. Though part of our mortal experience includes adversity and challenges, our mind does its best to keep us away from discomfort and pain. We are all broken. There is no single mortal being who does not have an external

Just Right: OCD and Kids

10.10.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Landon was a bright intelligent child. He had excelled academically and also enjoyed sports. However, OCD appeared to be getting in the way of his life. There were times when he could not get out of bed because the thought of having to get dressed overwhelmed him. His socks needed to feel just right as well as his shirt and pants. He would repeat the behaviors until he felt just right about it. He seemed to be late to school every day. Things in his room had to be just so. He would be angry and become aggressive when he noticed someone had been in his room. New belongings were challenging as well. When his parents bought him new items such as a backpack, shoes, or clothes, he refused to use

The OCD Mind and Uncertainty

10.9.17

An introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for OCD, particularly as it relates to handling uncertainty and urges. Check it out: link here    

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

Insights from the 24th International OCD Conference in San Francisco

7.12.17

This gathering of researchers, treatment providers, clients, relatives, and friends of those struggling with OCD was a special event. Everyone that attended learned, taught, and shared knowledge and experiences. Most importantly, it was inspiring to meet individuals who struggle with OCD and are not giving up. They are fighters and are willing to keep working and learning so that OCD does not defeat them. I have been an advocate because I have seen it first hand through the struggles of my son. However, it was not until after the completion of his treatment that I decided to specialize in treating OCD and OC related disorders. I have come to personally understand the pain and struggles of families and sufferers. At this year’s conference m

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

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