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Your Anxiety Toolkit

Your Anxiety Toolkit aims to provide you with helpful tools to manage anxiety, stress and other emotions that get in the way.
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Mar 22, 2019

Reid Wilson Panic Disorder Anxiety Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD CBT ERP Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley Quinlan

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit.  You are going to LOVE this week's podcast interview with Dr. Reid Wilson.  For those who don’t know Dr. Reid Wilson, he is a world-class specialist in the area of Anxiety Disorders.  Dr. Reid Wilson is the Director of the Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center in Chapel Hill and Durham, NC, and is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Dr. Reid Wilson is the author of the amazing book for Panic Disorder, called Don’t Panic, and the co-author of wonderful books such as Anxious Kids, Anxious ParentsStop Obsessing! and Playing with Anxiety.

Dr. Reid Wilson is a Founding Clinical Fellow of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and a Fellow of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.  So, I am sure you are wowed already, but wait for it! This episode will blow your mind even more.  

In this week’s episode, I talk with Dr. Reid Wilson about a perspective change and an attitude change from one where we do not want anxiety to one where we WANT anxiety.   I know this may seem strange, but believe me, this will change your whole game when it comes to the treatment of anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders.   

In this episode, we address the following topics. 

  • Why do we want anxiety? 
  • What is going on in our brains when we have anxiety and when we face our fears 
  • How to get a client to do Exposure & Response Prevention 
  • How to Engage the Ambivalent or resistant OCD Client
  • A different approach to the ERP hierarchy? 
  • How to have a complete Attitude change about fear and anxiety.  

Please consult Reid’s other site, Anxieties.com, for additional information, videos, resources, and treatment options.

Before we go, I have a few exciting events to tell you about!  I’ll be speaking at both the OCD SoCal Conference and OCDeconstruct.

On Saturday, March 30, I will be speaking at the OCD Southern California 4thAnnual Conference alongside other OCD specialists and advocates.  I’ll be speaking during the breakout session titled Managing OCD Roadblocks: Creative and Effective Tools to Tackle ERP. For registration information, visit ocdsocal.org or click HERE.

OCDeconstruct is a free online conference designed to give those with OCD, and their loved ones, the information needed to understand key concepts related to the disorder so they can get a productive start on treatment. During the conference, six therapists will present on topics including intrusive thoughts, ERP, family dynamics, medicine and more. OCDeconstruct happens on Saturday, April 13 and will run about 4 hours.  To sign up directly, click HERE.

Do you want to get weekly free content from us, right to your inbox?  SIGN UP HERE FOR OUR NEW WEEKLY NEWSLETTER! The weekly newsletter includes free mental health tips and tools, information about upcoming events with Kimberley. and free coupons for CBT School products.  

Mar 15, 2019

Four Massive Changes In My Life OCD Anxiety ERP Depression Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Kimberley Quinlan Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast.png

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast! Want to know four massive changes I have made in my life? Well, here you go! In today’s episode, I will present to you four massive changes that I have made in my life that have changed the way I see myself, the way I spend my time and, lastly, the approach I have with perfectionism and mistakes.  

If you are someone who is hard on yourself, beats yourself up for not being perfect or productive or just for existing, this episode might be really helpful for you.  If you are someone who lets fear stop you from pursuing your dreams or even doing a smaller task, this is the episode for you.    In this podcast episode, we will address time management, setting intentions and surrounding yourself with people who will inspire you and hold you accountable to your big dreams and with the hard struggles you are going through. 

One of the points I am so excited about is my new plan to FAIL MORE! Yes, you heard and read correctly.  I plan to fail more this year.  More than I ever have. As Amy Porterfield says in this podcast episode, failing can get you closer to your goals.  As I also plan to aim higher and be 100% intentional as I go.  

The massive changes I have made in my life have made me into a bolder, braver and more confident person.  I hope they inspire you too.  

I'm so excited to announce that I will be presenting at OCDeconstruct, a free online conference designed to give those with OCD, and their loved ones, the information needed to understand key concepts related to the disorder so they can get a productive start on treatment. During the conference, six therapists (myself included) will present on topics including intrusive thoughts, ERP, family dynamics, medicine and more. OCDeconstruct happens on Saturday, April 13, and will run about 4 hours. Click HERE to sign up directly.

Our last piece of exciting news is that The OCD Gamechangers event that I recently spoke at was videotaped and is now available for purchase HERE. For $40, you can see us speak about OCD from the comfort of your home.

Mar 8, 2019

Evelyn Tribole Intuitive Eating Body Image Diet Culture Eating Disorder Obsession Anxiety Food Fear Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley Quinlan

Welcome to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast.  This week’s podcast episode is very dear to my heart.  My intention with this podcast is to give you all some direction with food and body, specifically if you struggle with immense fear around food.  This week’s episode has the most amazing guest, Evelyn Tribole, the author of Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works.  

In this week’s interview, we break down some of the barriers between fear and food.  Evelyn does a great job at identifying why there is so much fear surrounding food, addressing societal, cultural and familial rules around food.  We discussed how, for many, food creates anxiety for us personally, or how our anxiety manifests a bad relationship with food.  

Evelyn Tribole discusses : 

  • What is Intuitive Eating? 
  • Why is Intuitive Eating so important?
  • What is diet culture and why is it such an important concept to understand? 
  • What happens when you don't Intuitively Eat? 

Evelyn also answers some questions given specifically by the CBT School family.  Here are a few questions she addressed:

  • How can I introduce myself to Intuitive Eating? 
  • What are the steps of Intuitive Eating? 
  • How do I avoid the extremes of eating? I am either eating “too unhealthy and too healthy as a compulsion.”
  • How do I address Emotional Eating or “bad” eating because of a hard day? 
  • How do I attempt Intuitive Eating if I HAVE to lose weight because of health reasons? 
  • How do I manage the fear of gaining more weight? 
  • How do you make all foods neutral whilst also finding joy in food? 
  • How do I not get trapped in diet culture? 
  • How long does it take to get a good handle of Intuitive Eating? 
  • How do I begin to desire and have the persistence to intuitively eat while having an Eating Disorder?
  • Due to mood changes, how can I eat when I don’t want to? 
  • What is the best way to stick with Intuitive Eating?
  • What is the best way to approach Nutrition for Anxiety Disorder
  • How does Anxiety impact hunger cues. etc.? 
  • How do I address Avoidant and Restrictive Food Intake Disorder? 

For more information on Evelyn Tribole, visit: https://www.evelyntribole.com/

Do you want to get weekly free content from us, right to your inbox?  SIGN UP HERE FOR OUR NEW WEEKLY NEWSLETTER! The weekly newsletter includes free mental health tips and tools, information about upcoming events with Kimberley. and free coupons for CBT School products.  

Mar 1, 2019

Not Alone Notes (Morgan Rondinelli and Molly Fishback)

Not Alone Notes Morgan Rondinelli Molly Fishback You Are Not Alone Handwritten Letters OCD ERP BFRB Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley Quinlan

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit.

One of the most common statements I get from new clients when I meet them in my office is, “I feel so alone.”   After waiting and being so afraid to finally talk with someone about their mental illness and personal struggles, they are overwhelmed with isolation and loneliness.  The experience of feeling alone and wondering if you are the only one on this planet that is suffering in this way is a common one.   Given the stigma of mental illness, we are often shamed into keeping our mental illness and mental struggles private and suffering in the dark alone.    

If you have ever felt this way, or you know someone who feels this way, you are not alone.  In this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, we talk with Morgan Rondinelli and Molly Fishback about their project called Not Alone Notes.  In this episode, Morgan and Molly share their own stories of feeling alone and unseen in their struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  Together, they joined hands from across the country to send personally painted and written notes to those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s).  

My hope after today’s episode is the you begin to understand that you are not alone and there is a whole community out there who wants you to know that they are on your side.   

Here is a little blurb from their website: 

“The idea from this project stemmed from becoming pen pals with several friends from OCDcon. Morgan was writing back and forth with them and wanted to somehow reach out to strangers with OCD. Morgan loves snail mail because there is something special about receiving a handwritten letter, so she wanted to pass that on to others.

In October of 2017, it started simply as a link to a Google Form on Morgan’s blog. Shortly after, Molly reached out to Morgan with the idea of handmaking notecards for the project. Not Alone Notes has continued to grow as Molly and Morgan work together to send letters to individuals with OCD and related disorders.” 

In this episode, Molly and Morgan get really vulnerable and showcase proof that you are not alone. They talk about their own recovery journey, what it was like to begin Exposure and Response Prevention treatment, and how it feels to be at different stages of recovery.   In effort to ensure that you are not alone in this mental health journey, Morgan and Molly also share their specific steps of ERP and how they are getting creative with ERP.

To learn more about Not Alone Notes, visit: https://www.notalonenotes.org/

Before we go, I want to talk about my upcoming exciting weekend in Colorado at the OCD Gamechangers event that Chrissie Hodges is putting on. I will be speaking alongside other licensed clinicians on important topics about OCD recovery.  OCD advocates will take the stage to discuss the emotional impact that OCD has had on their recovery.  The event takes place on Saturday, March 2.  Click HERE for more information on the event or to get tickets.

Feb 22, 2019

Five Common Mistakes We Make Managing Anxiety CBT ERP Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Eating Disorder Panic Anxiety Depression Mindfulness Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley Quinlan

In today’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, we are talking all about the 5 Mistakes We Make When Managing Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Depression, Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s) and any other mental health struggle.  This podcast episode got me all fired up and I loved sharing with you bite-sized concepts to consider and marinate on.  My hope with this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit is to help you identify the specific areas where you might be falling into the anxiety trap, and then find ways to manage anxiety more effectively and purposely.  We talk about Mindset, Mindfulness and strategic skills you can practice just about anywhere.  

As a Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders such as Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social Anxiety, Health Anxiety, Eating Disorders and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s), I often see my clients engage in behaviors that prevent them from properly managing their anxiety.  It is common for us to get stuck in compulsive and compensatory behaviors that cause us to continue to live in fear.   

In today’s podcast, I go through the 5 Common Mistakes We Make When Managing Anxiety.  Some of these points might surprise you.  Others may not.  This is not a list of the only mistakes we make.  There are lots of ways we can get stuck in the turmoil of anxiety, intrusive thoughts, sensations, panic, urges, obsessions, and compulsions. Please note, that these are 5 mistakes I make when managing anxiety also.  I don’t want anyone feeling like they are alone in this.  I make these mistakes also.  I think we all do, mostly because they are very easy traps to fall into when it comes to the management of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.   

I hope you find this helpful.  Thank you to everyone who has left a review for the podcast.  This is super helpful and increases our chances of getting really wonderful guests on the show.  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cbtschool/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimberleyQuinlanCBTschool/

Forward we go, 

Kimberley 

Feb 15, 2019

The Flow of Recovery

The Flow of Recovery Mindfulness CBT ERP Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Anxiety Depression Self-Compassion Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley Quinlan

In today’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, we are talking all about Recovery.  Yes, we know! This can be a controversial conversation, especially when talking about recovery for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Eating Disorders, Anxiety Disorders and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s).  

The truth is, achieving this thing called “recovery” depends mostly on your definition of recovery.  There can be a very big difference of opinion when it comes to what is considered “recovery.”  

In today’s podcast, we talk all about recovery and what I like to call, “The FLOW of recovery.”  Finding your own Flow of Recovery is what I think will help you so much with the speed and ease of your recovery, not matter what your definition is.  I have seen this idea of FLOW of recovery to be a huge part of OCD and Anxiety recovery for many.   

As you may know, last week we had the amazing Kristin Neff on the podcast (Ep. 87) where she shared her brilliant research and practice of Mindful Self-Compassion.   She shared about the importance of including self-compassion in our everyday lives and different compiments of self-compassion that can help us live a better life.   Some people have the faulty belief that self-compassion is for sissys.  Some hold onto the huge misconception that the practice of self-compassion will make us weak or lazy or fat or a loser.  Many of my clients have told me that they are too afraid to practice (or even consider) practicing self-compassion because it might make them snap and turn lazy and never get out of bed again.  So typical of anxiety, isn’t it?  Kristin Neff talked about the Yin and Yang of self-compassion (go to that episode to hear more).  She believes that self-compassion must include both the Yin of self-compassion, which is like a mother tenderly comforting her crying child and the Yang of self-compassion, which is the mother bear that shows up for ourselves, ferociously protecting her cubs (and us) from harm. 

As we mentioned before, many of us struggle with fearing becoming too Yin, and some people do the opposite and are afraid to step into the Yang of self-compassion.  As a result, they avoid getting their needs met.  They avoid everything.  So, when we talk about “The Flow of Recovery” we are talking about using both the Yin and the Yang of self-compassion to help you FLOW.  The Flow of Recovery is moving from action to gentleness and rest.   The Flow of Recovery involves slowing down sometimes and other times the flow of recovery involves speeding up.  Sometimes, the flow of recovery involves moving back and forth between the Yin and Yang quite quickly.  

 Today, in this podcast, I want to inspire you to begin using both the Yin and YANG of self-compassion.  My use of the term the flow of recovery is all about doing the hard things (YANG) and then slowing down to be gentle (YIN).  You are going to use these tools, not once, but over and over again.  And you are going to find a flow where you swing back and forth and back and forth between action and rest, action and rest.  

The action could be ERP, setting a boundary with someone, starting therapy, sharing your struggles with a friend, and the rest is where you get really quiet and ask yourself what it is that you need and make sure you find a way to give that to yourself.  

The Flow of Recovery is also the gentle swing of saying really gentle and kind things to yourself and then speaking almost as a coach.  “I can do this hard thing!” And “I will get through this” and “I have my own back, unconditionally.” 

So, to sum it all up, the principle of Yin and Yang is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, and this is so true for recovery.  

I urge you to check in and see if you have a Yin and a Yang.  How can you add more Yang if you rely too much on Yin?  How can you add some Yin if you are stuck in a cycle of all action and no self-care?

And lastly, please note that ERP School is open until February 18th!  Shhh…we kept the cart open a few more days.  

ERP School is our online course that teaches you all the most important components of ERP for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Exposure and Response Prevention School (ERP School)  is an online course that teaches you the tools and skills I teach my clients in my office.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.   

The course is a video based course that includes modules on 

  1. The science behind ERP 
  2. Identifying YOUR obsessions and your compulsions 
  3. The different approaches and types of ERP, including gradual exposure, writing scripts, interoceptive exposures and how to get creative with ERP 
  4. Mindfulness tools to help you manage anxiety, panic and uncertainty 
  5. Troubleshoot common questions and concerns 
  6. BONUS 6 videos of the most common subtypes of OCD

The course also includes many downloadable PDF’s and activities to help you navigate how to best apply ERP to your specific obsessions and compulsions.  

We are so excited to share ERP with you and would love to have you join us and the CBT School Community.  It’s a beautiful day to do hard things! 

If you are worried about doing it alone, please don’t fear.  We meet bi-monthly on the Facebook group and on Instagram to talk about questions you may have. 

Click HERE to sign up.   

Feb 8, 2019

Kristin Neff Talks All Things Self-Compassion

Kristin Neff Self-Compassion Mindfulness OCD Anxiety CBT ERP Depression Kimberley Quinlan Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast

Hello there CBT School friends and family, 

This week we have a SUPER exciting episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast to share with you.  If you are someone who is hard on yourself, this is THE episode for you.  If you are someone who beats yourself up, this is the episode for you.  If you need help being self-compassionate, THIS IS THE EPISODE FOR YOU! 

I am so thrilled to share with you this week's podcast guest, Kristin Neff.  

Kristin Neff is a pioneering self-compassion researcher, author of one of my favorite workbooks called The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook, and is a wise and informative teacher of self-compassion.  Kristin Neff developed an 8-week online program that teaches self-compassion skills to those who struggle in this area.  The program, co-created with her colleague Chris Germer, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, is called Mindful Self-Compassion.  

In this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast, Kristin Neff addresses what self-compassion is and what it is not.  I found this to be incredibly informative, especially for those who struggle to differentiate between self-compassion and self-care.  Kristin Neff also addresses why some people struggle with practicing self-compassion, and specifically addresses the cultural and political aspects of this topic.  

What I loved the most is how Kristin Neff explains whay self-compassion practices look like, feel like, and sound like.  For those who need a most literal description of self-compassion, this conversation will be right up your alley.  We also address the Yin & Yang of Self-Compassion and how we often forget the Yang component of Self-Compassion (listen to the full description). 

Lastly, for those who find that their negative self-talk increases when they practice self-compassion, Kristin Neff addresses a concept called Backdrafting, and how this is a normal (and even positive) part of Self Compassion. 

For more information on Kristin Neff, visit the links below:

Website: https://self-compassion.org

Workbook: https://self-compassion.org/mindful-self-compassion-workbook/

And lastly, please note that ERP School is available for one more week! 

ERP School, our online course that teaches you all the most important components of ERP for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is  BACK. Act fast because it is only available until February 14th, 2019!   

Exposure and Response Prevention School (ERP School)  is an online course that teaches you the tools and skills I teach my clients in my office.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.   

The course is a video-based course that includes modules on 

  1. The science behind ERP 
  2. Identifying YOUR obsessions and your compulsions 
  3. The different approaches and types of ERP, including gradual exposure, writing scripts, interoceptive exposures and how to get creative with ERP 
  4. Mindfulness tools to help you manage anxiety, panic, and uncertainty 
  5. Troubleshoot common questions and concerns 
  6. BONUS 6 videos of the most common subtypes of OCD, including Harm OCD. 

The course also includes many downloadable PDF’s and activities to help you navigate how to best apply ERP to your specific obsessions and compulsions.  

We are so excited to finally share ERP with you and would love to have you join us and the CBT School Community.  It's a beautiful day to do hard things! 

If you are worried about doing it alone, please don’t fear.  We meet bi-monthly on the FB group and on Instagram to talk about questions you may have. 

Click here to sign up.   https://www.cbtschool.com/p/erp-school-lp

Feb 1, 2019

The Science of Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)

The Science of Exposure and Response Prevention ERP Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Brain Anxiety CBT Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley Quinlan

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast.  

Today we are talking about the science behind Exposure and Response Prevention.  I know a lot of you have a lot of questions about why we would ever put ourselves in a position to be MORE anxious and MOST uncertain.   But, there are many reasons why and today we are going to dive into The Science of Exposure and Response Prevention .

To put it simply, we instinctually we run from fear.  We go into fight, flight and freeze when we are faced with serious, dangerous events. In emergency situations, this is the most sophisticated human response.  We are so lucky we have this response, as it keeps up alive and well.  

However, in our era, we are often bombarded by THOUGHTS of serious, dangerous events and this causes our brain to make mistakes about the imminence of danger.  We experience the thought as if it were an imminent threat - right here, danger in close quarters, etc. 

The problem is that we react to this thought or sensation or urge as if it IS an imminent threat.  We run away, we fight it or we freeze.  

What happens when we do this is that we reinforce that the thought IS dangerous and, because we responded in this way, a cycle that is created.  Fear --> avoidance response --> fear….and the cycle continues. 

So, what can we do instead of fight, flight or freeze? We can stare our fear right in the face.  We do this by performing Exposure and Response Prevention.  Exposure and Response Prevention includes changing our behavior, or response, to the original thought or obsession and exposing ourselves to our feared consequence.  Now, if you hate the idea of this, you are not alone.  

 In this week's podcast, we address the science behind Exposure & Response Prevention to help motivate and inform you of WHY ERP is so important and HOW it changes our brains.  If you need help with this, now is the time to act.  

ERP School, our online course that teaches you all the most important components of ERP for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is BACK, but act fast because it is only available until February 14th, 2019!   

Exposure and Response Prevention School (ERP School)  is an online course that teaches you the tools and skills I teach my clients in my office.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.   

The course is a video-based course that includes modules on 

  1. The science behind ERP 
  2. Identifying YOUR obsessions and your compulsions 
  3. The different approaches and types of ERP, including gradual exposure, writing scripts, interoceptive exposures and how to get creative with ERP 
  4. Mindfulness tools to help you manage anxiety, panic, and uncertainty 
  5. Troubleshoot common questions and concerns 
  6. BONUS 6 videos of the most common subtypes of OCD

The course also includes many downloadable PDF’s and activities to help you navigate how to best apply ERP to your specific obsessions and compulsions.  

We are so excited to finally share ERP with you and would love to have you join us and the CBT School Community.  It's a beautiful day to do hard things! 

If you are worried about doing it alone, please don’t fear.  We meet bi-monthly on the FB group and on IG to talk about questions you may have. 

Click HERE to sign up.   

Jan 25, 2019

Overcoming Harm OCD with Jon Hershfield

Harm OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Jon Hershfield CBT ERP Anxiety Depression Obsessions Exposure CBT Tools Unwanted Violent Thoughts Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley Quinlan

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast.  Today we have a special guest, Jon Hershfield, LMFT.  Jon has been on the show already and is a favorite among the CBT School-ers.

Today, Jon and I talk about how to manage specific obsessions related to violence and physical harm.  In OCD terms, we call it Harm Obsessions or Harm OCD (if you meet the requirements for a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD).

In this episode, Jon answers some important questions such as: 

  • Does everyone have Harm Obsessions, thoughts, impulses or images? 
  • Why do these Harm Obsessions bother some people and not others? 
  • What is the difference between a Harm OCD  and having thoughts about harm? 
  • Are people with Harm OCD any different than those who have other types of OCD? 
  • How do we treat Harm OCD? 

This was such a fun episode and I really hope it helps those with harm obsessions, thoughts, images, impulses, and urges (Harm OCD).

Fore more information on Jon's latest book, Overcoming Harm OCD: Mindfulness and CBT Tools for Coping with Unwanted Violent Thoughts, click HERE.

For more information on Jon Hershfield, visit:

Website: Ocdbaltimore.com

Twitter: @cbtocd

IG: @ocdbaltimore

FB: @JonHershfield

GOOD NEWS!……WE HAVE A HUGE SURPRISE! 

On January 28th, 2019, we are offering our FREE webinar called “10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OCD.”  This is a FREE online video course explaining exactly what OCD is, how to treat it and what complicating factors can occur during the process.   

This free webinar will run daily at 6pm PST for one week ONLY.  If you are not able to attend the free webinar, no stress! There will be a free replay sent to your inbox the day after signing up. I cannot wait to share this FREE educational resource with you.  

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP! 

ALSO, ERP School is COMING BACK!   Exposure and Response Prevention School is an online course that teaches you the tools and skills I teach my clients in my office.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.  The course is a video-based course that includes modules on: 

  1. The science behind ERP 
  2. Identifying YOUR obsessions and your compulsions 
  3. The different approaches and types of ERP, including gradual exposure, writing scripts, interoceptive exposures and how to get creative with ERP 
  4. Mindfulness tools to help you manage anxiety, panic and uncertainty 
  5. Troubleshoot common questions and concerns 
  6. BONUS 6 videos of the most common subtypes of OCD, including Harm OCD.

The course also includes many downloadable PDF’s and activities to help you navigate how to best apply ERP to your specific obsessions and compulsions.  

We are so excited to finally share ERP with you and would love to have you join us and the CBT School Community.  It’s a beautiful day to do hard things! 

If you are worried about doing it alone, please don’t fear.  We meet bi-monthly on the Facebook group and on Instagram to talk about questions you may have. 

Click HERE to sign up.

Jan 22, 2019

Michelle Massi, LMFT, Talks To Us About Managing Social Anxiety

Welcome back to Your Anxiety Toolkit.

After multiple suggestions and requests, we are so excited to share with you an episode that focuses entirely on managing Social Anxiety.   I am so excited to share with you the amazing, Michelle Massi (formally known as Michelle Otelsberg).

Michelle Massi, LMFT, is an OCD and Anxiety Specialist who has both a private practice in Encino and Westwood and also works at the UCLA OCD Intensive Treatment Program.  Michelle works one-on-one and runs group therapy, and has a ton of experience treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder, TICS, Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior’s (BFRBs) and other anxiety-related disorders.

In this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, we talk about all things Social Anxiety.  Michelle and I talk about the presentation of Social Anxiety and different symptoms that can present when ones struggles with Social Anxiety.  Michelle talks about different themes and fears related to social anxiety and how there is no one-size-fits-all approach to social anxiety presentation.

Michelle and I also discuss different approaches to Social Anxiety treatment and some fun ways to practice facing your fears and tolerating the fear of judgment from others.  We discuss the use of Cognitive Therapy, Behavioral therapy, and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), as well as the use of Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Also, please get super excited!

ERP School is BACK!   Exposure and Response Prevention School is an online course that teaches you the tools and skills I teach my clients in my office.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.   The course is a video-based course that includes modules on

  1. The science behind ERP
  2. Identifying YOUR obsessions and your compulsions
  3. The different approaches and types of ERP, including gradual exposure, writing scripts, interoceptive exposures and how to get creative with ERP
  4. Mindfulness tools to help you manage anxiety, panic, and uncertainty
  5. Troubleshoot common questions and concerns
  6. BONUS 6 videos of the most common subtypes of OCD

The course also includes many downloadable PDF’s and activities to help you navigate how to best apply ERP to your specific obsessions and compulsions.

We are so excited to finally share ERP with you and would love to have you join us and the CBT School Community.  It's a beautiful day to do hard things!

If you are worried about doing it alone, please don’t fear.  We meet bi-monthly on the FB group and on Instagram to talk about questions you may have.

Click HERE to sign up.

 

For more information about Michelle, Anxiety Therapy LA, and the UCLA OCD Intensive Outpatient Program:

Anxiety Therapy LA: Anxietytherapyla.com

Instagram: @anxietytherapyla

UCLA OCD Program: https://www.semel.ucla.edu/ocd-itp

Jan 11, 2019

Steven Hayes Talks Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Steven Hayes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT Values ERP CBT Mindfulness Anxiety Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Therapy Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley QuinlanWelcome back to another INCREDIBLE episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast! Today we have an amazing guest, Steven Hayes.

Steven Hayes is a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Nevada.  Steven Hayes has done so much for the psychology field, writing a whopping 44 books (wow, right?!) and many research articles.  Steven Hayes also developed the evidence-based therapeutic modality that I use in my therapy office every day: Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (also known as ACT).  ACT is a wonderful compliment to Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP), as it relies heavily on Mindfulness, positive reinforcement and using Value-Based Behaviors.

In this interview, Steven Hayes and I discuss what Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) involves and how we can learn to diffuse from our thoughts.  You will find this especially helpful with you have anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, and Depression, mostly because we tend to fuse a lot with our thoughts when we struggle with these disorders.  However, the truth is, we all could learn the skill of diffusion and Steven Hayes does an amazing job of expelling why.   Steven Hayes also teaches us useful ACT tools to stay present, and the practice of living a life that is based on values, not fear or anxiety.

My favorite part of the interview is where Steven Hayes discussed why our thoughts sometimes link together and how it is completely a waste of time trying to block, suppress or avoid thoughts.   I am sure you will agree that Steven Hayes is a genius and that he has so much to teach us about our brain, our psyche and how we can react batter to our thoughts.

AND…..WE HAVE A HUGE SURPRISE!

ERP School is BACK!   Exposure and Response Prevention School is an online course that teaches you the tools and skills I teach my clients in my office.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.   The course is a video based course that includes modules on:

  1. The science behind ERP
  2. Identifying YOUR obsessions and your compulsions
  3. The different approaches and types of ERP, including gradual exposure, writing scripts, and interoceptive exposures, as well as how to get creative with ERP
  4. Mindfulness tools to help you manage anxiety, panic and uncertainty
  5. Troubleshoot common questions and concerns
  6. BONUS 6 videos of the most common subtypes of OCD.

The course also includes many downloadable PDF’s and activities to help you navigate how to best apply ERP to your specific obsessions and compulsions.

We are so excited to finally share ERP with you and would love to have you join us and the CBT School Community.  It’s a beautiful day to do hard things!

If you are worried about doing it alone, please don’t fear.  We meet bi-monthly on the FB group and on Instagram to talk about questions you may have.

Click HERE to sign up.

If you would like further information on Steven Hayes and access to his FREE mini course, visit http://www.stevenchayes.com/.  Click HERE for more info on Steven Hayes' workbook Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life, as well as his other books.

Jan 4, 2019

Staring Fear In The Face With Four Powerful Statements

Four Powerful Statements You Need Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Fear Depression Panic CBT Mindfulness ERP BFRB Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley QuinlanHello there CBT School Rockstars!  Happy New Year!  

In this week’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, I want to give you the 4 Powerful Statements you need in 2019.  Even though this is directed at you for the new year, this episode is created in hope to get you ready for any circumstance and any time in your life.  

So here they are!

The #1 Powerful Statement you need in 2019 is……. “There is nothing wrong with me”

The #2 Powerful Statement you need in 2019 is…….“I radically accept this situation”  

The #3 Powerful Statement you need in 2019 is……….“I am making the decisions around here from now on” 

The #4 Powerful Statement you need in 2019 is……“It is a beautiful day to do hard things” 

The whole purpose of this podcast episode is to help you move away from a life where fear makes all of your decisions and towards a life where we stare fear in the face and live the life we want to live as if fear wasn’t there at all.   We want to ask ourselves what we would do if fear never showed up and then go live that life while only bringing fear along for the ride.

CBTschool.com has many ways we want to help you “do hard things” in 2019 and we hope that these 4 Powerful Statements will help you move in that direction.   

We are excited to announce that ERP School is coming back in January.  Click HERE for more info.  ERP School is an online course that teaches all the Exposure & Response Prevention Tools you will need to manage Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Health Anxiety, and Social Anxiety.

We are also excited to announce that BFRB School is also coming back in January.  Click HERE for more info.  BFRB School is a course that teaches those with Compulsive Skin Picking (Dermatillomania & Excoriation Disorder), Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania) and Compulsive Nail Biting the science-based tools they need to manage their symptoms and live a full life.

Sending you much love and healing vibes,

Kimberley

Dec 28, 2018

"You WILL get through this!" Interview with Fashion Blogger and OCD Advocate Jemma MrDak

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Anxiety Panic CBT Fashion Blogger Advocate Jemma Mrdak Therapy Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley QuinlanHello there CBT School Community! 

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast.  Today, we are so excited to share with you Jemma Mrdak.  Jemma is a well-known Australian Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger and an avid Mental Health advocate.  I first heard about Jemma on social media after she bravely came out and talked about her experience with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) on the Today show.  As soon as I saw her interview, I knew she would be such an inspiration to you all.  

In this episode, Jemma talks about her struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), specifically checking and tapping compulsions.  Jemma talks about being so overwhelmed with anxiety that she was unable to get to school on time and fell behind in her studies. Jemma also talks about her success with seeking treatment from a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT) and how she used her tools to help her get her life back from OCD.  Jemma also shared her love for nature and exercise and how that helped her get in touch with the practice of Mindfulness.  If you are feeling hopeless about your future and questioning if you are able to get better at managing your anxiety and OCD, this episode is for you.  Jemma is so great at sharing what was easy, what was really hard and what roadblocks she came across in her treatment journey.  She is truly an inspiration and will give you some amazing words of wisdom to help with on your journey to mental wellness. 

For more info on Jemma, visit the below:

Website: astylishmoment.com

IG: @astylishmoment

 

Before we go, GET EXCITED!  ERP School is almost here again.  ERP School will be re-released in late January.   Click HERE to be the first one alerted by signing up to be on the waitlist.  

Dec 20, 2018

How Practicing Self-Respect Can Lead to Self-Compassion

ow Practicing Self-Respect Can Lead To Self-Compassion Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Anxiety Depression CBT Mindfulness Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley QuinlanHello there CBT School Family! I am so thrilled to share another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast with you.  

You guys know me well enough to know that I am a huge fan and advocate for the practice of self-compassion.  I love sharing the benefits of self-compassion and helpful ways to put it into practice. 

However, over the past few months, I have heard the hopelessness in some of your voices when you share with me that self-compassion just feels too hard and too triggering.  Maybe you feel like you don’t deserve to be kind to yourself, which is common in Anxiety, Depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or you are afraid that practicing self-compassion will mean you lose control and become a lazy, useless bum (none of this is true, BTW).  

For those of you who are struggles with self-compassion, this podcast is for you.  Today we are talking all about how practicing self-respect can lead to self-compassion.  Self-respect is all about honoring your right to be treated fairly and kindly.  It is all about not treating yourself in a way that is disrespectful and hurtful.  We all deserve to be treated equally and fairly, and this is a practice that is crucial if you ever want to master the practice of self-compassion.   In this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast, we will discuss effective ways to practice self-respect and learn how self-respect leads us towards the beneficial practice of self-compassion.  

 

During the podcast episode, we take a look at how you can improve self-respect by addressing these important questions. 

1) Do my behaviors represent and reflect self-respect? 

2) Do my behaviors respect my values? 

3) Do my behaviors respect my beliefs?  

4) Do my behaviors allow me to achieve my goals and values?

5) What are some times I have felt a true sense of self-respect? 

6) Does my behavior lead me towards a sense of mastery (of a skill or a situation)?

7) What behaviors am I doing that damage my sense of self-respect?  

 

I hope this podcast episode brings you closer to the practice of self-respect and self-compassion.   These are two concepts I am very invested in and I hope you find them helpful.  

Dec 14, 2018

How to Thrive and Survive The Holidays

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Well, the holiday season is here and if you’re anything like me, you’re feeling slightly overwhelmed and stressed because of all you have to do, and all of the emotions that go along with the holidays. This is a common time of the year where we can experience very high emotions such as joy, happiness and excitement, but we also experience a lot of difficult emotions such as fear, panic, depression, hopelessness, grief and loneliness.

Given that this is such a universal experience during the holiday period, we thought it was a great opportunity to bring on Alison Seponara who is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania to talk about How to Thrive and Survive the Holidays.  This episode is particularly important if you are also managing a mental illness or other psychological stressors. It is not uncommon for anxiety and depression to worsen during the holiday period, so we wanted to be sure to bring you multiple tools to help you Thrive and Survive the Holidays.

In this interview Alison and I talk about important topics that can really impact our mental wellness during the Holiday season.  In this podcast, we address the following:

  • Grief and how the holidays can bring up grief you were not expecting
  • Anxiety and how it is often increased due to the stress of the holiday period and the presence of triggering family members
  • Social anxiety and how it can cause us to dread the holiday period
  • The fear of saying no to family members and events that you don’t think are healthy for you to attend
  • The financial struggles that go along with the holidays
  • The overwhelming expectation to feel nothing but joy and celebration

The most important point Alison and I made during this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit is that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FEEL BAD IF YOU ARE NOT ENJOYING THE HOLIDAYS.  Alison made some great points in reassuring you that it is ok and totally normal to struggle instead of feeling festive.  I hope you find this podcast helpful and you now feel ready to thrive and survive the holidays.

IG: @therapywithali
FB: Alison Seponara
https://www.alisonseponara.com/
Dec 7, 2018

Tips To Help You Share Your Mental Illness With Others

Tips To Help You Share Your Mental Illness With Others Shala Nicely Interview Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Anxiety Depression CBT Eating Disoder Your Anxiety Toolkit Kimberley QuinlanWelcome back to Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast!

Recently on the podcast, I shared my own personal journey of struggling (and now managing) significant anxiety, disordered eating and life stressors. It was a scary, yet brave thing for me to do and I am so glad I did.  Because I am constantly telling others that “It is a beautiful day to do hard things,” I figured I have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.   It was such an amazing experience to hear many of your reflections and own personal stories on these difficult issues.  

What surprised me was that one of the most common questions I heard from you guys (my lovely CBT School community and YAY Podcast listeners) was, “HOW do I share my story?”  So many people reached out and shared that they wish they had the courage and “know-how” to start telling others about their journey with mental illness.  Maybe you want to empower others?  Maybe you want to get it off your chest?  Maybe you want to reduce the stigma around your own disorder and mental health struggles? 

So, you know what I did? I called the person I most respect when it comes to sharing her story, Shala Nicely.   Together we recorded a podcast episode and talked about what you might want to consider when making the decision to share your story.  Shala shared many beautiful personal examples of her own process of writing a memoir about her journey with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and how she handled the ups and downs of this process.  

Shala and I also talked about HOW to share what you are struggling with a friend or loved one.  Shala gives some wonderful tips to decide who to share with and why it might not be who you would have first considered.  

What no one can prepare you for is your own mental roller coaster that occurs when you share information about yourself.  We also address self-criticism and dealing with what I call “sharing remorse” or what Brene Brown calls a “vulnerability hangover” after telling someone your deep dark secrets.  One of the things I love the most about Shala is that she is honest and open about the ups AND the downs of sharing.  She shares what it is like for her to handle negative feedback and how she manages that through Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).   I hope this helps you come to a decision for yourself.  

Nov 30, 2018

Managing Perfectionism and Learning To Be Good Enough (with Kim Foster Carlson)

 Managing Perfectionism and Learning To Be Good Enough Kim Foster Carlson Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Anxiety Procrastination CBT Mindfulness Your Anxiety Toolkit Kimberley QuinlanWelcome to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast!  This week, we talk about all things anxiety and mental health.

Today, I am excited to share with you our guest, Kim Foster Carlson.  Kim Foster Carlson is an award-winning broadcast journalist in San Francisco Bay and the author of the book Good Enough: How to Overcome Fear of Failure and Perfectionism To Live Your Best Life.

There is not a day in my office where I don’t see the debilitating anxiety that is caused by perfectionism.  Perfectionism can prevent us from trying new things, paralyze us when we have to perform, and can cause us to be very hard on ourselves.  In today’s podcast, Kim addressed many of the factors that might cause perfectionism, as well as some super helpful tools to manage it.  The difficult part is that we are constantly being bombarded by unrealistic expectations from our family, our social media accounts, from magazines and from our society’s expectations.

In this interview, Kim and I talk about perfectionism, fear of failure, anxiety and procrastination.

Kim shares her history of being an athlete and how perfectionism and the fear of failure caused her to be very hard on herself.

Kim also shares her story of going to therapy and realizing that perfectionism was the cause of her anger, anxiety and poor coping strategies.  She shared how this was triggered by stressors related to parenting and she was so open about how she got through some very difficult times.  Kim details many mindfulness skills that helped her along the road to becoming a “recovered perfectionist.”

One tip that I loved from today’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit was Kim’s example of Steph Curry, a professional basketball player.  Kim emphasized the importance of “finding the joy” (Steph Curry’s phrase) in everything we do by practicing gratitude and by verbally thanking someone every day.  I just loved this idea and this is a tool I am going to adopt myself.

I hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Nov 23, 2018

This is me...doing a hard thing

This Is Me...Doing A Hard Thing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Anxiety Depression CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Mindfulness Eating Disoder Your Anxiety Toolkit Kimberley Quinlan
Hello there lovely CBT School Community,

You all know how much I adore coming on here every week and sharing cool Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) tips or fun Mindfulness tools with you all!?  As I often say, “these are skills for life” and sometimes we have to stare the dark place of mental illness in the face before we get introduced (and practice) these wonderful tools.   Sometimes, we have to hit rock bottom before we ask for help.  We have to be struggling so much that we have no choice but to double down and learn the tools we need to live a more mindful and healthy life.

This was definitely the case for me.  In today’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast, I share with you my story with Mental Illness.

I am not going to lie.  I have felt many emotions about sharing my own story.  This week’s episode is one that has challenged me to be as brave as I can be.

I have been thinking about telling my own story of mental illness/health for some time and it has taken me many conversations with trusted colleagues and family members to come to a place where I felt ready.   So, today, I bravely share with you my story.  This is me….doing a hard thing.

In the episode, I talk about how I moved away from my small hometown to go to university.  Immediately, I was riddled with anxiety and panic.  I felt so painfully alone and I was plagued with the repetitive thought that “something bad will happen.”  I felt out of control and I had no tools to manage these terrifying feelings.  In this episode, I share how I responded to these thoughts in the only way I knew how.   I used what some would consider very positive behaviors and use them in a way that became very problematic.   Before too long, I was restricting my food, compulsively exercising and binge-eating to manage my emotions. I spent hours planning and calculating my calorie intake and I kept it all a secret, in fear that someone would find out how much I was struggling.  I was so afraid of being seen as weak or over-dramatic.  These behaviors stripped me of my joy, comfort and my life.

My hope with sharing my own personal story is to remind you that you can get better.  I also hope that it helps us all feel more connected and a part of the same community.  We all have our own story and struggles, and I wanted to share mine with you so you felt I understood what you might be going through.  While I might not have exactly the same story (or circumstances), we all get to the place where we have to ask for help.  We all get to the place where were feel so out of control that we have to make a change.  That was me.  And this is me….doing a hard thing.

I hope you find it helpful, or comforting.   Please know that you can get better and you can get your life back.

Nov 16, 2018

Dr. David Burns Helps Us Learn the Art of Feeling Good

Hello!  My name is Kimberley Quinlan and welcome back to Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast.

Dr. David Burns Interview Learn the Art of Feeling Good Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Anxiety Depression CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Your Anxiety Toolkit Kimberley QuinlanFor those of you who are new, welcome!  Your Anxiety Toolkit is brought to you by CBTschool.com.  CBTschool.com is an online resource that provides evidence-based tools and resources for those who are experiencing anxiety, depression, or other mental health struggles.  CBT is an acronym for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  CBT is made up of Cognitive Therapy and Behavioral Therapy.

Today, I am so excited to share with you one of the masters in our field of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dr. David Burns.   Dr. Burns has been a legend in my mind for many years.  He wrote the book Feeling Good, which I consider one of the most valuable books for the management of faulty and unhelpful thoughts.

Dr. David Burns is an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine.  David Burns is also the author of the best-selling books Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy,  The Feeling Good Handbook, When Panic Attacks, and has a new book being written called Feeling Great (I cannot wait to read this one!).   Dr. David Burns brings Cognitive Therapy, Buddhist foundations and principals, and Behavioral Concepts into this amazing work.

Dr. Burns also created and copyrighted The Burns Depression Checklist, which is a rating scale for depression that I use very often in my office.

In our interview today, David Burns helps us by teaching how to better approach our faulty cognitions that cause depression.  Burns states that 50% of anxious people will be depressed and 100% of depressed people will be anxious.   He strongly believes that much of our depression is directly related to our faulty thoughts, which I am sure you will all find very interesting and inspiring.  What David Burns teaches us is how to correct our depressive thoughts and come up with strong, powerful statements to counter their incorrect content.  We talk about themes such as hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness.

Please note, there are points made by Mr. Burns regarding medication, but I really encourage you to speak with your doctor to make sure your medical and medication plans are best for you.  Every person is different and needs specific care.

Dr. David Burns also addresses these topics during the interview:

  • Thoughts are the cause for depression.
  • If you can change the way you think, you will change the way you feel.
  • Recent studies researched Feeling Good, to test if it clinically helps those who are experiencing depression, and results showed it is highly effective for those who suffer from depression.
  • How he conceptualizes recovery as either 100% recovery (where all symptoms are gone) and 200% recovery (a stage and experience of enlightenment).
Nov 10, 2018

ONE Day Non-Judgment Challenge

Non-Judgment Challenge Self-Judgment Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Anxiety Depression Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT Your Anxiety Toolkit Kimberley QuinlanHello and welcome back to Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast.  Today we are talking about an interesting challenge.  

You see, recently I was dared to take an entire day to just listen to my body and feel my feelings and sit in peace.  I thought this was a fabulous idea so I shipped my kids and husband away for one day (I never do this BTW)

What quickly arose was one thing that was taking the joy out of what could have been a lovely day.  That thing was Self-judgment.  Self-judgment is the thing that kept bringing me out of simply spending the day with myself. 

“I should be doing this instead” 

“You are being lazy” 

“Why did you choose that activity?” 

“You have to do it this way because that way is a waste of money” 

“You shouldn’t be feeling this way” 

“You don’t deserve this” 

“Why did you do it that way?” 

“Why are you the way you are?

Here are just a few of the self-judgment statements we say to ourselves during the day.  When you see it on paper, it sounds so awful.  Yet, these are things we say to ourselves without hesitation or even awareness sometimes.   

So, I decided to change the focus of the day away from it being a day of freedom and pleasure and towards a day where I practiced non-judgment.  I called it the NON-JUDGMENT CHALLENGE DATE DAY (or #nonjudgmentdateday on social media).  

So, here is the challenge.  Non-Judgment Challenge Day is a day where you go out on your own for a whole day (or an hour or two) and you practice doing things you enjoy doing.  Do something pleasurable or exciting or new.  As you do this, be very aware of the thoughts in your mind.  During this date with yourself, observe your thoughts, both positive and negative, about yourself and the activity you are engaging in.  

Non-Judgment Challenge Day was a complete eye opener for me and I strongly encourage you to try it.   Listen in to this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast to hear about my reflections and struggles with my very own Non-Judgment Challenge Day. 

Also, I just wanted to let you know about “What if?”, a collaborative film project by Robin Roblee-Strauss for his senior thesis project at Hampshire College.  “What if?” Is a movie that documents the experiences of living with OCD. The film focuses on the voices of those struggling with OCD as the experts on their own internal experiences and recovery processes. And guess what....you can be involved in its creation! Go to www.whatifocdmovie.com to learn how you can be a part of the project by sharing your story, contributing cinematic or artistic expertise, or donating. By creating a movie with the help of individuals with OCD, Robin hopes to empower sufferers to speak out and show the world a brave and honest look into the struggle with uncertainty and anxiety.

Nov 2, 2018

Tips To Manage Anxiety At Work 

Tips To Manage Anxiety At Work and School Panic Disorder Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Depression Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT Your Anxiety Toolkit Kimberley QuinlanWelcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit.  Today’s topic was a suggested topic be one of the members of our online FB group, CBT School Campus. One of the members asked for tips to manage anxiety at work.  This is a very important topic, as it is common for some to appear to be highly functioning, but underneath, they are riddled with anxiety and feel like they have no tools to manage their anxiety. The hard part about managing anxiety at work is that it is a practice of multi-tasking.  Not only are you fulfilling requirements of your job description, but you are also trying to manage intrusive thoughts, uncomfortable feelings and (sometimes) terrifying urges.   These are common symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social Anxiety, Health Anxiety (hypochondria) and Panic Disorder. So, this week we are addressing 10 tips to manage anxiety at work, school, volunteering or other activities that you might do.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are many other tools that could be used, but these are some of the ones I thought might be the most helpful. Here is a quick overview of the 10 tips to manage anxiety at work:
  1. Don’t aim for no anxiety.
    • Accept that it will be there
  2. Don’t judge yourself for having anxiety
    • There is nothing “wrong” with you for having anxiety.
    • You are not “bad” for having anxiety
    • Your worth doesn’t change because of anxiety’s presence
  3. Do a Door check (listen to the episode for more information on this)
  4. Pull your shoulders back
  5. Create a strength-based statement to get you through the hard times
    • “We can do hard things”
    • “This too will pass”
    • “I am stronger than I think I am”
    • “I have done hard things before and I survived”
  6. Set small, realistic goals
    • Focus on only one client at a time
    • Do one job or one assignment at a time
    • Have rewards for work well done
  7. Implement a consistent and strong self-care plan: Getting exercise and sleep, as well as reducing caffeine and alcohol, is a good start.
  8. Begin a Self-Compassion practice
  9. You have to name emotions to tame emotions.
  10. Bring on that Anxiety, baby! Try to stare your fear in the face as much as you can.
I hope that has been helpful! Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher or wherever you tune in.
Oct 25, 2018

The Best FREE Mindful Tool Is...

The Best Free Mindful Tool Anxiety Depression Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Specific Phobias Eating Disorder BFRB's CBT Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley QuinlanClients and the CBT School community are often asking me for tools and tricks to manage anxiety.  Thankfully, we are so blessed there are so many scientifically proven tools and treatment modalities to help those with anxiety, depression, and other struggles.  However, I feel the need to bring us back to a mindful tool that we can use any time we want.   The great thing about this tool is that it is THE BEST FREE MINDFUL TOOL! That's right! It is the best, and it is free. Before we do that, I want to look at things abstractly for a second.  I promise it will make sense once I tell it so hear me out. Let’s say I want to be a great mom.  I want my daughter to think I am the freaking best mom ever. Here is the thing!  Just because I am her mother, that doesn’t automatically mean she and I will be good friends and have a great relationship.  Or, that she will even like me. To be a freaking rockstar mom, and to make a lasting impact on her heart and well-being, I am going to have to nurture her and our relationship. I am going to have to hear her pains.  I will need to sit with her when things are hard.  She will need me to hold her hand and be compassionate when she makes mistakes.  And wipe her tears when she cries.  And most of all, she will need me to not deny her of her anger and sadness and brattiness.  I am going to need to really be with her. To have a nurturing and healing relationship, I can't cheat and do it the fastest way.  She is not going to think I am an amazing mom just because I buy her the newest iPad and get her the best clothes and hire the best nanny to take care of her all the time.   Those things are great and will make her happy for the short term, but they won’t result in a good relationship with my daughter in the long term.  She won’t feel deeply loved by me and she won’t feel deeply seen. If I want to have a lasting and healthy relationship, I have to actually sit with her.  Be with her.  Not disown her because she is angry or being naughty.  I can’t just leave it to the nanny to fix her when she is sad or angry or not cleaning her room.   I can't buy her a trip to Disneyland and send her off with the nanny and expect that she will feel loved by me just because I arranged it and paid for it.   If I do that, she will understand that I will only be there when she is good, or when it is easy, and she will not feel worthy when she is having tough emotions.   Here is where the healing and growth occurs. So, here is this week’s lesson.  When it comes to your mindfulness practice, you can't cheat.  You too have to do the actual “being with.”   Our relationship with ourselves is no different.   We all want to be deeply understood.  We all want to feel worthy of being sat with.   We all know that feeling deeply seen is one of the most healing experiences we can be given.  Here’s the big question for this podcast episode.  Do you try to cheat when it comes to actually spending time with yourself and deeply sitting with your experience?  My guess is you are saying Yes.  We cheat ourselves on self-care and just “being” all the time. So, let's talk about how we befriend ourselves.  This is the best FREE mindful Tool I am talking about.  The best free Mindful tool is your breath. We disregard breath as one of the best mindful tools and we push forward wanting more supercharged, easier tools.  During this podcast, we do a short breathing meditation, in hope to simply honor our “being” and “spend time with” ourselves.   Returning to our breath really is the best free mindful tool. Before we go, here is a reminder to check out our swag!  WE ARE SO THRILLED TO FINALLY BE OFFERING IT!  We have an array of t-shirts and tanks for men, women, and children.  Each product has our very own CBT SCHOOL motto, “It is a beautiful day to do hard things.”  Check it out at the following link! https://www.etsy.com/shop/CBTschool
Oct 19, 2018

How To Talk To Others About Mental Illness (with Representative Michael Schlossberg)

How To Talk To Others About Mental Illness Michael Schlossberg Interview Depression Anxiety Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Your Anxiety Toolkit Kimberley QuinlanHello there and welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast.  Today we have the final episode of the “We can do hard things” series; a series of episodes where we have inspirational and courageous guests who talk about hard and life-changing things.  I have enjoyed this series so much and hope to start it back up again early next year.  I just loved having all of the wonderful guests, who inspired me to be better and brave and more courageous.  

Today we are discussing how to talk to others about mental illness.  I often get asked questions about how to share your story of having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Eating Disorder or Panic Disorder or depression with loved ones.  If you are wondering how to talk to others about mental illness, this is the episode for you.  

In this week’s episode, we have State Representative of Pennsylvania, Michael Schlossberg.  Michael Schlossberg is not only a State Representative.  He is a mental health advocate and the author of the fiction book Redemption.  Redemption is a science fiction book about a character who defeats depression and anxiety.  If you are interested in reading this book (the first of a three-part series), click HERE.  

During this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast, Schlossberg talks about his response to Robin Williams’ death by suicide and how that propelled him to be more open about his own depression and anxiety.   We talk about the experience of depression and how it can keep you feeling alone and isolated.  Schlossberg has many pieces of helpful information on how to talk to others about mental illness.  He talked about how talking to others about his mental illness made him feel closer to others and how it helped him to be more accepting and kind to himself.  

The best advice I took from this episode was “There are more people in their rooms crying than you would ever notice.  1/5 Americans have depression. You are not alone.” 

Click HERE to learn more about Michael's story and his focus on mental health in his governmental work.  Find him on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.

Oct 12, 2018

How To Let Go of the Past

How To Let Go of the Past Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Anxiety Specific Phobias Eating Disorder BFRB's Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley QuinlanThis week’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast is my response to a question that came directly from the online Facebook group CBT School Campus.  It is based upon the following: how to let go of the past.   

This question was one that the online group agreed was incredibly painful and one that was very difficult to approach.  If you aren’t familiar with CBT School Campus, go check it out.  CBT School Campus is an online group of wonderful people who support each other as they do hard things!  The group includes people who are struggling with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.  Each member is kind, supportive and helpful.  

Here is the question: 

“One of my obsessive regulars is about things from the past that my mind twisted and has blown way out of proportion (at least that’s what my non-OCD support people tell me. Ha!), but the memories cause me immense guilt/shame because I question my motives and wish I hadn’t done it. I do my exposures to try and accept that I may have had the wrong motive, it may have been inappropriate, I may be bothered by it forever, etc. 

My struggle lies in the yucky, depressed, guilty feeling it gives me as it looms and sucks the joy. That often leads to the worry of suicide if I can never get over it. I try to welcome the yuck, keep moving, etc.  Anything specific that has helped you?”

What a great question!  During this podcast, I talk about how we misinterpret events from the past and use past events to calculate or define ourselves, our worth and our value.  This miscalculation (or rating game) can become a compulsion and as you might already know, the more you review yourself, the more you find to be upset about and the worse you feel.  

DON’T FORGET, THIS WEEK IS OCD AWARENESS WEEK!  CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION.

WE ARE SO THRILLED TO FINALLY BE OFFERING SWAG!  We have an array of t-shirts and tanks for men, women, and children.  Each product has our very own CBT SCHOOL motto, “It is a beautiful day to do hard things.”  Check it out at the following link! https://www.etsy.com/shop/CBTschool

Oct 5, 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Self-Compassion (Interview with Paul Gilbert)

Self-Compassion Interview with Paul Gilbert Compassion-Focused Therapy CFT Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Anxiety Specific Phobias BFRB's Your Anxiety Toolkit Kimberley QuinlanThis week’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit is going to blow your mind!  Yes!  You better believe it! If you have been thinking you should start a self-compassion practice for yourself, THIS is the episode for you.  Today we are going to discuss everything you need to know about self-compassion. This week I am so honored to talk with Paul Gilbert, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Derbyshire Health Care Foundation Trust. Paul Gilbert is what I consider a Self-Compassion and Shame “Guru.”  We all know shame and we all know how difficult shame can be when it comes to Anxiety Disorders, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social Anxiety, Specific Phobias, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s), such as Trichotillomania (hair pulling) and Dermatillomania (compulsive skin picking).  Paul shares with us his beautiful insight and understanding of the human brain and how to apply self-compassion in our daily living.  So much of what Paul has to say compliments the discussions we have had on the podcast already. Professor Gilbert performed psychopathology research for over 35 years with a special focus on shame and the treatment of shame-based difficulties. Paul Gilbert was the founder of Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) and I am certain you are going to LOVE what he has to say.  Paul Gilbert has written and edited 20 books and established the Compassionate Mind Foundation in 2006. He was awarded an OBE in March 2011. During this interview, Paul shares everything you need to know about self-compassion. Paul explains his work and research on self-compassion and how he came to practice and develop Compassion-Focused Therapy.  Paul addresses why he thinks we are so hostile or self-critical towards oneself and what he considers the most important tools for practicing self-compassion The most beautiful part of this podcast episode is that we ALL need to be better at practicing self-compassion. As a reminder, it's BFRB Awareness Week (October 1-7)!  Click here for more information on BFRB School, which is a complete online course for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB's). Lastly, OCD Awareness Week is coming up from October 7-13!  OCD SoCal will celebration OCD Awareness Week on October 7 from 1:00 pm-5:00 pm in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.  Go to IOCDF.org or search your local area for events.
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