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Your Anxiety Toolkit - It's a Beautiful Day to Do Hard Things

With over a million downloads, Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast delivers compassionate, science-based tools for anyone with Anxiety, Panic, OCD, and other mental health struggles.
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Now displaying: March, 2021
Mar 26, 2021

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit. Today we are discussing Exposure and Response Prevention or ERP.  So what exactly is ERP?  Well, many years ago a psychologist created exposure therapy, which is where we expose people to their fears. If you were afraid of dogs, we would expose you to pictures of dogs and then videos of dogs and then we would probably ask you to go pet a dog, that is exposure therapy. What is ERP?This was found to be highly successful; however, over the course of time, more research suggested that doing exposures alone is good, but it doesn't completely address the whole picture of OCD because OCD does not just involve obsessions, it also involves compulsions. Exposure therapy did not really address compulsions. So a different method was added on and that is the response prevention. You expose yourself to your fear and then you would do response prevention, which would mean you would not engage in the compulsion to remove the discomfort, uncertainty, or  anxiety that you are feeling.

ERP  is a treatment that addresses both the obsession by exposing and the compulsion by doing response prevention. Now, this is groundbreaking and the research has shown that the outcomes are really good, which is wonderful because for many years, we did not have a great treatment for OCD. Since then we have actually added on other modalities to make it even better. We have inhibitory learning, acceptance and commitment therapy, compassion focused therapy, and mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy. All of these additional modalities really help to increase motivation and help to manage your discomfort as it rises and falls.

A lot of people will ask if ERP can work if you do not engage in physical compulsions because as we know many people with OCD will engage in hidden compulsions that no one can see.  Those are typically avoidance and mental compulsions.  From the outside you may never know that they are struggling with mental compulsions all day because they are ruminating and playing out potential scenarios in their minds.  It is so important to identify the mental or avoidant compulsions you are doing and that would be a part of your ERP as well.

So that's ERP in a nutshell. Is it easy? Oh no, it's not easy. Is it hard? Oh yes, it is hard. But what am I about to say, say it with me everybody, it is a beautiful day to do hard things. Can you do hard things? Absolutely.

If you get a moment, please go over to wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that be Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean, and leave an honest review. Tell me how you feel about it, whether it's helping you, what you'd like to see. We are going to give away a pair of Beats headphones of your choice of color once we hit a thousand reviews!

ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information. Beginning today March 19th and continuing until April 1st, ERP School will be available with bonus material. This will be an amazing training on the motivational skills Kimberley teaches her clients to help them in their treatment and recovery!

Additional exciting news! ERP School is now CEU approved which means that it is an accredited course for therapists and mental health professionals to take towards their continuing education credit hours. Please click here for more information.

 

 

Mar 19, 2021

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast.  Today we are so lucky to have Dr. Jonathan Grayson on with us again. Dr. Grayson is a psychologist who has been specializing in the treatment of OCD for more than 40 years. He is also the author of Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and founder of The Grayson LA Treatment Center for Anxiety and OCD.  He is here today to talk to us about magical thinking. I am actually getting asked a lot recently about magical thinking.  People have a lot of questions about what it is and how it relates to OCD and anxiety. magical thinking with Dr. Jonathan GraysonDr. Grayson starts off by giving us his definition of magical thinking.  He explains that magical thinking is really on a continuum. On one end you may have a person without OCD who engages in minor superstitions and on the far end you may have a person with OCD who has magical thinking that is actually interfering in their daily life.  He says that most of the time with OCD, the magical thinking does not seem to have an obvious connection between the fear and the ritual.

Dr. Grayson spends a good amount of time discussing magical thinking in the context of spiritual and religious beliefs as well as how magical thinking relates to scrupulosity.  He also shares his thoughts on scapegoating as a form of magical thinking. He shares with us a bit about how someone can get better and overcome magical thinking.  He says that this is really just about taking the risk of uncertainty similar to all OCD treatment. He says you should ask yourself "Is this magical thinking actually working?  Is it bringing you any peace?"  This episode is full of such wisdom.  I learned a lot myself and I hope you all will find it helpful.

Dr. Grayson's book, Freedom from OCD, is now out as an audiobook!  Click here for more information.

The Grayson LA Treatment Center for Anxiety & OCD

If you get a moment, please go over to wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that be Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean, and leave an honest review. Tell me how you feel about it, whether it's helping you, what you'd like to see. We are going to give away a pair of Beats headphones of your choice of color once we hit a thousand reviews!

ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information. Beginning today March 19th and continuing until April 1st, ERP School will be available with bonus material. This will be an amazing training on the motivational skills Kimberley teaches her clients to help them in their treatment and recovery!

Additional exciting news! ERP School is now CEU approved which means that it is an accredited course for therapists and mental health professionals to take towards their continuing education credit hours. Please click here for more information.

 

Mar 12, 2021

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. We have a lot to tackle in this episode!  We are going to be talking about a really important topic which has a lot of confusion surrounding it.  Today we are going to explore the difference between an intrusive thought and a mental compulsion.
OCD starts with an obsession. This is an intrusive, repetitive, unwanted thought, feeling, sensation or urge that you cannot control this.  Once you've had that intrusive thought, feeling, sensation and urge, you usually feel anxious and uncomfortable because it is unwanted.  You then have this natural instinct to try and remove the discomfort and the uncertainty that you feel. This is what we call a compulsion. Usually we feel some form of relief from the compulsion, but this becomes a problem because it only reinforces to our brain that the thought was important. Your brain continues to send out the alarm that the thought must mean something. Now many of us are aware of the form that physical compulsions can take such as hand-washing, jumping over cracks, moving objects and so forth. Actually one of the most common compulsions is mental and that takes the form of rumination. The problem people run into is that rumination is sometimes hard to identify. That is why I am doing this episode because so many people have asked, how do I differentiate between the intrusive thought and a mental compulsion? And what do I do? We know we should not be blocking thoughts, so how do we stop mental compulsions. If I'm not supposed to suppress my thoughts, what am I supposed to do if I catch myself doing mental compulsions? Is stopping mental compulsions thought suppression?"
I would say, technically, no. But it depends. Let's go straight to the solution. We want to acknowledge that we're having an intrusive thought, feeling, sensation or urge or an image. our job is to do nothing about it. We need to do our best not to solve that uncertainty or remove ourselves from that discomfort. That's our goal. And then our job is to reintegrate ourselves back into a behavior that we were doing, or we would be doing, had we not had this thought. So here is an example. Let's say I'm typing. I have an intrusive thought about whether I'm going to harm my child. So I have this, I'm going to acknowledge that it's there. I'm actually going to practice not trying to make that thought go away. But instead, bring that sensation or thought with me while I type on my computer. As I'm typing, I'm going to notice the sensations of my fingertips on the keyboard. I'm going to notice the smell of the office. I'm going to notice the temperature of the room I'm in. And I'm going to then catch if my mind directs away from this activity towards trying to solve. If I catch myself trying to solve it then I am going to bring my attention back to what I'm doing. I find that if I'm getting caught in some kind of mental rumination, I get down on the ground and I start playing with my son. The OCD may continue to try and get your attention, but you are going to continue with what you are doing and not engage with the thoughts. It is important to remember that compulsions feed you back into a cycle where you will have more obsessions, which will feed you back into having more compulsion's. It's a cycle. We call it the Obsessive Compulsive Cycle. So we really want to sort of be skilled in our ability to identify the difference.  This is really, really hard work. I think about when you're originally first learning anything, everything is really confusing and everything looks kind of the same. When you first start doing it, these are going to look very similar and it's going to be difficult to differentiate the difference, but once you get better at being around this and labeling it and catching it, you will be able to see the differences in these two things, even if it's very, very nuanced or they look very, very similar.

If you get a moment, please go over to wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that be Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean, and leave an honest review. Tell me how you feel about it, whether it's helping you, what you'd like to see. We are going to give away a pair of Beats headphones of your choice of color once we hit a thousand reviews!

ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information. Coming in March 19th ERP School will be available with bonus material!

Additional exciting news! ERP School is now CEU approved which means that it is an accredited course for therapists and mental health professionals to take towards their continuing education credit hours. Please click here for more information.

Coming March 15th, we are offering our free training, The 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About OCD.

 

Transcript of Ep. 180

This is Your Anxiety Toolkit episode number 180.

Welcome to Your Anxiety Toolkit. I'm your host, Kimberley Quinlan. This podcast is fueled by three main goals. The first goal is to provide you with some extra tools to help you manage your anxiety. Second goal, to inspire you. Anxiety doesn't get to decide how you live your life. And number three, and I leave the best for last, is to provide you with one big fat virtual hug, because experiencing anxiety ain't easy. If that sounds good to you, let's go.

Welcome back, everybody. Hello. Thank you for being here with me. We have a lot to tackle in this episode, so I am going to jump in as quick as I can. I know this is such a huge concept and topic, and there's so much confusion around it. So let's really today talk about the difference between an intrusive thought and a mental compulsion. We also want to figure out which ones we want to work with and which ones we want to allow. We want to talk about the difference between allowing a thought and engaging in a thought. There's so much to cover here. So before we get started, a couple of really exciting things, I really want you to keep an eye out for. On March 15, 2021, we are relaunching the free OCD training. It's called the 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About OCD.

It's not called the 10 things you need to know. It's called the 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About OCD. I have shared this free training multiple times, tens of thousands of people have taken this training. I've gotten nothing but amazing responses back. And the coolest thing is people even said, "I've watched it before. This is the second or third time I've watched it when you released it. And it really reminded me of these core concepts that we have to remember when we're talking about OCD." So even if you've watched it before, even if you're pretty well versed in OCD, I still encourage you to listen and take the free training. It's just jam packed with information and science and all the good stuff. And even if you're a therapist, I encourage you to take it. So if you're interested, go over to cbtschool.com/10things, or you can click the link in the show notes.

I am so excited to share that with you. Now, one more thing, keep an eye out, because as of March 19th, we are relaunching ERP School with some exciting bonuses, which I will announce in next week's episode. So excited again to share this with you. And what an amazing community, what an amazing opportunity I've had to teach so many people about ERP. And now also teaching therapists. We have now got ERP School approved by The National Association of Social Workers. So if therapists out there, you can actually get CEUs for taking ERP School, which is very, very cool. All right, let's get straight to the show. Let's talk about the difference between an intrusive thought and a mental compulsion first. So the first important piece to remember here, as we pull apart what to do with what thoughts, because that's really what this is about.

We must first understand the foundation of OCD. So OCD starts with an obsession. This is an intrusive, repetitive, unwanted thought, feeling, sensation or urge. It's not just a thought. It could be a sensation. It could be a feeling like de-realization or guilt. It could be a sensation like a feeling in your left finger or feeling in your nose or whatever that may be, everybody's different. But it does start with this intrusive thought. And the thing you must remember here is you cannot control this. This is the first experience of OCD, right? You have the intrusive thought, feeling, sensation or urge, and this is the thing you can't control. So there's a really big point right off the bat. The second piece here is once you've had that intrusive thought, feeling, sensation and urge, you usually feel anxious and uncomfortable and it's unwanted. And so your natural instinct is to do something to remove it.

You'll do it to remove the physical discomfort, the emotional discomfort, the uncertainty that you feel. And that is what we call a compulsion. Now, as many of you know, we know the kind of more mainstream compulsions that are known in our society. Hand-washing, jumping over cracks, moving objects and so forth. But one of the most common compulsions is mental. It's thinking. It's rumination. And that's the thing that's really hard to catch. And that's why I'm doing this episode because so many people have asked, how do I differentiate between that intrusive thought and a mental compulsion? And what do I do? Like I said at the beginning, I'm not supposed to block thoughts, but I'm not supposed to do mental compulsions. And that's thinking too, and what this does, right? So let's go back to the cycle. You have a thought, feeling, sensation and urge.

It makes you uncomfortable. Then you do a compulsion to make it go away. And usually you do get some form of relief. But the problem with this is that then it reinforces that that thought was important. Therefore, your brain continues to send out the fire alarm, the safety alarm, the smoke detector, it sets off all of those alarms in your brain and then sends out more anxiety with more of that thought, feeling, sensation and urge. So let's go back to the main concept. You're not to try and suppress your thoughts because the more that you suppress your intrusive thoughts, the more you have them. I've done full episodes about this in the past. So if you want to go back and listen, suppressing your thoughts will only make them worse. But here is where it gets tricky. People will say again, "If I'm not supposed to suppress my thoughts, what am I supposed to do if I catch myself doing mental compulsions? Is stopping mental compulsion's thought suppression?"

And this is where I would say, technically, no. But it depends. So what we want to do, let's go straight to the solution. We want to acknowledge that we're having an intrusive thought, feeling, sensation or urge or an image, right? It could be an image too. And then our job is to do nothing about it. To do our best not to solve that uncertainty or remove ourselves from that discomfort. That's our goal. And then our job is to reintegrate ourselves back into a behavior that we were doing, or we would be doing, had we not had this thought. So let's say I'm typing. I have an intrusive thought about whether I'm going to harm my child, or I have an intrusive thought about whether I cheated on my partner, or I had an intrusive thought on whether I'm gay or straight, or I had an intrusive thought about harming somebody, or a religious obsession, or a sensation, or a health anxiety sensation.

So I have this, I'm going to acknowledge that it's there. I'm actually going to practice not trying to make that thought go away. But instead, bring that sensation or thought with me while I type on my computer. As I'm typing, I'm going to notice the sensations of my fingertips on the keyboard. I'm going to notice the smell of the office. I'm going to notice the temperature of the room I'm in. And I'm going to then catch if my mind directs away from this activity towards trying to solve. If I catch myself trying to solve, yes, I am going to practice not doing that thinking. I'm going to practice not trying to solve it. And then bring my attention back to what I'm doing. I find that if I'm getting caught in some kind of mental rumination, I get down on the ground and I start playing with my son.

He's really into Lego right now. And so I fully, fully throw myself into this. I do my best to fully engage as best as I can. Now, I'm still going to have the presence of intrusive thoughts because I cannot control that. So it's going to sound a little bit like this. OCD is going to say, "Hey, what about this? What if this happens?" And I'm going to say, "Hi, thought. I'm actually typing an email right now. And that's what I'm going to do. You can be there. I'm going to allow this uncertainty to be here and I'm going to keep typing." So then I start typing. And then OCD will be like, if I were to externalize it, would be to say, "No, no, no, no. This is really important. You really have to figure this out."

And I'll go, "No, thank you. I'm really cool that you're here, but I'm going to type." And then it's going to say, "Hey, Kimberley, this is really important. And if you don't give me your attention, I'm going to... Something really bad is going to happen." And I'm going to go, "Thank you. But I'm writing an email right now." And then you're going to be like, wow, I'm doing pretty good. Look at me go. I'm fully practicing the skill of not engaging in my intrusive thought. And then it's going to say, "Listen..." Let's say I'm impersonating OCD. It's going to say, "Listen, I am not going to stop bugging you until you give me your attention." And I'm going to go, "That's fine. I'm actually going to call your bluff on that. I'm writing this email. You do not get to tell me what to do." And it's not going to give up.

It's going to keep going. "Kimberley, Kimberley, Kimberley, Kimberley, you must pay attention to my thoughts. You must pay attention. I'm trying to alert you to a very big danger." And often this is where people get worn down. They're like, "Oh my gosh, it's not going away. Maybe it is right. Maybe I should do it. Maybe I can't handle this anxiety. Maybe this is too much for me. Maybe it's just easier to do the compulsion." But I'm going to be here with you, urging you to keep allowing that intrusive thought to be there. It will basically roll over and start crying and fall asleep at some point, like a toddler, who's too tired and is rejecting his nap. But all he needs is to nap. It eventually will die down, but you have to be willing to stick and be consistent with not engaging in the pleads of OCD, the urgency of the obsession, the catastrophization of the obsession.

Because it's going to be making it into a... What do they say? A molehill into a mountain. It's going to be making a small problem, a big problem. And what I mean by that is the present of a thought is not dangerous. It doesn't mean it's a fact. It doesn't mean it requires your attention. Some people with OCD have a part of your brain that's going to set this thought on repeat. And because we've tried to suppress it in the past, it is probably going to want to be very, very repetitive. And your job is to do nothing at all. If you do, and I'll say this again, if you do catch yourself doing mental compulsion's, it's okay to stop doing that. That's not thought suppression. As long as you're... You don't want to over-correct. So if you catch yourself doing mental compulsions, don't over-correct by also trying to block the thought.

That's where we get into trouble. Instead, you just do a small correction back to what am I doing? What am I engaging in right now? What do I value? Because we do not value compulsion's. Compulsion's feed you back into a cycle where you will have more obsessions, which will feed you back into having more compulsion's. It's a cycle. We call it the Obsessive Compulsive Cycle. So we really want to sort of be skilled in our ability to identify the difference. If you can't identify the difference it's going to be really hard to know which is which, and how to respond in those moments. And a lot of this is when we're super anxious, it's really hard to think logically. It's really hard to think... Is this true or is it not? Or so forth. It's not even helpful in that moment.

Whereas, it may be like three days later. You're like, "Oh my goodness, what was I thinking? That was a bit strange. I wonder why I got so caught up in that." And that's because when we're anxious, our brain has a difficult time coming up with problem solving that is effective. So the more you can be able to identify it, and I encourage my clients throughout the day is catch yourself doing mental compulsion. Don't beat yourself up, but practice this idea of going, "This is me doing a mental compulsion. This is me having an intrusive thought. This is me having an intrusive thought and wanting to do mental compulsion." And being able to label them so that in the moment when you really are at a nine or a 10 out of 10 of anxiety, or uncertainty, or discomfort, you're able to be more skilled in your response.

Super, super, super important stuff here, guys. But we don't want to shame here. Again, this is really, really hard work. I think about when you're originally first learning anything, everything is really confusing and everything looks kind of the same. I always think of like The Devil Wears Prada, this is a crazy example, but the actress is laughing at these people because they're looking at a belt that looks almost the same, but it's very different in their eyes. And the one main character is like, "They're the same belt." And they look at her like she's crazy. And this is the same, right? When you first start doing it, these are going to look very similar and it's going to be difficult to differentiate the difference. But once you get better at being around this and labeling it and catching it, you will be able to see the differences in these two things, even if it's very, very nuanced or they look very, very similar.

Okay, that's all I'm going to say for now. The tools are the same. If you really want to go back and practice and learn these mindfulness skills you can practice, go back and listen to some of the previous podcast episodes. I actually encourage you to go back and listen to some of the earlier episodes, because in those episodes, I totally, I was laying out this awesome content on how to be mindful. Some of my best podcasts are the very first few ones, which is like back-to-back major skills, major tools. It was laying the foundation for how to be mindful with obsessive thoughts. So go back and listen to those or sign up for the free training coming up or, and you can also sign up for ERP School, which is coming back very, very soon.

We also have Mindfulness School for OCD, which is a course that really deep dives into practicing mindfulness related to obsessions and compulsions. So that's there for you as well. Okay. A lot. Sorry, I'm talking so fast. It's something I'm so passionate about and is something that I really wanted to make sure I covered and get very clear on. I've had a couple of you reach out and really be stressed about figuring out the difference. I'm hoping that's super helpful.

One last thing before we go, please do leave a review. I know I keep begging you at the end of every episode, but it really would mean the world to me. If you get anything from the podcast and you want to give back in any way, I would love a review from you. Your honest review, you don't have to fabricate anything. I really love them. I read every single one. And once we get to 1,000 reviews, we will give away a free pair of Beats headphones so that you can hear me crystal clear in your ears. And you of course can pick the color of your choice with those. So all my love to you.

Please do go and leave a review. I hope today's episode [crosstalk 00:17:05] was helpful. And get excited [crosstalk 00:17:05]. All right, have a good one, guys. All my love to you. It is a beautiful day to do the most beautifully difficult hard things.

Please note that this podcast or any of the resources from the CBTschool.com should not replace professional mental healthcare. If you feel you would benefit, please reach out to a provider in your area. Have a wonderful day. And thank you for supporting CBTschool.com.

Mar 5, 2021

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast.  Today I want to focus a bit on OCD treatment.  I want to share with you all 8 tips that I think will really help to fast-track your OCD treatment.  The first tip is to get support. Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors

That may people from people in your life or it may be from social media, organizations in the OCD community, or online support groups. The second tip is to pace yourself.  Find a pace that works well for you, not too fast, not too slow.  The third tip is to give yourself time to feel all the feelings about your OCD treatment. You are likely going to ride a wave of emotions and that is OK.  The fourth tip is to stop judging yourself for your obsessions and compulsions.  Being critical of yourself on serves to get in the way of your recovery. So go easy on yourself. The fifth tip is to embrace uncertainty.  Learning to live with uncertainty is key to recovery in OCD treatment. The sixth tip is to stare your fear in the face everyday.  Remember when we turn away from our fear, OCD only becomes stronger.  The key is to do those hard things. The seventh tip is to find your motivation.  What is your motivation for wanting to get better?  The eight and final tip is understanding and accepting that you cannot control your thoughts.  The only thing you can control is your reaction to those thoughts.  I hope these tips will help as you progress through your OCD treatment. If I can leave you with just one thought that would be "It's a beautiful day to do hard things."

If you get a moment, please go over to wherever you listen to podcasts, whether that be Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean, and leave an honest review. Tell me how you feel about it, whether it's helping you, what you'd like to see. We are going to give away a pair of Beats headphones of your choice of color once we hit a thousand reviews!

ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information. Coming in March 19th ERP School will be available with bonus material!

Additional exciting news! ERP School is now CEU approved which means that it is an accredited course for therapists and mental health professionals to take towards their continuing education credit hours. Please click here for more information.

Coming March 15th, we are offering our free training, The 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About OCD.

 

 

Transcript of Ep. 179

This is Your Anxiety Toolkit - Episode 179.

Welcome to Your Anxiety Toolkit. I’m your host, Kimberley Quinlan. This podcast is fueled by three main goals. The first goal is to provide you with some extra tools to help you manage your anxiety. Second goal, to inspire you. Anxiety doesn’t get to decide how you live your life. And number three, and I leave the best for last, is to provide you with one big, fat virtual hug, because experiencing anxiety ain’t easy. If that sounds good to you, let’s go.

Welcome back, my friends. Hello, Happy Friday. This is when it’s released. If you’re not listening to this on a Friday, Happy whatever day you’re listening, Happy Day.

How are you? Take a breath. Where are you? What are you doing? What do you see? What do you smell? It’s a beautiful day.

Thank you for being here with me. It is a beautiful day to do hard things, as always. But today, we’re actually talking about exactly that, talking about how to do really hard things in the form of talking about the eight things you can do to fast-track your recovery. It could be OCD recovery, it could be health anxiety, panic disorder, eating disorder, whatever it may be. But we’re probably going to put a focus today on OCD, mainly because I am getting ready. This is very exciting.

Let me go off on a tangent. I’m getting ready to relaunch the free training that we offer twice a year called The 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know about OCD. It’s a free training. We’ve offered it now for almost three years, and I offer it twice a year over... not over a thousand, over tens of thousands of people have watched this training. It’s quite amazing. So many people have given me amazing feedback on it. A lot of people have said that this was their first introduction to OCD and the education to OCD. I’m just so happy to share this with you.

We will be releasing this training again on March 15, so get ready. I will send you all the details when we get there, but for right now, you could just get really excited and you can listen to this episode, which is really again, talking about not the basics of OCD, even though a lot of people who’ve taken that free training said they go back every time I launch it and rewatch it because it’s a really great reboot on these major basic concepts. Today, we’re going to talk about bigger concepts, like really looking at treatment and how to fast-track it. So, let’s get started.

Before we start, actually, again, I’m going to ask you for a favor, if you would have a moment and you feel so inclined, please go and leave a review. I am on a massive... What would you call it? Effort to get more reviews, not because I need the ego stroke at all, but because I have been told by multiple business people that if you want to help more people and get this free resource out to more people, you do have to have a ton of reviews. The more reviews you have, the more likely people are to click on the podcast and try it. My goal is to create really, really good content, but they have to actually click the content to get helped by the content. So if you could help me with that, that would be amazing.

I have offered an incentive. We are having an exciting challenge where we’re challenging ourselves to get a thousand reviews. Once we get a thousand reviews, I’ll be giving away a pair of Beats headphones to one of the lucky reviewers of your color choice as a thank you. So, that’s there. I would love to have you write a review. All right, let’s get into the show.

We’re talking about the eight tips to fast-track your OCD treatment.

  1. Get support. 

This was actually the #8 point, but I actually brought it up to #1. If you are willing to do hard things, which you will because OCD treatment requires you to do many hard things, you will need support. Now I know what you’re probably thinking. “I don’t know anybody who has OCD,” or “I don’t have enough money for treatment,” or “I don’t know who to ask.” And that’s why this podcast is here. This is a free service to help you feel supported. And if listening to this podcast is your form of support, well, I am so, so grateful and blessed to have that opportunity. But even better than that is to get support by people who are in a similar situation and it does not have to cost you money. It does not have to cost you time.

The use of getting support for OCD might look like social media accounts. There are so many advocates on social media, Instagram, Facebook. This is a really wonderful way to get support. You might go to OCD Gamechangers or the International OCD Foundation, where they have programs and free town hall and fireside chats where you can feel supported because you’re in an area of like-minded people. You might join a support group. There are many GOALS support groups. It’s G-O-A-L-S support group. If you Google it, there are many around the country of the United States where they’re free support groups for people. They are online forums. I have a free Facebook group called CBT School Campus, which is a group of the most kind of supportive people who are also on their journey.

So, get support. You can’t do hard things on your own all the time. You can do them on your own some of the time, but it fast-tracks it if you really do have support and people cheering you on.

The other thing to remember is you don’t have to know someone who has OCD. Find somebody who’s also doing something difficult and say, “Hey, I’m doing a hard thing. You’re doing a different hard thing, but I wonder if we could support each other.” Most of the time, people are so relieved not to do hard things on their own. So, get support.

  1. Pace yourself.

When you want to fast-track your treatment and your recovery, your instinct is to go in great guns. In Australia, we call it great guns. Great guns is full-on going in, giving it your biggest effort. And that’s good. Great guns is awesome, but you have to pace yourself. You can’t sprint a marathon. You’ll get into the first mile and you’ll collapse. This is about pacing yourself and having a clear plan.

One of the biggest areas I make as a clinician is when I create a treatment plan for my patient or my client, and it’s not a good pace. It’s not a good beat. You can hear me clicking. You can’t go really fast and then taper out. You lose momentum. So what you want to do is pace yourself at a cadence that feels really right and is doable and is realistic, that you can make a part of your daily life because it’s not realistic to do four hours today and then zero hours tomorrow, and then two hours the next day. Try and find something that you can do a little bit every day.

  1. Give yourself time to be mad, sad, sad, resentful, and have whatever feelings you have about this OCD treatment or this recovery process. 

You’re going to have lots of emotions and you have to prepare yourself for that. You have to be willing to ride the many emotional waves of recovery. It’s not just a matter of sitting down and doing exposures and going on about your life. You are going to have to feel all kinds of emotions, and that can be really overwhelming and painful. So give yourself time to have those emotions.

  1. Stop judging yourself for your obsessions and your compulsions.

One of the things that is the most demotivating actions we can do is criticize ourselves for where we’re at. This is a podcast episode about fast tracking. This means what slows us down, looking at what are the things that slow us down so that we can go at the fastest pace possible that is healthy and realistic. And that involves not being critical. Being critical literally does nothing good. It slows you down. It de-motivates you. It disempowers you. It makes you feel more secondary emotions. It does no good.

I know you know that, but sometimes we have to remind ourselves that in the moment, when we catch ourselves judging ourselves for the thoughts or feelings we’re having or judging ourselves for the compulsion we’re doing is to go, “Wait, that’s not helping. That’s not effective. That doesn’t get me closer to the goal.” Even if I feel that way and it feels true, I am going to catch this and step out because it’s not effective.

  1. Uncertainty is key. 

If you are not being uncertain, you are taking a detour. Think of it like you’re on a road and you’ve got a destination and you’re getting there. Every time you go off the road, let’s say, you’re going from A to B, going off the road, going towards C is the equivalent of going to certainty. You want to get off the road of certainty and get back on the road to being uncertain. And you will naturally, oops. Whoops, it’s easy. As we took a little detour back into certainty land, turn around, do a U-turn, come on back to the road of uncertainty. That is the fastest route to your recovery. Then you’ve got like a GPS. Over the GPS if you had one in your car, it would be like, “Please do a U-turn. You have taken the wrong route. You are on the road of certainty. Turn around and proceed to the road of uncertainty.” That’s how I imagine the GPS lady or man speaking to you when you’ve gone down that wrong road.

Again, when you catch yourself, don’t beat yourself up. The GPS doesn’t go, “Bad you. You’re a bad person for going on a detour.” She just goes, “Would you please do a U-turn and proceed to the route?”

  1. Stare your fear in the face every day, learn to play this game, and it is a gap. 

This is talking about a Reid Wilson approach who I adore. Reid Wilson’s approach is, this is a game. Your job is to accumulate points. Every time you stare fear in the face, you accumulate points. And we want more points. We want to take the points away from OCD.

I’ll often say to my patients and clients, “I want you to accumulate a hundred points a day.” Let’s say if touching... my bike’s right in front of me. So I’ll say, let’s say touching the handlebar of my bike is a 5 out of 10. If I do that, I get five points. Good job. I’ve only got 95 more to get today. If letting myself have certain thoughts, if that’s a 9 out of 10. Okay, great. Now I’ve got 14 points. I’m getting there. I’m getting closer to my goal. You could say 50 points. If you wanted to start early or easier, you could go to 10 points to start with. That’s fine. But learn to stare your fear in the face every day and play the game. We don’t want OCD getting and accumulating and racking up all the points because they win. Because when we avoid, OCD gets points. We want to try and prevent OCD from hitting its 10, a 100 mark every day. We want to be like, “Nope, I’m going to win this game today.”

  1. Treatment requires motivation and fast-tracking requires motivation. 

Your job is to identify what will happen if you don’t play this game and stare fear in the face. Identify what OCD has taken away from you. PS, little teaser. Next week’s episode is all about motivation. If you struggle with this, we’re going to deep dive into motivation. It’s something that I have been asked about so much lately. So I, of course, scheduled to talk to you about it.

Again, the motivation, it does require a ton. If you want to fast-track your treatment, it does require that you get your wheels moving and you don’t slow down. And that will require keeping in your mind’s eye right in the front. Like, I’m doing this hard work because if I don’t, OCD will take A, B and C from me.

Now, little side note, and we’ll discuss this next week. If that feels a little like pressure or shaming or guilt-tripping on you, we can learn to shift the language around that. Your job again is to try not to judge yourself for what it has taken from you in the past. That’s a really important piece here. But again, I’ll pause there because we’ll go through that next week.

Drum roll... The final major thing that you have to remember to fast-track your treatment, and I did originally have this as #1, but I’m going to finish with it because it’s probably the most important.

  1. Your recovery requires a deep understanding and acceptance of the fact that you cannot control your thoughts. 

Most people, by the time they come to me, have wasted so much time and so much of their life in a wrestle, trying to control their thoughts. No judgment there. That is the natural inclination of a human being. But you have to really drop down and recognize that trying to control, which thoughts come in and out of your mind, is a lose-lose for everybody. The only thing you can control is how you respond to your thoughts. Massive, massive point. That is one of the points we do cover in The 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know about OCD training, but I really wanted to bring it up again because it’s so important. Everyone gets caught in this one. So it’s just a matter of catching it and going, “All right, I’m in a wrestle with my thoughts. I know I can’t control my thoughts. So I’m going to have to try something different.” The only thing you can do differently is to change how you respond.

The answer to that, let me give it to you, is just to do something different. It’s basically to go, “Oh, this is too big. I can’t solve this. It’s unsolvable. I’m just going to walk away.” It’s sort of like, sometimes my son’s doing a Lego and he’s getting really frustrated because he just can’t seem to figure out this next step and he’s getting more upset and he’s getting more upset. Now he’s sort of ripping at it and pushing out it and things are suddenly breaking apart. I’ll say, “Whoa, this isn’t working step away. Let’s go do something else. We’ll come back later.” That’s really important.

I love you guys. That is the eight tips I have for you to fast-track your OCD treatment. If some of that went too fast and too much, get ready, we’ll do the free training here very soon. I strongly encourage everybody to take it, even if you’ve taken it again, because I’ve added a bonus point this time. Really now it’s 11 things you have to know, but you’ll see that when we get there.

All right. I love you so much. Have a wonderful day. It is a beautiful day to do one hard thing. Whether you choose the hard thing or it’s naturally happening, that’s okay. Just do the hard thing. Be in the hard thing. Give yourself permission for things not to be right and perfect.

Okay, I love you. Have a wonderful day and thank you for listening.

Please note that this podcast or any other resources from cbtschool.com should not replace professional mental health care. If you feel you would benefit, please reach out to a provider in your area.

Have a wonderful day, and thank you for supporting cbtschool.com.

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