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.
RSS Feed
Your Anxiety Toolkit






All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 7
Mar 2, 2018
Today, I am thrilled to interview Stuart Ralph, the host of the amazing OCD Stories Podcast. In his podcast, Stuart interviews some of the most influential and inspiring psychotherapists and researchers in the anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder field.   During our interview together, I asked Stuart to tell us about some of the most inspiring and memorable interviews he has done and he gave us some SUPER important takeaways. In the podcast, we discussed: OCD Anxiety Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Calabasas Los Angeles Thousand Oaks Therapist CBT How Steven Hayes (author of  Get out of Your Mind and Into Your Life) told Stuart, "You are the Lucky Ones!" How Reid Wilson taught him that "The Content of your worries is trash". How Professor Paul Gilbert (Founder of Compassion Focused Treatment and author of the book, The Compassionate Mind) discussed the application of Self Compassion and how important it is for mental health recovery (especially those who experience anxiety, OCD and mood disorders). Stuart left us with this big piece of wisdom; "We all need love and self-care, and if we give ourselves huge doses of that we can move towards recovery". I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did! Please don't forget to leave a review for this podcast!  Your reviews help us reach more people, so then I can help more people! Virtual Hugs everyone!  
Feb 23, 2018
Sometimes we are so overwhelmed with all of the pressure (from work, friends, family, school, society) that we forget that the pressure we feel isn't always mandatory.  We CAN give ourselves permission to drop the pressure and just BE.   I know! This might sound super impossible, but hear me out. What would happen if you responded to the anxiety and pressure and stress with, "I give myself permission to eat whatever I wanted" "I give myself permission to have scary thoughts" (such as intrusive violent, sexual or scrupulous thoughts) "I give myself permission to not only have these scary thoughts but also not solve what they mean about me" "I give myself permission to allow this anxiety to be here" "I give myself permission to be imperfect" "I give myself permission to rest!" "I give myself permission to just be ME" This is some powerful stuff!
Giving yourself permission to listen to your body can be incredibly helpful when managing eating disorders (and disordered eating), Intrusive thoughts associated with Obsessive Compulsive (including harm, sexual, religious, contamination and symmetry obsessions to list a few), Social Anxiety, Perfectionism, low self-esteem and chronic anxiety and panic.
Listen to hear why this is such an important tool for managing anxiety and reducing the pressure we feel daily.  
Feb 15, 2018
Are you tired of feeling like anxiety always has the reins?  This tool might be exactly what you are looking for and can be a powerful complement to the work you are already doing with anxiety. The tool is called "Shoulders Back!" and our AMAZING CBT ROCKSTAR guest is Shala Nicely! Shala explains how she came across this tool and how she uses it, both in her own life and with her clients with anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).   The reason I LOVE this tool so much is that it is easy, empowering and science-based. Here are the links we discussed! Don't forget to check out Shala and Jeff Bell's E-course to help you with motivation for ERP for OCD. Click here for Shala and Jeff's E-Course Beyond The Doubt. Amy Cuddy Ted Talk talks about using a Power Pose Everyday Mindfulness Book (Written with Jon Hershfield)
Feb 9, 2018
Yep, you read it correctly!  Today we are talking about Checking Behaviors!

Chances are, you have done these behaviors a million times

They sound like this....“Just to make sure”

“I would prefer to be certain”

“I cant handle my anxiety if I don’t....”

“Terrible things will happen if I don’t.....”

If you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you might check doors, stove knobs, hair dryers, crock pots (new for those who watched the TV show, This IS us),

For those with Health Anxiety, you might check your ailments, sores, blemishes, degree of pain etc

For those with Perfectionism, you might check emails, texts, phone messages, assignments for school etc

For those with social anxiety, you might check Evite lists on who is going to an event, check your clothing or teeth in the mirror repetitively.

Checking is an attempt to control our surroundings in hopes to avoid possible bad things from happening.  We might be avoiding the uncertainty of knowing if we will get sick or not.  We might be trying to eliminate entirely the chances of the house burning down or being robbed.  Or, we might be trying to eradicate any chance of being seen as anything less than perfect.  We might be afraid of embarrassment.

But let's be honest!

The chances are, you are mostly just trying to eradicate THOUGHTS about these events.  Or, maybe you are trying to eradicate the presence of anxiety around these topics.

I understand this conundrum.  It is not uncommon to want to make sure you aren't going to burn down the house or miss a deadline or leave the door of your house wide open.  We all do checking behaviors from time to time.

However, let's be really honest with ourselves.  If you find you are doing these activities over and over, chances are that you are mostly in the fight against uncertainty….and let me let you in on a little secret.  You won’t will this one.  Fighting uncertainty is like trying to get a toddler out the door on time for school.  The more you rush it, the longer they take.  True story! 

Some might say, but when I do it, after some time, I DO find relief.   I get it.  Some are lucky to find those moments when the anxiety is lifted and you can walk away with a sense of, “Ok. I can move on”

Listen to the episode to learn about how to work on reducing compulsive checking behaviors!

When it comes to anxiety, WE CANNOT CONTINUE WITH THIS.  We must change the arm in which we are strongest.   

And lets be honest.  Uncertainty is all around us.  It is something we have to deal with even if few don't have anxiety.  It comes in every stage of our lives.   Let's work to strengthen our ability to make space for discomfort in our lives.

As always, have a wonderful week!

Feb 2, 2018
Well, this week I tell you a story about the most influential moment I have experienced regarding boundary setting.  It is one of my favorite stories to tell because it taught me SO MUCH about setting boundaries and helped me see that some of the beliefs I had around setting boundaries were ENTIRELY wrong! During this podcast, we discuss FOUR steps to Boundary Setting and discuss how this can help us manage anxiety, resentment, and anger. I hope you enjoy the story as much I as enjoy telling it! Forward we go, Kimberley
Jan 26, 2018
Wassup Yo! This podcast is seriously Badass, even if I do say so myself! I am honored to introduce to you, Tiffany Roe.  Tiffany is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Utah and has the most incredible Instagram account, which is where I "met" her.   Tiffany is another one of those CBT Rockstars, who uses Mindfulness and CBT to help her clients manage Anxiety, Depression and Eating Disorders.   I just adore her!   In this podcast, we talk about how to talk back to depression like a Gangsta.  Tiffany shares some incredibly inspirational, empowering and FUN ways to talk back to Depression, when it bullies us and makes us feel like there is no hope. BUT THERE IS MORE!  Tiffany was so excited about our conversation, she kindly put together a Spotify Playlist of her favorite music that helps her lift out of depression and back into her own power and strength.   See below or click HERE for the link.  NB: Please note that some of the songs listed in the playlist include profanity. Thank you Tiffany for joining us at Your Anxiety Toolkit. It was so fun talking with you.
Jan 19, 2018
#32: How to Reduce Reassurance Seeking Behaviors

Welcome back, everyone!

Welcome back to the Series on Problematic Anxiety-Related Behaviors.

Today, we are talking about Mindfulness-based tools to help with Reassurance Seeking.

For those of you who don’t think this topic applies to you, stick around a little.  You might find that you are employing this behavior, even in slight and tricky ways.

As mentioned in the last episode, there are behaviors that you can reduce, which will result in better outcomes when it comes to anxiety.   Last Week we discussed Avoidance and how this compulsion only makes fear worse.   This week, as we mentioned, we are discussing Reassurance Seeking Compulsions.

So, What is Reassurance Seeking?

Before I give a definition, let me give you some examples and you can see if you resonate with any of these.

Am I doing this right? (Common in Perfectionism)

Did you turn off the stove? Did I turn off the........ (Common in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

Are you sure everything will be ok?

Do I look ok? (Common in Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Eating Disorders)

You still love me, right?

Do you think I will fail this test? (Common in Perfectionism)

Do you think I hurt their feelings?

Do you think they are mad at me?

Do you think I could get sick? (Common in Health Anxiety and Contamination OCD) Did I hurt someone?  Could I hurt someone?  (Common in Harm OCD)

Don't get me wrong.  These are questions that I would consider “appropriate” questions.

However, the problem lies in their frequency and intention.

If you find yourself asking questions repetitively, or you find yourself asking these questions when you know they don’t have the solution/answer, it is probably Reassurance Seeking.

Also, if you find yourself asking these questions when you could be finding the solution yourself, this could be Reassurance Seeking.

And lastly, if you find yourself attempting to find certainty in a situation where there is little to NO certainty, this podcast is for you!

Reassurance Seeking is an action of removing someone's doubts or fears. Reassurance seeking is very common (and problematic) behavior in Anxiety Disorders such as OCD, phobias, panic disorder, Generalize Anxiety Disorder.  It is also common in Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Eating Disorders.

That being said, it applies to us all, in our management of our own anxiety.

The goal is to recognize that we must not reach outside ourselves to remove our doubts and fears.   

Drawing other into our anxiety usually only makes it messier and creates a dynamic where you feel reliant on them to manage your anxiety.   

Also, Reassurance Seeking complicates relationships and can backfire.  People may not give you the response you were looking for and cause you to have even more anxiety.

Often clients report that their partner sometimes is very supportive and answers their questions very well, but over time, then the partner gets annoyed and then it creates friction.  Does this sound familiar?

The goal is to acknowledge your own fears as they arise, either allow them to simply be there using your mindfulness skills or work through them on your own.   

Remember, treat your fears the way you want your brain to interpret them in the future.

I hope that is helpful!  Have a wonderful week.
Jan 13, 2018

BIG announcement and Why You Have to Stop Avoiding

First, let me share some EXCITING news with you!

I am so excited to share with you some news about the work I am focusing on in 2018!

But first, let me tell you the back story.

Each year, I do my best to attend several conferences for OCD, Anxiety, Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s) and Depression.   I have had the privilege of presenting at many of these conferences over the years and I often return home in a state of joy, empowerment and determination to help those who struggle with these debilitating disorders.   I love learning all about the evidence-based treatment modalities for OCD, Anxiety Disorders and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors such as Trichotillomania and Skin Picking and using the skills to increase recovery outcomes and improve self-esteem and self-care.

However, last year, I left one of the conferences quite sad.  I was sad for those sufferers who attended the conferences and then had to return home to their hometown, with very little support and no evidence-based services but licensed mental health professionals.   So few therapist know how to treat OCD, BFRB’s and Anxiety Disorders using the treatment modalities that are so successful and appropriate.

From this frustration, I decided to create an online psycho-education platform where I can offer support and educational products to those who cannot access correct care.

I am so proud to announce the creation of is an online platform when you can access information and online courses on how to overcome your struggles with OCD, Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s), Anxiety Disorders, Panic and Depression.   Each course will apply Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (hence the term CBT, in CBT School) and Mindfulness Tools.  These are the exact tools I use with my clients every day in my office.

I currently have one course ready to be purchased, called Mindfulness School for OCD.   I will talk more about this in coming podcasts.    Keep an eye out, as there will be more to purchase very soon.

In addition to the online courses, I plan to meet at a designated time each month to join with you on Facebook Live and Instagram, to answer any questions you may have and help you along with your journey.

More exciting news is the YOUR ANXIETY TOOLKIT podcast is now a production of and we will continue to provide evidence based tools for Anxiety, Depression and Emotional Dysregulation.

Lastly, if you check out’s websites, you will see that there is also some awesome free PDF’s available to help you with self care and mindfulness.   

I am so thrilled to share this news with you.   Feel free to connect with me on FB or Instagram.

Now, onto the important stuff!

This episode is  a part or an ongoing series where we discuss Problematic Anxiety Related Behaviors (also know as Compulsions).

In this episode, we will discuss a very important and problematic compulsion, which is Avoidance.

Avoidance is the withdrawal from an object, event, person or experience

Avoidance is a common behavior we employ to manage anxiety, fear, panic, obsessions and intrusive thoughts.

While our brain uses "flight" to activate us to run away from real danger and stressors, we sometime use avoidance and "flight" to avoid thoughts and fears of bad things happening.

The problem is, the more you avoid events or experiences that you perceive to be dangerous (when really they are not currently a risk to your wellbeing)  the more you tell your brain that that event or experience is dangerous and the more your brain responds with physical anxiety when you go to the event or engage in the experience.

Example: What if I get sick if I touch that door handle or ATM teller?

NOTE: Sentences that begin with “WHAT if” imply that they have not happened yet.

If you were my client and this was a common fear for you, and you have been avoiding this, I would have you go and use the ATM bank teller!!   

By not avoiding, we unlock the fear response cycle our brain is looped into.

This applies to fears that you are a bad person, that you will do something wrong, that awful horrible things will happen.   

Trick!!! When I say that….what is the immediate thought you have?

But, Kimberley, my fear is serious!!  Nope.  Your fear is a thought

But Kimberley, I could ruin peoples live if I stopped avoiding the thing I am afraid of.    POSSIBLY!!

Here is my questions for you.  What kind of life do you want to live?  Consult with your values.

Do you want to live in fear?  Do you want to let anxiety make your decisions?  Or even more, a thought make your decisions?

Or, do you want to strengthen courage and resilience?

This is a question we have to ask ourselves every day.  How Do I want to live my life?

Take risks!  Look at your life and ask yourself what you are avoiding.  Try to not let anxiety win this one.

Find a way to reduce the avoidance.

Find a way to forgive yourself for avoiding it for so long.  Don't beat yourself up.

Have a wonderful week everyone! See you next week!
Jan 4, 2018
In this episode, we try a new meditation to help you stay present in THIS day. HAPPY NEW YEAR! It is a great guided meditation to help you stay centered on the present moment and let go of yesterdays events or tomorrows possible happenings.  I recorded this meditation at the beach, as this is where I feel the most present and alive.  I hope you find it helpful.  It has become a daily part of my practice and I hope it brings you empowerment and peace. Forward we go! Kimberley  
Dec 22, 2017
Happy Almost New Year!! Well, it's that time of year! You know, the time where you reflect on the year and set outrageous resolutions for the upcoming year.  It is when you dwell on all the things you DIDN'T do last year that you said you would. During this podcast, I walk through a very successful way to set intentions for the upcoming Year, Month, Week, Day and even Hour!  I walk you through why New Year's Resolutions rarely work and how I use Honesty and values to set goals that will improve self compassion, self-respect and effectiveness. I also give a few examples of how this applies to those with OCD, Eating Disorders, Social Anxiety and Panic Attacks. Last of all, I want to with you the HAPPIEST and SAFEST New Year! Forward we go! Kimberley
Dec 16, 2017
Hello there Everyone! Today, I am thrilled to have guest, Alison Dotson on the Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. During this podcast, Alison shares her journey from not even knowing what OCD was to what helped her with her recovery.   Alison and I had a fun time also managing technological hiccups, which ended up being a wonderful practice of mindfulness. Alison Dotson is the author of Being Me with OCD: How I Learned to Obsess Less and Live My Life. In this book, Alison shares her personal journey with obsessive-compulsive disorder and includes some of the most heart-wrenching details.  Her genuine goal is to spread awareness and helping teens and young adults with OCD. Resources Mentioned in this this Podcast: Imp of the Mind twitter- beingmewithocd OCD Twin Cities
Dec 15, 2017

Today, we have an AMAZING guess on the podcast, Dave Trachtenberg.    Dave is the Program Director at Minds Incorporated.  Minds Inc. is a non-profit dedicated to empowering Washington DC-area schools by teaching mindfulness-based practices to students, educators, and parents.

During the Podcast, Dave shares how

Minds Inc. teaches students, starting in elementary school (and their educators, and parents) simple daily mindfulness practices.  Dave speaks about how these teachings increase focus and attention, reduce stress and anxiety, create resilience and the capacity to handle difficult emotions, and build compassion.

As discussed in the podcast, sometimes when I get down about the state of the world, I find myself doing late night Google searches on how I can make it better.  In my searches, I found Minds Inc's website and came across Dave.   Dave shared some beautiful stories about helping young children and teens and also shared his own struggles with OCD, Tic Disorder, Depression and Self-worth.   

Dave answered the following questions:

Tell us about Minds Inc?

What got you involved in teaching meditation to Teachers, Students and Parents?

What is your personal experience with meditation and Mindfulness?

What at some experiences/examples of situations you have had with youth at Minds Incorporated?  (successes, struggles, changes made)? 

What type of meditation does Minds Inc. teach?

What special tools/practices do you use for living mindfully?

What advice do you give for those starting out with meditation?

Tell us how you manage struggles with meditation?

How can we teach our children?

This was one of my favorite conversations and I am so thrilled to share it with you.  I would love to hear your feedback. Have a wonderful day! Kimberley   Resources: Brain Lock Angel Kyodo Williams Pema Chodron  Link here Mindfulness For Dummies Mindfulness An * Week Plan How to Live in a Frantic World
Dec 11, 2017
Well, Lets be honest!  Sometimes I get so excited about practicing and teaching the deep and helpful concepts of Mindfulness that I forget to remind y'all of how simple it can and should be! Often, when we experience anxiety (or other strong emotions), we often forget everything we have learned and are left standing helpful and afraid.  In this podcast, we return to one of the most simplest and easiest Mindfulness tool available. Check it out!  And, if you are noticing how basic and thinned out this blog is, that is no accident.  This week, we are practicing simplicity!!  See you next week!    
Dec 2, 2017

Vulnerability: The Road to Courage, Self-Compassion and Self-Worth

In today’s podcast, I wanted to dissect the concept of Vulnerability.

Brene Brown, reknowned researcher on Vulnerability defines Vulnerability as

“Uncertainty, Risk and Emotional Exposure”

I find this somewhat ironic, as Uncertainty, Risk and Emotional Exposure are the worst nightmare of someone who experiences anxiety, OCD, an eating disorder (such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa), trauma, grief or depression.

I think many humans struggle with these concepts, but I feel that it is significantly difficult for those who struggle with these mental health disorders.   In many cases, there is a complete rejection of vulnerability. 

I believe we think that if we avoid vulnerability, we

OCD FEAR anxiety Depression Eating Disorder CBT Panic Self-Compassion

 can rid ourselves of shame, embarrassment, being judged, feeling sad or hurt.   

However, all we end up doing is numbing. 

When we have anxiety, we think that if we avoid vulnerability, we could rid ourselves of possible bad or catastrophic  outcomes. 

However, all we end up doing is becoming compulsive. 

In this podcast, I detail the workings of those who are successful at being vulnerable and take a look at the outcomes that result. 

We will outlines ways that you can practice vulnerability in large or small steps. 

We look at the repurcussions of staying safe and avoiding vulernability and we detail the research’s findings about self-worth and conectivity. 

I hope you enjoy it!  This is one of my favorite subjects. 

Forward we go!


Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash
Nov 24, 2017

Episode #24: Willingness-Leave It All Out On The Field!

OCD Anxiety Mindfulness Willingness Obsessive Compulsive Disorder I LOVE the term, "leave it all out on the field!" There is something totally radical and badass about the idea of "leaving it all out on the field!" It means we are committed to the hard work.  It demonstrates that we are ready to feel some discomfort.  "Leaving it out on the field" describes giving it your everything.  I LOVE it! How does this apply to Mindfulness? The degree that you "leave it out on the field" is a great way to describe Willingness.  Willingness is radically accepting and giving consent to our present experience. We can conceptualize Willingness as scale, similar to a continuum. 0/10 Willingness implies we have absolutely NO willingness to be uncomfortable (or have anxiety, intrusive thoughts, panic, have uncertainty).
  • We reject all feelings of discomfort
  • Fear makes our decisions (causing us to do more compulsions)
  • Disown any negative experience
10/10 Willingness is saying 100% "YES" to whatever experience of discomfort that arises
  • Radically accepting the feared outcome
  • Allowing yourself to have anxiety, fear and intrusive thoughts.
Listen to hear ways to increase your WILLINGNESS, even if it is just a teeny, tiny bit. Enjoy!  And Happy Thanksgiving!  
Nov 15, 2017

The Mindful Use of Technology

Hi everyone!  I hope this finds you well. This podcast is about a topic that is so important and so interesting to me.  In this episode, we speak with screen time expert, Dr Dustin Weissman about how to use technology (smart phones, tablets, internet etc) in a mindful and healthy way.  We specifically discuss how to manage Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), OCD Spectrum Disorders such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), and Eating Disorders. In this episode, we discussed:
  • Does technology improve or harm our Self-Esteem?
  • How can we create a Balanced lifestyle when using technology?
  • How can Parents monitor and moderate their children's use?
  • How can Parents practice sound and mindful discipline using technology as the reward or consequence?
  • How can we, as adults, monitor and manage our use of technology in this era of information?
  • How can we manage the compulsive use of internet/mobile devices for those with OCD and BDD?
  • How can we manage reassurance seeking behaviors related to technology use?
Special tips for those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and  Eating Disorders. Earlier this year, Dr Weissman published his dissertation titled, Impacts of Playing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) on Individuals' Subjective Sense of Feeling Connected with Others.   Some links we discussed in the Podcast:  Quality Time APP: MindSpace Meditation APP: About Dr. Weissman:  Dr. Dustin Weissman holds a Psychology Doctorate and works in private practice in Westlake Village, CA. He works with clients who are struggling with any form of internet addiction or problematic internet use, which include: online gaming, gambling, pornography, or smartphone addiction. Earlier this year, he published his dissertation, Impacts of Playing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) on Individuals' Subjective Sense of Feeling Connected with Others. A link can be found from his personal website, He was recently featured as an expert on screen time in an online article and has given numerous workshops. I hope you found this episode helpful.  I know I did! Warmly, Kimberley
Nov 5, 2017
Got something you really want to achieve? I am guessing that you most certainly do. What is holding you back from taking on this thing you want achieve?  Why can't you reach this goal? This is the big question that I am toying with right now.  Why can't I? Why not Me? Why not you?  It is a really tough subject, because we have to face ourselves and our possibilities, and this can be SUPER scary. Sometimes, at least for me, when we look at our big goals, we are forces to tackle our deepest limiting beliefs.  "I am not enough."  "I am not strong enough." "No one cares about me anyway."  "What's the point.  I will only ruin everything anyway."  These are all limiting beliefs that stop us from reaching realistic goals. Think about it. I am guessing at least one person (or maybe millions of people) have achieved your goal, or a goal like it, already.  WHY NOT YOU?   "It's not special if someone else has already done it."  LIMITING BELIEF!!! "I don't have what it takes!"   How do you know? Thomas Edison failed 1000's of times to make the light bulb.  That is one piece of proof that you probably can!  Persistence people! Let's really get to know our limiting beliefs and then be SUPER mindful about them.  Listen to hear more about how. :)  
Oct 23, 2017
Happy Halloween everyone!  It's one of my favorite months and I LOVE that everyone is so willing to be afraid on this special day.   Let's all commit to being willing to be scared/afraid/anxious every day, shall we? This episode is a little different to the normal format.  Today, I answer questions from Your Anxiety Toolkit listeners about anxiety, OCD, Mindfulness and appropriate treatment for certain disorders. Questions include:
  • How to manage Postpartum OCD (including thoughts of hurting our children)
  • How to help someone with Scrupulocity or Moral Obsessions (including fear of offending God or sinning)
  • How to help a son with OCD and Tic Disorder
  • How to manage thoughts about Death
GREAT, GREAT QUESTIONS!  I hope my answers were helpful Have a wonderful day everyone!
Oct 3, 2017
  Hi there guys!  I couldn't finish the day without checking in with you and sending you my support after such a difficult day.   This podcast was not planned and I kind of threw it together at the last minute.  I hope it is helpful.

For anyone in Las Vegas or Puerto Rico or any other place where there is destruction and pain, please know that I am praying for you and I hold you in my heart.

These scary events can trigger our already high anxiety, so please listen for some tips and tools to manage your anxiety about the current events and affairs in the news.

A couple of important points:

Anger Sadness and Anxiety/Fear are all very human responses to these horrific events. Obsessions to look out for:
  • "Will this happen to me, or a loved one?"
  • Intrusive Imagery (Mental images of people suffering from traumatic events, shootings, hurricanes, earthquakes etc)
  • Intrusive sounds (Gun shots, people crying, sobbing, screaming, sirens etc)
  • For those with Harm OCD:  "Am I capable of doing such an act?"
Compulsions to look out for
  • Mental Review or Mental Compulsions about the event or possibility of this happening to you or a loved one
  • Reassurance Seeking (checking news, checking phones, asking a loved one if they will be ok etc)
  • Avoidance (future vacations, work, school, thought blocking, etc)
  • Increase in physical behaviors/compulsions.
Sep 28, 2017
  If you are anything like me, the days go by too fast and you find yourself running through the day without stopping to take in the beauty of nature.   Is it just me? Today, I was lucky enough to interview Zoe Gillis, who I consider to be the MASTER of combining mindfulness with a wilderness practice. She combines hiking, backpacking and camping with Mindfulness and Meditation as a way to get a deeper understanding of our self and each other.  It is BRILLIANT stuff and it makes me want to pack my bags and go camp in the dessert right now! Zoe is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a wilderness guide who is the founder of Z Adventures.   Z Adventures thrives on the belief that we need to disconnect before we can connect and step out into the wilderness more often. During this podcast, Zoe and I discuss:
  • Ways to introduce nature into your mindfulness practice.
  • How being in nature can help us identify how we see ourselves
  • How being in nature can help us identify our strengths and weaknesses.
  • The benefits of doing short vs. longer wilderness activities
This is possibly one of my favorite episodes so far, so check it out! Click HERE to watch the interview on YouTube   You can learn more about Zoe Gillis or Z Adventures at the below links:
Sep 21, 2017

How to Heal Self-Blame with Self-Forgiveness using Ho'oponopono Meditation

If you are anything like me, you are quick to blame yourself for any of the below reasons:
  • You have not achieved some level or expectation.
  • You tried to better yourself and you "failed."
  • You made a mistake (unintentional) or had an accident (I call this, “You Did a human” AKA Making a human mistake)
  • Especially for you, if you have OCD; You have “bad” thoughts, intrusive thoughts, thoughts you deem "unacceptable."
  • You feel like you are a BAD person who doesn't EVER deserve to be forgiven.
  • You are attempting to work through your mental health issues.
  • You struggle to do exposures or follow some treatment goal.
  • You experience self-disgust (for having pimples, cellulite, intrusive thoughts etc.

My main message in this podcast is this:



This podcast details a practice called Ho’oponopono.  Ho-oponopon is a spiritual practice of harmony between people, nature and spirit that has been used in Hawaiian and other Polynesian cultures for centuries. Ho’oponopono Key Concept: We can heal our own wounds and then we can then go out and heal our world.

Ho'oponopono Meditation Foundation:

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.


Here are some ridiculous reason to not practice Self-Forgiveness:

  1. You only deserve Self-Forgiveness after you make the world better (giving service to others).
  2. If you forgive myself, you will stop caring and let yourself go and become and even worse person.
  3. Once you are perfect, then you can forgive yourself.
  4. If you blame myself first, it will hurt less if someone else blames you or notices your imperfections.
Please do not let these reason stop you from freeing yourself from Self-Blame. Give it a try and see if it works for you! I found it to be a very powerful practice. Have a great week!    
Aug 19, 2017

What You Say To Yourself Matters.

More importantly, what you say to yourself about anxiety matters! In this podcast, I delve into the importance of accurate and mindful language, specifically related to how to experience and manage anxiety.   Believe it or not, the story you tell yourself can greatly change the way you see yourself and the world around you. The way we talk to ourselves about our experience of anxiety can greatly affect the management of our anxiety, and can create a platform for whether we thrive or merely survive our anxiety. To help us conceptualize this subject, I use a fictional example, Mary.  My hope is that Mary can help us understand the complexity of our negative thinking and help us to find new ways to talk to ourselves about our anxiety. Example: OCD Anxiety Fear Podcast Calabasas Thousand Oaks Mary has anxiety and wakes up and feeling anxious. She immediately thinks, “I am so anxious”, “Something bad is going to happen”, “It isn’t fair that this is happening”, and “Why me?”    She goes off to work, repeating in her head, “I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this…” What she is telling herself:
  • Things are bad
  • Things aren’t going to get better
  • She is the victim. That she has no choices here
  • She doesn’t have coping skills/ She will not survive this event

What you can do differently:

During this podcast, I discuss four key steps you can take to improve your personal narrative about your anxiety. They steps will lead you towards more mindful and helpful approach to talking about your anxiety.

I have outlined a step-by-step plan to help you better manage your narrative related to anxiety.  We go into greater detail in the podcast, so enjoy listening!


4-point plan to creating a more Mindful Narrative

  1. Be objective, not subjective                      See Episode #1: The Skill or Non-Judgment for more info
  2. Be in the present moment                         See Episode #8: Skill of Awareness for more info
  3. Take responsibility for your experience
  4. Practice Uncertainty                                   See Episode #6: The Beginners Mind for more info
To help you along with practicing these steps, I have also created a fun PDF that you  can download/print and use at your leisure.
Sign up below to get access to all the Podcast Add-ons!
[embed_popupally_pro popup_id="3"] I challenge you to try this as much as you can and see the difference it makes. Small changes lead to large changes, so don’t be afraid to try it a little at a time. Even trying it once a day can get the ball rolling.


This podcast should not replace professional mental health care. This podcast is for education purposes only. If you feel you would benefit by seeing a clinical professional, please contact a professional mental health care provider in your area.

Jul 20, 2017

GUILT, SHAME and being “SO OCD” with Shala Nicely

I am honored to share with you a recent interview I did with OCD ROCKSTAR and dear friend, Shala Nicely. Shala is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Atlanta and treats OCD and OCD Spectrum Disorders using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I briefly outlined the conversation and left all the links discussed during the podcast. Enjoy! Shala recently wrote an awesome blog post article about a top women’s magazine that posted an article encouraging readers to “be a little OCD!” Shala declared enough was enough and got writing. Shala and her ROCKSTAR mom are doing so much to advocate for the OCD community. See the below link to check it out.

How do you respond when people say, “I am SO OCD?”

Shala reports that she always aims to never shame anyone. For this reason, she talked about polite and non-shaming ways to educate others on what OCD and how painful and debilitating it can be.

How does it feel when you hear someone say "I am so OCD"?

“First, frustration”, but then desire to educate others about the severity of OCD and other mental health disorders.

Are people with OCD, “SO OCD?”

In today’s society, being “SO OCD” is generalized to describe someone who is meticulous and likes symmetry and neatness. This is not typical for someone with OCD. Someone who has severe OCD might be entirely ok with a dirty bedroom and not need symmetry or cleanliness at all.   It is important that we educate people about the specific sub-types of OCD so that people better understand the complexities and variety of OCD symptoms. Go to for more information

How can we manage the shame and guilt that comes with having OCD or another mental health disorder?

Brene Brown has written some AWESOME literature and has done amazing research about shame and guilt. Because Shame and Guilt are so common amongst those with OCD, Anxiety, Eating Disorders and Body- Focused Repetitive Disorders, we both strongly encourage listeners to read any of her books. Kimberley also discussed Brene’s explanation of how to identify if you can trust someone. Check out the link below to watch.

Shala’s FAVORITE mindfulness tool:

Dan Harris' 10% Happier book and App.  

How to find out more about Shala Nicely   You can also watch the unedited version of this podcast below
Jul 3, 2017
Hello everyone! I am excited to share this months podcast, as we are joined by what I call a CBT SUPERSTAR, Sara Vicendese.  Sara is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) in addition to traditional PsychoDynamic therapy. CBT HRT Finding your village Calabasas, Thousand Oaks, Encino, Los Angeles, Sara Vicendese Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast Kimberley QuinlanThis podcast is based on the phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child".   This phrase is used often to explain the importance of community when raising a thriving and successful child.  We believe that you can create your own "micro-village" to help you along with your recovery. Today we talk about ways to create YOUR "Village" (in whatever form you think is helpful) to help you with your on personal recovery.  We discuss how to find the correct treatment, access the most helpful resources and how to include your family members, friends or partners in your recovery, in a healthy and helpful way. Below is a basic layout of our conversation.  Enjoy!!!

 Today we talk about ways to create YOUR "Village".  What is the most effective form of treatment for OCD, and how do I find a therapist who provides it?

Sara talks about the difference between Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) including Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and psychodynamic “talk” therapy, specifically focusing on:
  • How to interview your therapist: what questions to ask, how to ask them, and the importance of interviewing therapists without assuming that everyone with a degree is going to be the right fit.
  • How to know what kind of therapy you’re in.

How do you find a good ERP Therapist

  • Check out for a list of therapists who are trained in CBT and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).
  • Once in contact with a therapist, ask if they know what ERP is?
  • Ask what books they rely on when treating OCD? (This might allow you to screen them for their knowledge)
  • Ask if they have they worked with OCD before and for how long? Where did they get their training

How do you know your current therapy is or isn’t working?

Sara writes, “A lot of dynamic therapists will stress that things can “get worse before they get better,” encouraging clients to wait months – or even years – to see the benefits of their work. It’s true that in any therapy, including ERP, you will likely feel worse before you start to feel better…but if months go by and you aren’t experiencing any reduction in symptoms OR if you notice – at any time – that you are getting significantly worse, it is likely time to move on.”

What advice do you have for those who cannot find an ERP therapist in their area? Or, for those who can only afford a therapist in-network who does not know about ERP?

 What advice do you have for those who want to start ERP treatment, but currently have a non-ERP therapist?

Sara writes: “There are really two options here; you can leave your current therapist and start with an ERP therapist, OR you can explore the potential of seeing both at the same time.” Sara discusses the importance of collaboration and making sure that both therapists are in regular touch with each other – to prevent each therapist from working against each other. Sara encouraged therapists to coordinate care and maintain the effectiveness of both.

help for family members and partners OCD Eating Disorders Calabasas Thousand OaksWhat advice do YOU give to the family members of those who are struggling with mental health issues such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB's) or Eating disorders?

Living with, and loving, someone with these disorders can be extremely challenging and it’s critical that all members of the family are as healthy as possible for everyone to thrive. Jon Hershfield’s book is great in this situation, as psycho-education is so important. Sara discusses the importance of involving family in treatment as appropriate (assuming family is supportive and including them wouldn’t be detrimental to treatment). Sara also discussed how she often recommends that family members seek out their own support – either through support groups or personal therapy. Kimberley discusses to use of the Family Accommodation Scale (FAC) to identify ways the family are accommodating the OCD compulsions. Click here for a link to the Family Accommodation Scale.

Is there a kind of therapy can benefit the spouse or parent or family member of someone with OCD or other anxiety disorder, or a BFRB?

Individual therapy (and/or support groups) for the family member can be very successful. In addition, there is great benefits from continuing to be educated about the loved ones disorder and get consultation on the best ways to support them though their recovery process.

What can a sufferer do when their family member or friend is not supportive of their recovery?

This is a tough, but important, question. Being unsupportive can take many different forms, from simply not understanding / participating in treatment to (on the other extreme end) working against treatment or purposely interfering with it. Someone who is not supportive of treatment is someone who is, in some way, colluding with the illness. Maybe recovery would mean that their life will be more difficult for them, or perhaps the treatment itself is hard to tolerate. Sara discusses how she often see families where more than one member is suffering from the disorder – however, only one is diagnosed and in treatment. If one partner is going through ERP, that can stress the relationship if the other partner has similar undiagnosed issues. Sometimes people aren’t supportive of recovery because it is hard at first and requires more energy/work than they are willing to put in. I can think of an example where a parent consistently disrupted treatment for their child because they didn’t want to see them in distress and the increased anxiety in the household during exposures made them uncomfortable. A highly anxious parent may have as much trouble with their child’s exposures as the child – for their own reasons. In most cases, most people get on board given enough time and education. That said, we are faced with tough decisions if our loved ones / friends interfere with treatment. Again, it is important that loved ones be brought into treatment, encouraging them to get their own support, and even the option of moving on from the relationship if it is keeping the sufferer stuck. Sara Vicendese has a private practice in Westwood, CA.  Learn more about Sara on her website at You may also see the unedited video interview here  
May 13, 2017

The Skill of Being Patient

There is an urgency that is ruining us in today’s culture. We must have everything right away and we get upset when we don’t get our way. When I catch myself in these behaviors, and I am mindful enough, I ask, “Why am I behaving this way?” The answer is always FEAR!   We are afraid of being late. We are afraid someone will judge us or be upset at us for being late.   We are afraid of not checking off everything on our list of things to do, which will make us feel unsatisfactory. We are afraid if we don’t do it fast enough, we won’t get home early enough to have a moment to ourselves, where we can breathe and find some peace. So, we clench our teeth, take the corners too fast and we fail to take in any of the joy of that moment. We keep forgetting is that peace lies in this moment.   The problem here is that rushing and insisting things go to our expected timeline is setting us up to have discomfort. Patience requires us to accept and tolerate difficulties and delays, without getting angry or upset. So, how do we practice patience when we are being followed by anxiety all day, every day, particularly for those who have an anxiety disorder such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety (GAD) or a specific phobia? This questions also applies to those who have other disorders such as and Eating Disorder (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorder), or Body Focused Repetitive Behavior (hair pulling or skin picking)? Lets take a look at a few examples of how anxiety requires patience.

“I want anxiety to go away now”

Patience involves the practice willingness to feel anxiety. Patience is going about your day while experiencing the anxiety you have. This is the golden rule for managing anxiety. If you are running from anxiety or pushing too fast through it, you are creating an anxiety monster.   Patience is willingness and compassion all rolled into one. Patience will involve not getting angry or condemning yourself for having this fear. We tend to play the blame game when we are struggling, thinking that an appropriate amount of blame and shame will teach us to no longer feeling this way or prevent feeling it in the future. This also applies to not blaming others.   Our anxiety is ours. We cannot blame others for it. Even if someone does something that makes us anxious, we must work to heal our own hearts and learn how to manage it.

I want to solve the problem RIGHT NOW! I need to know the answer RIGHT NOW!

This is where patience is needed most; when you want something you have not got. This is where you have to loosen your grip and make a lot of space for uncertainty. We have to develop a deep respect for the natural unfolding of time.   Just because it is unknown, does not mean it must be known.   Your job is to be patient with the feeling of “un-knowing” and trust that things will happen at their pace. Again, loosen your grip, or loosen your reins and take a look around. Consider, that the answer is right in front of you.   If you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or anxiety, and you are on a mad rush to find the answer to an obsession you are having, it might be that patients IS the answer. It might be that madly finding the answer IS the problem. We must slow down.   You take a breath and you take note of all the other things that are going on. You notice that the clouds in the sky remind you of a warm winters day when you were a kid.   You actually taste the food you are eating.   You really look your partner in the eye. You slowly take the corner in your car.

Maybe you are overwhelmed with the societal pressure or self-imposed pressure to be better, faster, smarter, better looking, healthier, free from anxiety.

Sometimes the faster you try to achieve something, the longer it takes. If you choose the fast, wont-stop-for-anyone pace, I can almost guarantee you that you wont make lasting relationships.   Its really hard to get to know someone and connect with them when you are living a rushed life, unless they are running at the same pace and enjoy the direction you are heading.   The trick here is patience and compassion.   We must slow down and acknowledge that we are growing at a pace that is just right for us. You are exactly where you need to be and the pace will find you. This might be hard to take, but that’s where compassion comes in.   With compassion, you acknowledge how hard this is for you, right now. You accept that many others (basically any human with a heart beat) must accept that we don’t get everything we want right away, nor should we want to. There is no shame is slowing down.

General life

With patience, we get to slow down and see that a lot of what we own in our house and in our life is filler to make us feel like we are going places faster. When we are patient and mindful, we can observe ourselves better and begin to see a lot of our pure and natural beauty. We get to notice all that we are.     It was there all along. We were just speeding, too fast to see it. Patience is willingness to be uncomfortable and compassion for self and others, all rolled into one ball.   It is a skill that will reward you greatly, if you learn to make friends with it.
1 « Previous 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next » 8