Don't Try Harder, Try Different with Patrick McGrathWelcome back to YOUR ANXIETY TOOLKIT PODCAST! We have some SUPER exciting news this week. We are offering a NEW and FREE training called “The 10 Things you absolutely need to know about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).” This webinar will be great if you are new to OCD and looking for some direction. It will also be a fantastic refresher into the key concepts of OCD treatment, if you are already on your road to recovery. If you are interested, click HERE to check it out. Next piece of exciting news! ERP school will be here in less than ONE WEEK! Heck yes!! Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) School is an online course for those who don’t have access to a therapist who practices ERP and science-based skills for OCD. I will be talking a lot about this in the next few weeks, as the doors are only open to purchase ERP School from September 6th, 2018 until September 20th, 2018. Keep it in mind that this course will only be available to purchase during that time. ONE WEEK!! It is right around the corner and I could not be happier and more excited. Do you ever feel like you are doing the same thing, over and over, with no change in result? You realize your fruitless outcomes and you decide you are going to try harder this time. You might even make a pact with yourself that you will NEVER do that one thing again and you promise yourself that this is the time it will be successful. But, just like last time, you get the same result and you are left feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. Well, if this is you, this episode is going to change some things for you. This week we have a wonderful interview with Patrick McGrath, Ph.D., who is a psychologist based out of Illinois specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders. In addition to being the president of a private practice group called Anxiety Centers of Illinois, Patrick McGrath is also the Clinical Director of the AMITA Health Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital's Center for Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Program and President of OCD-Midwest, an affiliate of the International OCD Foundation. I met Patrick at the IOCDF Conference and we immediately hit it off and agreed to do an impromptu interview. It was so much fun! You might even notice it was more of a conversation than an interview, but I loved it and was so thrilled to hear Patrick’s wisdom. If you are at all interested in taking the Exposure & Response Prevention School (ERP SCHOOL) course, Patrick’s talk today might help motivate you towards that goal. He beautifully talks about how to DON’T TRY HARDER, TRY DIFFERENT and this is definitely a concept you have to consider when starting ERP. Patrick also discusses the steps his clients need to know to move towards a “Don't try harder, try different” approach. Click HERE for more information on his stress management workbook titled Don't Try Harder, Try Different and HERE for more information on his book titled The OCD Answer Book: Professional Answers to More Than 250 Top Questions about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did! If you are at all interested in taking the Exposure & Response Prevention School (ERP SCHOOL) online course for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), click HERE.
In this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, we talk about Addressing Fear like Scientists. Not the scary white haired kind! In this week's episode, we talk about becoming scientists who run studies that are rational, evidence-based, and experienced-based. Each time we have a thought, we have an opportunity to be a scientist. Don’t worry about those white coats. You don’t need them for these experiments. And you don’t need to have a fully fledged scientist degree either.
The human brain has up to 70,000 thoughts per day. That is a LOT of thoughts. When it comes to managing anxiety, much of the work is being able to identify which thoughts that are distorted (or errors) and which are not, so we can respond skillfully and mindfully. This is not an easy feat and takes ongoing work and courage.
The other day, I started thinking about all the lovely people who are being tormented by scary intrusive thoughts, unwanted emotions, and sensations that make them think and feel like there is something wrong with them. Sometimes these intrusive thoughts make us believe that something bad will happen, or that terror is on its way. Often when we have these unwanted, intrusive thoughts, we go into a pattern of trying to disprove these possibilities. We start to shift our day, just to prove that this is in no way possible. We try to make the uncertain, certain.
The problem with this is that we are not actually resolving the issues in REALITY. What we do when we have these obsessions is we create a new reality where the fear is less likely to occur. We do this by avoiding events or people or places. We also try to ensure that our fear won't come true by mentally reviewing all of the possible scenarios and how they might play out. Once we have mentally exhausted ourselves with identifying what specific scenarios might cause troublesome outcomes, we promise ourselves to never put ourselves in those situations.
How To Address Fear Like A Scientist
Addressing Fear like a scientist involves asking yourself a few very hard questions. Take a look at these questions and do a quick review on how you are responding to your anxiety and depression.
I invite you this week to be more vigilant about addressing fear like a scientist who tests the hypothesis in a non-biased, rational and reality-based way. I know this is hard, but you know what I am going to say here. It is a beautiful day to do hard things.
Also, CBT School is also excited to share that our lovely friend Stuart Ralph is offering The OCD Summit, an online summit specifically for OCD therapists. The OCD Summit will be a 6-week webinar series where Stuart Ralph, host of The OCD Stories podcast, will interview some incredible scientists and clinicians in the OCD field, with you the therapist as the audience. Kimberley is honored to be selected to be one of the panelists for this exciting event. Registration will include 6 topics curated for your continued development as an OCD therapist, where you can ask questions and network with other therapists in the private FB group community. Click here to join.
The Anxiety of Decision Making Is REAL and EXHAUSTING!
“Trust your capacity to change” - Tara Brach Interview
My IOCDF Conference Key TakeawaysOne of the biggest honors I have as a therapist who treats anxiety disorders is to present at the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) annual conference. I just adore these conferences, mostly because they provide a mix of both treatment presentations and support groups for those who struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and for therapist who provide evidence based treatment for those who have OCD. Another amazing thing about these conferences is that they also provide support groups and presentations on Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s) such as Trichotillomania (Hail Pulling) and Excoriation Disorder (Skin Picking) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and also co-occuring Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse.