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Your Anxiety Toolkit

Your Anxiety Toolkit aims to provide you with helpful tools to manage anxiety, stress and other emotions that get in the way.
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Now displaying: January, 2021
Jan 29, 2021

tools to manage the bully in your life

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast. Today I want to share with you all something that has been going on for a while now. For months, I have been harassed online by an anonymous troll who has been leaving really terrible, disgusting comments on my social media accounts. I want to share with you today some ways that I have dealt with this situation and to really give you some tools to manage the bully in your life, whether that takes the form of a real person or if that bully takes the form of fear and anxiety.

Initially I tried doing what I would do when I am faced with fear. I simply tried not engaging. These are the same tools you would use to manage intrusive thoughts and anxiety, which is, you just don't engage with them. You set strong boundaries and you bring your attention back to the things that you value. So I was trying that for a while. Then I realized that I wasn't setting strong enough boundaries. I was keeping what was happening a secret because I was feeling a lot of shame around this situation. When shame shows up, we tend to go underground. We keep it from people. But shame lives in the darkness. It can't survive in the light. So bringing it out into the light is where you actually have less pain because you've shared it with someone and you are validated. That was an incredible lesson to me.

If you have a bully in your life, or if fear is your bully, you can apply the same things, which is, I am not engaging in any bully-like behavior. Not today, not tomorrow because I matter. My values matter. The people I love matter. I'm not giving attention to this, which is ineffective.

I hope that this podcast today gives you some empowerment and permission to set boundaries and disengage with people who are ineffective in your life, who hurt you, who say unkind things, who do not treat you well. 

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.

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.

Transcription of Ep. 174:

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, friends. How are you? I'm really happy to be here with you. I actually needed this moment to just slow down, settle into my chair, pull out my microphone and say, “Hey, how are my crowd? How are my people? How is this amazing community doing?”

First of all, thank you for being here. Second of all, I'm grateful for you guys. So grateful more than I ever, ever have been for reasons I will share in this episode. I have to first start by saying, I have literally got the best community. You guys are so cool. I have learned this through a very difficult process in the last couple of weeks, months, year, because it's been going on for a while. 

For those of you who don't follow me on social media, I have been just recently public about one or two social media trolls who have recently really heavily and aggressively attacked me both verbally and, mostly verbally, but with significant sexual content. If this is a trigger for you and you have some trauma around this, I won’t be giving details, but I just want to give you a little trigger alert because the degree in which I was being harassed on social media was sexual harassment. I wanted to just reflect on this today. 

I'm always going to be honest with you. I'm going to keep it real. I'm going to share what I feel is helpful, and I hope that this is helpful because there is a really, really powerful message here. I'll give it to you right up the front. 

The powerful message is: Don't ever allow a human being to change the way you think about yourself. That's going to be one of the main messages. 

The second message is, I have been on this podcast for many, many years, telling you guys how to manage intrusive thoughts and anxiety. It turns out the cool news is that you can handle other social media trolls or people who don't really bring a ton of value to your life in exactly the same way that you do intrusive thoughts and anxiety, which is you just don't engage with them. You set strong boundaries with them and you just bring your attention back to the things that you value. It's a cool approach. 

Let me tell you the story. For many months, I am and other OCD advocates actually, probably ones you know very well, have been receiving these most hateful, disgusting, just mean comments and messages, and that's fine. That's okay. I mean, it's not fine, but what I'm saying is, that happens, unfortunately, to anybody on social media. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people can get behind an Instagram handle or a Facebook account and spinelessly throw a bunch of mean hateful words at people. It happens all the time. A lot of my high profile clients that I see in my office have reported this to me for years, that social media can be a really, really scary place. 

Like I said to you guys, and let me segue back to, this has made me appreciate you guys more than ever, because you guys have been nothing but supportive to me, kind, helpful, warm, supportive with each other and me. It is so cool. I'm so grateful for you. I really, really am. But for almost a year, I have been getting these messages, and my approach was, like I said, to do what I do with anything that doesn't bring me value in my life, which is I delete it or I block it, and I don't engage with it. So that's the piece I do with fear. 

Fear can show up. I don’t block that, but I don't engage with it. I'm not going to give it my attention. Often it doesn't require my attention. It's just going to be there. So that's how I handled it each time. 

But what was happening is I would delete and block this person or these people. At a higher and higher frequency, they were creating more and more and more and more accounts under different names and doing the same behavior. The reason I knew it was one to two people is because they were using exactly the same hateful language. 

There's a couple of messages here, a couple of lessons myself, and I just wanted to share them with you and reflect. At one point, it was getting to be so disturbing that I started to share with a couple of really trusted friends what was happening. They immediately said, “Huh, this is very similar to OCD work. You have the thought or you have the feeling and you don't do anything. You just don't engage.” I thought, “Yeah, that's so cool.”

But what quickly became apparent is they started to say, “Why aren't you calling this person out? Why aren't you setting stronger boundaries with this person?” I had reflected on this, and I thought, “Well, I think underneath, I had a tremendous degree of shame around this. I had a tremendous degree of distaste about this and I wanted to just push it away.” 

It got to the point where, one day, I basically deleted probably up to 20 accounts. I spent pretty much the entire day on social media, trying to block this person. They said, “Why would you put in all that effort? Just tell people that you're struggling with this and call it out.” I thought, “Huh, that's such an interesting thought.” It was shocking to me that I had a ton of shame around that. 

I wanted to tell you this, not because I just wanted to blab on about my experience, but I'm just hoping that you, if anything similar, or someone has been unkind to you in person or on social media, that you can recognize that when shame shows up, we tend to go underground. We keep it from people. We hide it from people. But shame lives in the darkness. It can't survive in the light. So bringing it out into the light is where you actually have less pain because you've shared it with someone and they've acknowledged you and they're validated you and they're helping you. You're not alone now. 

That was an incredible lesson to me, which is ironic because I talk about it all the time and I share about this concept all the time. Because it was happening to me, I got short-sided. Again, I'm going to keep saying, if this is happening to you, catch how much you're silencing your own pain. Catch how you're doing it on your own in isolation, not sharing it with people.

What was really wonderful is, once that they said, “Hey, shout it out. Let people know what's happening. You can't protect people from this all day. You can't be blocking this person all day just to protect others from seeing this message about you. Tell them what's happening.” 

You know what shocked me here guys? Within four hours, a whole bunch of people who I know, but not that well, came out in support of me. They were ready to support me, and that blew my mind. It made me realize how incredibly strong this community is. It made me realize how much of a team we are, that they, on a topic that I had a lot of shame around, came out and stood up for me and said, “We stand with you in solidarity. This is not okay.” 

I want you to know that you have a community right here who will do the same for you, who will stand up and say, “Please be aware of your stigma that you're saying about mental illness. Please let me educate you about what OCD is because it's not what you think it is. Please let me help you understand that depression is not laziness. Please let me help you understand that people aren't struggling because they want to, they’re struggling because they're stuck.” There's a part of a community who's willing to stand up for you as well. 

This was just mind blowing to me. And for any of you who have been trolled on social media or harassed, or have any kind of bully in their life, I want to really, really encourage you to treat it with the tools that you've already been given to manage fear. Don't engage in it. Stand up for yourself. Set strong boundaries with it. We just did a huge podcast on that the other day. Set boundaries with it. And then you return back to the thing you value. 

What I noticed is, this was so shocking and horrifying to me that I couldn't stop thinking about it for a little bit. And then I was like, “Wait a second. My children are right here. I don't value this human being. I value my children. I value my husband. I value you guys, my community. I value my work. I value my health.” 

Let's practice. While we have this discomfort, while this event happens, which means nothing about me - it means everything about the person and nothing about me - while this happens, I'm going to go back to engaging in what I value. 

Now my mind kept saying, “Oh no, no. You go back on. Just check, check, check, just to see.” I'll be like, “No, I'm not,” because I'm not going to let that kind of behavior change how I act today. I want to look back on today and say, “I'm really confident and proud of that.” This was huge to me. 

I wanted to share it with you because if you have a bully in your life, or if your fear is your bully, or if you are your bully, you can apply the same things, which is, I am not engaging in any bully-like behavior. Not today, not tomorrow because I matter. My values matter. The people I love matter. I'm not giving attention to this, which is ineffective.

Now, what am I going to say? Totally easier said than done. Let's be real. Totally easier said than done. But I hope that this podcast today gives you some empowerment that gives you permission to set boundaries and disengage with people who are ineffective in your life, who hurt you, who say unkind things, who do not treat you well. 

One of the most important pieces of self-compassion is self-respect. Self-respect comes first, which was respecting that you matter, that you're worthy and that no one's allowed to say bad stuff about you, including ourselves and what we say about ourselves.

Last piece of the puzzle here is that once I came out and said, “Hey everybody, this is what's happening.” I don't endorse it. It's terrible. It's disgusting. Please, if you see it, ignore it. Treat it like an intrusive thought. Everyone came out in drones and supported me, DM to me, commented, was so kind. 

What was so fascinating here is, this person then created another account and said, “Oh, you just took it too seriously. I was just giving you compliments.” I was like, “Wait a minute. That's the definition of gaslighting.” For those of you who don't know, gaslighting is someone doing a behavior or acting in a certain way and then turning around and blaming you for it. It's a huge problem in communication. We want to try to eliminate gaslighting in communication. 

Again, I felt gaslit, and my immediate response was, “Huh, was I being too sensitive?” That last did literally like a millisecond. And I was like, “No, that's gaslighting.” 

If you're in a situation where someone is being a bully to you, and then they tell you you're being too sensitive, that's gaslighting. You're not being too sensitive. You deserve to be treated well. You deserve to be taken care of. Really, really important stuff. 

In those moments, if you do feel like someone's now blaming you for something that they did, your job is to step down into compassion and go, “No, I'm going to honor that that was painful for me.” This is the same for when someone goes, “Oh, I'm so OCD,” or “I'm so bipolar,” or “I'm so psychotic today.” They’re using it as a joke and it hurts you. And then they turn around and they say to you, “You're being too sensitive. Why does everything have to be so pissy?” You're allowed to go, “No, you just gaslit me right. It's painful for me. Therefore, it matters. Therefore, it's real. You can't discount that.” Really important stuff. 

It happens a lot around mental illness. There's a lot of stigma there. I think there's a lot of opportunity for people to gaslight about that. I really want to make sure I brought that in as the final piece of this episode. 

So that's that. I'll keep fighting the fight. This person didn't go away, and I don't care, to be honest. 

What did I learn?

1. You guys are amazing. 

2. I feel so supported by you, thank you. 

3. I don't need to engage in this stuff. It doesn't deserve my time. 

4. Catch when people try to redirect blame on to you because that can help you go down a spiral of self-criticism and self-punishment.

I love you so much. Thank you so much for being here. 

Last of all, I'm going to ask you another favor. I'm going to stop mentioning this often in the podcast. My goal is to get a ton of more exposure with the podcast this year. It is a free service that we offer, offering free tools for those who don't have access to treatment, or if they do, it's to supplement that. 

If you have the time and you're interested, would you do me a huge favor and go and leave a review, an honest review? Let me know what you think of this show, with this episode. I would be so grateful. I have decided that once we get to a thousand reviews, I will give away a free pair of Beats headphones so you can listen to the podcast on full volume and hear my voice full volume. Add just one review by random. I'm so excited to do that, and I'm really excited to get that up and running. 

Go leave a review. I would love to see it. I might even start to highlight some reviews here in the next few weeks because I will be reading them and valuing every single one. Thank you so much.

Have a wonderful day. It is a beautiful day to do hard things that includes also sometimes being bullied by people or trolled. But we are strong, we are resilient and we are able to do this together. I love you guys so much. Have a wonderful day.

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.

Jan 22, 2021

things to know when starting therapy

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Today I would like to discuss with you a question that comes up quite a lot when I am starting with a new client. So often my clients will say to me "What can I expect during my first session?" I want to share with you what I tell my clients about the things to know when starting therapy.

The first thing I say to my clients is that your brain can change. You may have a disorder that was inherited or triggered by a certain event, but the good news is that by changing your behavior, you can actually change your brain.

The second thing I say is that no matter your mental health struggle, there is a science proven way to treat that disorder. We have evidence based treatments and you can absolutely can get better.

Thirdly, I tell my clients that no matter what struggles they are going through, it is not their fault. This is not something they asked to have happen. We are going to move away from assigning blame and move towards self-compassion.

The fourth thing I would say is that you should not enjoy coming to see me. The work can be really hard and it will mean facing your fears, so if you are enjoying coming to see me then we may need to look at the reasons why. The goal is to actually give my clients the tools they need so that they do not need me anymore.

Finally I tell my clients that they need to be prepared to do the hard work. There will be lots of homework and a lot of facing your fears, but nothing changes if they are not willing to do the work. I always remind them that it is a beautiful day to do those 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.

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.

Ep. 173 Transcript:

Guys, I am so grateful to have you with me today. I know your time is incredibly precious and valuable, and so I'm so happy to just be with you. 

How are you doing? Just checking in. How is everybody? It is well and truly 2021. Lots and lots of happening in the world. Lots and lots of changes. I'm just wrapping my head around them all. 

In this new year, I made a deal with myself to spend a little bit more time on social media, which is so funny because I think most people were saying, “No, I think I'd like to spend less time.” I'm actually saying, “No, I'd like to spend more time on social media.” I hang out a lot on Instagram and on the Facebook group called CBT School Campus or on my Facebook page. I promised myself I'd spend more time there because I'm realizing after last year that I felt really disconnected to you guys and I really wanted to get back into feeling connected. I have loved it.

If you're on Instagram, go over and follow me @kimberleyquinlan, or you can go over to the Facebook group. It's CBT School Campus, or my Facebook is Kimberly Quinlan with CBT School after it. 

That being said, I just wanted to let you know that today, I wanted to chat with you about something I have not talked about, but I thought it would be a really great topic. A lot of people in the new year have been reaching out, looking for clinical services – help for OCD, help for anxiety, help for an eating disorder, or help for a BFRB. We love helping people. I have a great staff of seven licensed therapists who all treat the same disorders that I do. It's just been so wonderful to see all the new clients and people coming in really ready to get help. 

It really came across my mind in that one of the questions new patients and clients have is: What should I expect in the first session? What does the first session look like? What would you tell me in the first session? I thought this would be a great topic to talk to you guys about. 

So I want to share with you the five things I tell every single client or patient in their first session. Are you ready? Let's do it. 

Once I have introduced myself and they've introduced themselves and they tell me a little bit about their struggles and what they're wanting to work on, I, at some point in the session, are going to tell them I'll do a thorough assessment. But I will, at some point, either at the beginning or at the end or somewhere, wherever it's most appropriate, share with them one major piece of good news. 

1. Your brain can change. 

Even if you have a disorder that may be is hereditary, has been passed down from generation to generation, or you have a disorder that was triggered by a certain event, or you have a disorder or a problem that was triggered by societal expectations, such as eating disorders, I always share with my patients and clients the great news, which is you can change your brain. In some cases, for those of us who have anxiety, even though your brain might be firing away, setting off the alarm bells all day long, “Danger, danger, danger,” you can change the way your brain reacts to these misfires.

Now, you can't do it by simply trying to change your thoughts. We know that. Changing thoughts sometimes can be very, very important. I'm not going to deny that. It's an important piece of depression work. It's an important piece of, like I said, eating disorder work and so forth for everybody. 

But the cool thing here is more importantly, by changing your behaviors, you can change your brain. By changing the way you react to fear, you can change your brain. You can connect parts of your brains that weren't connecting. You can strengthen parts of your brain that is weak or they're not connecting and the connection isn't so strong. Your brain can change, and this is good news. This is great news. 

When we found this out in science, we all had a big party because it was really reinforcing that if you do a scan of someone pretreatment of their brain, and then you did a scan of their brain post-treatment, we would be able to see the changes in their brain, and this is really cool. 

2. If you have OCD or a phobia, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety, health, anxiety, hair pulling, skin picking, and eating disorder, any of these, any of the mental health issues, that there is a science proven way to treat your disorder. 

This is good news. I fill you with hope by saying, I understand that what you're going through is really painful, but the good news is, we have scientific evidence to prove that we're on the right track and we're going to be administering the correct treatment. 

If you have OCD, the science proven treatment is exposure and response prevention. If you have hair pulling, skin picking or nail biting, the science proven treatment is habit reversal training. If you have depression or an eating disorder, the science proven treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. If you have health anxiety, you're again going to have a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy with the focus being exposure and response prevention, same goes for phobias, same goes for social anxiety. 

All of these, we're going to, let’s say the frosting on top is that we're also going to apply science proven techniques, such as mindfulness and self-compassion. This is not woo-woo stuff here. This is science. We have tons of evidence to show that you can get better, that your disorder isn't a mystery. Thank goodness. 

Imagine back in the sixties if you had OCD, at that point, or even the seventies, there was no treatment for OCD that was proven. If you had OCD, you were told “Good luck.” A lot of disorders had this. If you had hypochondria, if you had agoraphobia, a lot of times back in those years, people said, “I'm really sorry. You have to just accept that your child is going to be this way.” But no longer. 

2.a We have tons of evidence to show that we're on the right track. 

We're using the right treatment and you can be hopeful. Really cool. 

3. The struggles you're having were not your fault, you didn't ask for this. You didn't want this. This is not your fault. 

The high levels of anxiety that you experienced, that's not your fault. The depression that you're experiencing is not your fault. The fact that you get stuck doing behaviors that you don't want to be doing, but you feel like you have to do, that's not your fault either. This was not your fault.

We're going to work on this treatment journey. We're going to work at not assigning blame to anybody. Mostly you were going to work at being compassionate instead of self-critical. This was not your fault. You didn't ask for this. 

Most of the time, people with OCD or anxiety, panic disorder, health anxiety, eating disorders, they say, “I would never wish this on my worst enemy.” Again, if you wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy, you wouldn't wish it upon yourself. It was not your fault. 

4. If you're starting a journey of recovery, you're in treatment, you're ready to get the work done, here is one thing you should remember: You should not enjoy coming to see me. You should not want to see my face.

I should make you happy. I should make you feel comfortable. I want you to trust me. I want you to enjoy my company. I want you to respect me, but you should not enjoy our sessions together. I know you are probably thinking, “What is she saying here?” But hear me out. The work that I do, and the fact that you're listening to me and hopefully you've listened to me for a while, shows me that you have had struggles with anxiety. This is Your Anxiety Toolkit, so we're talking about anxiety. And the natural response to fear is to run away, is to fight it, is to freeze. Naturally, you are biologically set up to go into fight, flight, or freeze when you have fear. 

The treatment that I use, the gold standard science proven treatment is the opposite of that. Treatment with me and with anyone who's trained in these disorders is going to mean that you are going to have to stare your fear in the face. You're going to have to in-session, be doing scary, hard things. 

Therefore, you shouldn't want to see me. If you want to see me and the sessions are only enjoyable, I'm missing the point and I'm not being the best therapist I could be to you. I really gauge myself. I tell them not to hold me accountable. I don't want to be giving treatment to people where they're not being forced to grow. Not forced, I shouldn't say forced, because I never make my clients do anything. But what I'm saying is, the session should be focused on this major concept, which is the more you lean into fear, the less power fear has. 

And so therefore, I say to my clients, “Please, if at any point in treatment you are looking forward to sessions, let me know, because it means I need to up the ante.” I don't want to be diddle-daddling. I want to be effective. I want to be immediate. I want you to get results. I want you to not need me. That's another thing. 

4.a I want to treat you. 

I want to give you treatment. I want to give you tools so that you don't need me anymore. I want to put myself out of business. I want to train you so well to do this, that you know what I would say and how I would say it and what you need to do.

For those of you who have OCD or a BFRB, you can go and download the courses, ERP School and BFRB school, which is me training you on what I would teach you. The cool thing about the courses is I'm teaching you what I would teach you in session. My goal is to teach you how to do it so that you can do it for the rest of your life, not just for a little while.

I'm beginning to feel like I'm giving you guys a big fat lecture, and I hope that's not the case. I'm getting all empowered here. You can tell I'm super passionate about the first session, and I am. These are key points to treatment. These are key points to providing good care. These are key points to your recovery. So they're really important to me. If you feel like you're getting a lecture, I'm very sorry about that. It's not a lecture. Pulling all the punches here. Sorry, you guys.

So that was a bonus point there for you. 

5. Be ready to do hard work. 

The patients and clients I have hear me say something often, which is nothing changes if nothing changes. Be prepared to do a ton of homework. The cool thing about cognitive behavioral therapy is there is usually a heavy component of homework. I give homework to all my patients and clients every session. I'll say at the end, “What's your homework? I'll put it in your notes. I'll hold you accountable. We'll check in next week.”

Be ready to have an assignment. And then be ready to execute that assignment every single day. 

I recently just finished the book on self-compassion for OCD. Yay! I know I'm really excited. The thing that was right at the very front of the book, and I'm giving you a spoiler alert here, which is, be prepared to do this work for around 45 to 90 minutes a day. That is important. Be prepared to do the work. Be prepared to practice because nothing changes if nothing changes. 

I know it sucks. I know that's hard truths, but I'm only telling you because I really want you to get your life back. I know a lot of you don't have a therapist. I'm telling you this because I want that to propel you into a journey where you feel really empowered and you understand what is needed so that you can get it done. Knowledge is power here. But then once you have the knowledge, you got to put it into play.

Now you guys know what I'm going to conclude here on, and this is something I should say. There are six points here really. So there's actually two extra bonuses.

6. It is a beautiful day to do hard things. 

I say it every day. I say it at every podcast, I say it in every Instagram post. I'm going to leave this podcast episode with that. Be ready to do hard work, but it is a beautiful day to do the hard things every day. I love you all. 

I'm going to ask you one big favor. I am early to announce this, but I'm actually just going to announce it now because I want to get the ball rolling. 

In 2021, I made a deal with myself because I love doing these podcasts and I love doing all these things. But one thing I noticed last year is, in order for these to really pack a punch, my hope and my goal is to get it to more people. The podcast is free. I don't make any money off the podcast. I don't do promotions or anything like that. The best payout here for me is that I get to help more people. 

After research, I'm learning the best way to do that is to get more reviews. The more reviews I have, the more likely someone is to click on the podcast. Once they click on the podcast, then I get to help them. But if they see the podcast and they move past it, then I don't get to help them. 

So would you do me a favor? 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. I encourage the feedback. I'd love an honest review so that other people can see that we're doing a good job and that you're getting help so that they can too. If you would be willing to do that, I would be so grateful. 

I am actually following what another influencer did, that I love her podcast. She made a deal with her listeners that once she got a thousand reviews, she would give away a free pair of Beats headphones. I was like, “That is a banging idea. Let's do it.” I haven't formally announced it, but I am now. 

We are going to give away a pair of Beats headphones of your choice of color. Once we hit a thousand reviews, we will randomly take a review and we will put you into the competition, the box. I don't know what you'd say. But even if you've already left a review, you will still go in. So for those of you who've already left a review, thank you, and you'll get put into the drawer. 

There we go. You have a chance to actually win something amazing, so we can go from there. Go leave a review. 

Have a wonderful day. I love you guys. I appreciate you guys. Again, really, really from the bottom of my heart, thank you for spending your time with me. I know your time is valuable. I just feel super special that I get to spend some time with you.

Have a wonderful day.

Jan 15, 2021

OCD mindfulness tools

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Today I am so happy to have Jon Hershfield on with us. Jon is an author and the Director of the Center for OCD and Anxiety at Sheppard Pratt. The second edition of his book, The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD, has just been released and his new book, The Mindfulness Workbook for Teens, is scheduled for release in March. We had a great conversation about both books and Jon shares many of the OCD mindfulness tools that he describes in his books that are used to enhance treatment.

In this interview, Jon explains why he wanted to write a book for teens and how he decided to approach the topics of mental health, OCD, and mindfulness in a way that would be relatable to teens and young adults. He discusses in more detail some of the topics in his book including how to understand your diagnosis, how to respond to intrusive thoughts, and how to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into your daily life.

Jon also shares some OCD mindfulness tools that he describes in The Mindfulness Workbook. These include thoughts are thoughts, not threats; feelings are feelings, not fact, and sensations are sensations, not mandates to act. He shares that mindfulness really involves calling things what they are.

Towards the end of this interview, we discuss Exposure and Response Prevention and the difference between habituation and inhibitory learning. He shares with us the five things we should consider when doing ERP with the goal of inhibitory learning.

This is a great interview full of so many wonderful mindfulness tools to help you manage your OCD. I hope you enjoy!

The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD: A Guide to Overcoming Obsessions and Compulsion Using Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Center for OCD and Anxiety

IG @ocdbaltimore

If you have some time, I would love it if you would please go and leave me an honest review wherever you listen to podcasts – Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, or Stitcher. This would really be helpful to me in achieving my goal for 2021 of being able to reach and help more people. Thank you so much!

ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information.

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.

Jan 8, 2021

setting boundaries with fear

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast. It's a new year and as we settle into 2021, I am actually going to ask you guys to set a little bit of a goal. Not a resolution, a goal. I am so excited to talk with you all today about this topic because I really hope that this will be the goal you set for yourself this year.  I would like for you to start the year by setting boundaries with fear. 

Now why do I think setting boundaries with fear is so important? Think about it this way, if someone came into your home, you wouldn't just allow them to behave any way they wanted. Right? No, you set boundaries in your home about what kind of behavior is going to be allowed and we know that those boundaries must remain consistent. I want you to try setting those same boundaries when fear shows up in your life. I would encourage you to sit down and actually write out what boundaries are you going to set with fear this year? And then the work begins by holding those boundaries consistently.  You may say to fear “No, fear. I see that you're here. It's okay that you're here. I'm not going to wrestle with you and I'm not going to do the thing you told me to do. I'm going to hold that boundary very strongly.” 

I also want to encourage you to to set some boundaries with yourselves in the way that you speak to yourselves. Really try to be compassionate towards yourself and not use unkind words towards yourselves anymore. That's a strong boundary. You hold it, you set it, and you consistently put it into place. For example, let's say you don't hold the boundary very well with fear, instead of using unkind words about yourself try saying, “Okay, I'm not going to beat myself up. I made a deal and that's where I'm going to hold the consistency.”

I hope you will try starting the year by setting those strong boundaries with fear, uncertainty, disgust, OCD, your eating disorder, your body-focused repetitive behavior, whatever it may be. Not letting them walk all over your life. And most importantly, I hope you can start the year by being very kind and gentle with yourself.

If you have some time, I would love it if you would please go and leave me an honest review wherever you listen to podcasts – Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, or Stitcher. This would really be helpful to me in achieving my goal for 2021 of being able to reach and help more people. Thank you so much!

ERP School, BFRB School and Mindfulness School for OCD are open for purchase. Click here for more information.

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.

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