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

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Your Anxiety Toolkit - It's a Beautiful Day to Do Hard Things
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Sep 10, 2021

In this week’s podcast, we talk with Allyson Ford about her journey with OCD and an Eating Disorder.  Allyson shares how her journey with OCD began when she watched ERP SCHOOL, our online course for people with OCD.  Allyson quickly realized that she had not only been working through an Eating Disorder but had also struggled with OCD. Allyson Ford shares these 3 main points on OCD Recovery:

  1. In recovery, don’t wait for the fear to be gone. You must take the action while scared/anxious for real growth to happen. It will feel counterintuitive but that doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong. ERP is terrifying and it’s worth it in the end. It’s so empowering to realize you can have anxiety and do the things you love anyways. Because it is so scary, you need a therapist that you can really trust- who is both skilled in ERP and compassionate/warm.
  2. Shame and myths about OCD keep us suffering for much longer than we need to. Two major turning points for me were learning about what real OCD is- I quickly identified signs and symptoms within myself since 8 years old. The next game-changer was finding a community of other therapists who live with OCD. I felt so embarrassed to be a therapist struggling with these issues- I felt broken and ashamed. It made work really anxiety-provoking. I attended Pure  O Chrissie’s Gamechangers retreat and that changed everything for me. I suddenly felt empowered and hopeful; this propelled my ERP treatment forward.
  3. Learning and applying skills for intrusive thoughts was also a game-changer. Learning that everyone gets intrusive thoughts and that they don’t mean anything, learning mindfulness skills (bookshelf metaphor) for rumination and one-upping my thoughts/power stance were the most helpful. Knowing that the theme of my thoughts only points to what I value most was also helpful- it always boils back down to my work. I care so deeply about making a meaningful impact on my clients, and that seems to be what my OCD attacks the most!

Allyson Ford, MA, LPCC is an Eating Disorder, OCD, and anxiety therapist with lived experience. Allyson graduated with her Master’s degree from New Mexico State University and has since worked in a variety of settings including hospitals, schools, residential programs, and now private practice. Allyson provides virtual services throughout California and also does part-time work at The Eating Disorder Center with Jennifer Rollin.

Allyson has a passion for integrating social justice throughout her practice and has a podcast available on Apple and Spotify called Body Justice. Allyson utilizes ERP, DBT, CBT, ACT, and IFS in her practice. You can find her on Instagram at @bodyjustice.therapist and her website: www.allysonfordcounselingservices.com


This is Your Anxiety Toolkit - Episode 201.

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. I am so happy to have this special time with you. Thank you so much for giving me your very valuable time. How are you all doing? Just checking in. I know it’s been a really hard year. I know we talked a lot last week about suffering and how to manage that. If you didn’t hear that episode and you’re struggling, please go back and listen. Hopefully, it will connect with you and land up with you in a way that is validating and kind and builds some space for you and some safety for you.

This is going to be a wonderful episode. It’s actually an interview I have done with somebody who I met through ERP School, interestingly enough. I am so honored to have this week Allyson Ford. Now Allyson is an LPCC. She is an eating disorder specialist and OCD specialist and anxiety specialist. She has lived experience, which she shared, in those areas, and she shares her experience of finding out that she has OCD, talking about her eating disorder recovery. And the cool thing is, like I said, she will reflect a lot on how ERP School, one of our online courses that teaches you how to practice ERP all on your own and learn about ERP – she shares how that was a big game-changer for her. So I’m so excited to share with you this amazing interview.

We talk a lot about the overlap between eating disorders and OCD. Even if you don’t have one or both of the disorders, I encourage you to listen because I think that there is some amazing story and I think it’s really cool to see stories of clinicians who have actually walked the walk. They don’t just talk the talk. So I’m so, so excited to share that interview with you.

Before we do that, let’s go ahead and do the review of the week, this week’s review. If you want to ever leave a review for your anxiety, you can. I would love to see it. We feature one review a week. This one is from StrongMom and she said:

“A big virtual hug. I don’t know how I found this podcast, but I’m so glad I did. Kimberley’s compassionate and honest conversations about anxiety and OCD provide tools and strategies for facing fears, anxiety, and BFRBs. Her friendly, nonjudgmental tone about the challenges are so helpful to me.”

Thank you so much, StrongMom. I love hearing that the podcast is helpful.

Before we get over to the main part of the show, we’d like to do the “I did the hard thing” segment. This is actually from someone you guys have had on the show before. This is from Alegra and she says this:

“I let go of someone who I really cared about because it was the best thing for me, even though it deeply hurt.”

I think that that is such an important “I did a hard thing” because sometimes we talk about it as just doing exposures, right? Facing our fear. But sometimes the hard thing is letting go of something. Sometimes the hard thing is setting a boundary with somebody. Sometimes the hard thing is listening to our own needs and following through with our needs. So I loved this submission for “I did a hard thing.”

Okay. That being said, thank you to you all for being here again. I am so grateful. I know I say it and I want to keep saying it. Thank you. Thank you for spending your time with me. I’ll head over to the show.

-----

Kimberley: Welcome, everybody. I am so excited for this episode. We have with us Allyson Ford. Thank you for being here.

Allyson: Of course. I’m so excited.

Kimberley: Yeah. Okay. So, let’s tell this story, and this is where I get so geeked out, is when I hear of people who’ve taken ERP School or taken one of my courses, and they’ll either post it on social media or something to say, “Oh, this was really helpful.” And then literally my life is like done. I feel so good. I’m so happy. And that’s how I met you, Allyson. So, I’m so grateful to have you here. Would you tell us a little bit about you and anything you want to share about your own recovery? I’ll ask questions as we go.

Allyson: Yes, absolutely. So, my name is Allyson. Like Kimberley said, I am a licensed therapist in California. I work primarily with eating disorders and anxiety, and I have my own recovery journey with an eating disorder. I just recovered from anorexia years ago, and it wasn’t until this year that I realized I also have OCD. For anyone that’s listening, it’s common to have both symptoms, symptoms of both. They really overlap. And so, I see it a lot in the clients I work with, and that’s what prompted me to take ERP School. I was looking for resources to become more trained to work with clients with OCD. And then through taking the course, I was like, “Oh my gosh, I have a lot of this.” And then I sought out an ERP therapist to work on things that were coming up for me, and it’s been really rewarding. And so, now I really enjoy working with OCD as well.

Kimberley: Wow. I have such big goosebumps on that. That’s so fascinating to me that you would be doing continuing education units for yourself and helping your patients, and then realizing you had symptoms yourself. When you took the course or when you considered this learning, what did you think OCD is compared to now what you know about OCD?

Allyson: Yeah. That’s a great question. Because I went to graduate school, I knew that OCD was obsessions and compulsions, and I knew that the compulsions had to take up a certain amount of time of your day. But what was unclear is, what is an obsession and what is a compulsion? So, I still had this stereotypical image of OCD being like hand washing and checking the stove. And yes, those can be symptoms, right? But I was thinking about this the other day and I wish they would change the name of OCD in the DSM. I wish it was like Intrusive Thought Disorder because obsession, to me, sounds like, you think of it as something you like. Like, “Oh, I’m obsessed with this.” We don’t think of it as something negative. Like, an intrusive thought is scary. It’s frightening. It’s so unsettling. I wish I would’ve known that it meant something totally different than just not just hand washing and cleaning.

Kimberley: Right. Exactly. Yeah. Like I said to you, that made my day to hear that because a big part of our mission is to help educate people who do think it’s like organizing your cupboards nicely and hand washing and lining things up evenly and so forth. So, was that a great realization for you? Or was that a sad realization for you to be like, “Oh, there’s more to it than this and maybe this includes me”?

Allyson: Oh my gosh, it was terrifying at first. Actually, when I was taking ERP School the first time, I was like, I knew this wise part of me was like, oh my gosh, yeah, these are some things you’re struggling with. But then there was a lot of not wanting to face that. So I think between the time I took ERP School till I actually got help was still like six months, and there was a lot of like reaching out to ERP therapists and then backing out. I was so scared because I knew through taking your course that I was going to have to face my fear.

When you go through one major mental health disorder in your life – going through anorexia, I was so terrified to go through something like that again. I’m so scared to have another label. Especially being a therapist, there’s like this extra stigma that we shouldn’t suffer. And so, that was a huge part of it. Just the stigma of having a mental health diagnosis again. But yeah, it was completely and totally scary.

Kimberley: Yeah. Isn’t that sad though? And I agree with you. I resonate so much with what you’re saying. Isn’t it sad that as therapists, we’re made to believe, or we take on the belief that we aren’t supposed to be human? For me, everyone on my account and my listeners know I had anorexia as well, but I did a tremendous degree of compulsive exercise, and it always felt OCD-like. As soon as I learned about OCD, I had a similar feeling of like, this is exactly what I used to do. I had a fear, and to remove this fear, I would do this one specific calculated move. And so, I get what you’re saying. You had already gone through treatment. Now that you know about ERP, did your treatment now look a little bit like ERP? Because for me, my anorexia treatment felt like ERP at the time.

Allyson: Yes. I would say it was a blend. It was a lot of facing the fears, reducing the compulsive behaviors, but then there was a huge relational component too. And that’s something I’ve been reflecting on with ERP, that sometimes I feel it’s missing in terms of ERP training. It’s like, we forget the fact that the relationship is the most important thing. Going through my own ERP, it being so terrifying, I needed to have a therapist that I really trusted that like, this is actually going to help me. So, yes, it was, I would say, a mixture of behavioral, but also just relational.

Kimberley: Yeah. So, true. So, if you’re comfortable sharing, would you share a little about the area of OCD that you have experienced?

Allyson: Yes. So, I’ve pretty much experienced all of them minus symmetry and contamination. But other than that, I’ve had pretty much all the themes. The ones that have been the stickiest in terms of the most impactful on my daily functioning have been real event OCD, which is – and you can correct me – but when something has actually happened and then you fear it like happening again, right?

Kimberley: Yup.

Allyson: That one was the one that actually propelled me to take ERP School. And then I’ve had harm obsessions, like fearing that I was going to hurt someone, fearing I would blurt something out really mean. That’s been a really big one for me. And then in the past, now that I know what OCD is, I can see that growing up I had fear or harm obsessions. Those were the main ones, but I’ve had all the intrusive thoughts.

Kimberley: Yeah. And that’s why I think it’s true. I agree with you, in terms of the word, obsession is very misunderstood. Isn’t it? It’s very much related to this unwanted experience. And I think that was a really different-- maybe you could share as well for a lot of people with eating disorders. Would you say that the eating disorder was an unwanted thought or a wanted thought?

Allyson: Yeah. So, that’s where it gets a little tricky. So, we talk a lot about egodystonic versus egosyntonic, and I would say in general, egodystonic is anything that you don’t like, right? You don’t want to be thinking that. With eating disorders, it’s tricky because you think you like it. But if you actually sit down and you ask the person, “Well, how is this impacting your daily life? Isn’t this behavior in line with your long-term values?” they will say no. I’ve never had someone say yes. Even though it feels like you like the thought or it feels congruent with who you are, it’s really not when you look at the long-term picture. I think that’s an important distinction to make.

Kimberley: Yeah. So important. And that’s why I love that you’re here because we don’t talk enough about eating disorders here on the show as much as I would like. I think that those little nuances are so important clinically to be able to understand. So, thank you for telling us. Okay, you took ERP School. What was your main takeaway? You obviously had the takeaway of like, “Oh, this could be a part of my symptomology,” but in terms of just what you’ve learned, what was the main takeaway for you?

Allyson: The biggest takeaway was that in order to get better, I had to face my fears. I had to take away the compulsions, which were mostly mental for me. And that was really hard to wrap my head around, like learning mindfulness skills to stop ruminating. I just thought everyone obsessively ruminated. So, I just didn’t know that that was a mental compulsion. So, identifying those and then retraining my brain. It was so hard. Like you said, I think in ERP School and in your podcast, you talk about how you might have to do it 500 times a day, like redirecting your attention back to the present – that was so true. It felt exhausting. So, those were my biggest takeaways – you need to face your fear and don’t expect this to be comfortable.

Kimberley: Yeah. I’m glad that’s what you took. I got goosebumps listening to that in terms of you talking about how exhausting it is. I’m curious for your experience, was the treatment of the OCD portion harder than the eating disorder? I mean, it doesn’t really matter, but I’m curious to know what that was like for you. It’s so exhausting, right? Facing your fear is so exhausting. So, did you feel that same level of exhaustion in your eating disorder treatment?

Allyson: Yeah, totally. I think it’s hard to compare the two and I’ve done a lot of reflecting on it. Let’s say, if I had to choose, do you want to go through the eating disorder again or the OCD, I think I would choose OCD only because it was so egodystonic feeling that I was really motivated to get better. The treatment took me a lot less time. Whereas with the anorexia, because our culture reinforces so many of the values of anorexia, you could say, it was really hard to change those behaviors because you’re fighting yourself and also everyone around you. Whereas with the OCD, it wasn’t that way. The culture wasn’t reaffirming the values of OCD.

Kimberley: Right. I agree.

Allyson: But I would say that facing the OCD fears, it felt scary. And I don’t know if it’s just because it was more recent. My anorexia recovery was like eight years ago, but it felt more intense. We were just ripping off the bandaid. Whereas with my eating disorder recovery, it was a lot more gradual. My therapist was like, “No, we’re going all in. I want to flood you with anxiety.” Oh, this was scary.

Kimberley: It really is. It really is. You know what, I’ll tell you an interesting story. A little bit off. But I was talking with a really, really somewhat high-profile influencer on social media the other day. I was actually asking a question about something specific. She had looked at my account and she’d said, “I find it interesting--” we were talking about microlearning, which is ultimately like teaching in very short, small 32-second blocks. She said, “I noticed that you talk a lot about disorders and you keep telling everybody how hard it is.” She said, “I find that a little depressing.” But that was just some feedback that I had said to her, my response was, “I’m in the trenches with people at the beginning. And if I don’t tell them, it’s going to be hard, they’re going to question themselves on why it’s so hard.” I thought that was such an interesting reflection of someone who’d be like, “Your account is depressing.” But I had only ever seen it through like, no, that’s validating. So, I 100% agree with what you’re saying.

Allyson: I find that very validating because yes, when I went through my own ERP, I already knew it was going to be hard from taking your course, from reading your content, right? But until you’re in that moment doing ERP, you don’t realize how hard it is. If I was going into it with the expectation that it was going to be easy and super cheery and helpful, I would have collapsed. The fact that I knew it was supposed to be hard I think definitely helped, and my therapist validated that too a lot. Yes, if it’s scary, if you’re flooded with anxiety, you’re doing it right. That was the biggest difference from anorexia recovery because an eating disorder recovery, I think we focus so much on coping skills for anxiety that we miss the point that we can teach clients just to tolerate the anxiety. You don’t have to do anything about it. That was a game-changer for me.

Kimberley: I agree. It takes all the wrestling out of the work, doesn’t it?

Allyson: Yeah.

Kimberley: Yeah. So, I just thought that was a really funny story because I’d never once considered myself to be having a depressive social media account, but I totally get that perspective for people. I think it’s because they’re not looking at it through the lens of, if you have to face your fear every day, you do need that reminder. And I really appreciate you mentioning that. Was there anything that surprised you during your original training in ERP? Was that shocking to you? Or did that actually be like, “Oh no, that sounds bright”?

Allyson: I think once I was taking the course, I realized, yes, this makes sense. It wasn’t necessarily shocking, but learning about the OCD subtypes, that was the most eye-opening to me of, “Oh, this is what real OCD is, not everything we’ve been conditioned to think it is.” So, that was I think a huge turning point. Then I could pinpoint like, “Okay, where am I struggling the most? How is this manifesting for me? What do I need to do about this?”

Kimberley: Right. Yes. Will you share with us some of your exposures and what that was like for you? Walk us through.

Allyson: Sure. Yeah. So, I think the funniest exposures in terms of listeners listening to this would be the blurting out ones. And I say fun in a sense that they sound funny, right? Because OCD does not make sense. It’s not logical. It attacks things that we know we care about, but OCD makes us question ourselves. So, when I had these fears that I was going to blurt out, people’s like-- let me backup.

Social justice is very important to me. And so, the fears of blurting out were fears that I was going to blurt out, people’s like marginalized identities. For anyone that doesn’t know, OCD attacks what you care about most. So, it felt so scary to me to have these thoughts of blurting out these obscenities to people. Some of the exposures that I would do, that my therapist had me do, was first like watching videos of people blurting out stuff. I had this fear that like, what if my brain just broke and I started blurting out stuff? So, she made me watch videos of people with brain damage and things like that. And then I wrote out a lot of scripts, writing out my feared outcome, listened to that 30 minutes a day over and over. And that was terrifying. And that I got from ERP School.

And then the other one, I think what helped the most was my therapist had me write out my feared outcome on sticky notes and put them all over my room. So, when I woke up in the morning, I was flooded with anxiety, just seeing all the intrusive thoughts all over my walls. If you would have walked into my room, not knowing I was in ERP and stuff, you would just think I was a total weirdo.

Kimberley: That’s commitment, right? You were so committed to your recovery. I’m so proud. That’s so cool.

Allyson: I just wanted to get it over with. They say this is going to work, so I’m going to trust these professionals. I know the science myself. I was just so motivated because living with OCD is harder than going through the treatment.

Kimberley: Yeah. So, I have a question, which I think is a question that my clients commonly ask, and you’ve gone through it, so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Often you are really into social justice. So I’m sure the idea of saying these words was horrible, right? It went so against your values. So, when you were doing the exposure, was it hard for you? Did that feel like you were going against your values to do the exposure? Or how did you manage that piece? Because I’ve had clients say or people from ERP School say like, “But I don’t like these words. I actually disagree with these words.” Maybe it might be a racist word or so forth, then that was really, really upsetting for them. And so, the idea of doing an exposure to something that they wholeheartedly do not value and in fact, they are disgusted by is really painful. So, how did you navigate that?

Allyson: Yes. Well, to answer your question, yes, that was very hard. And higher up in the exposure hierarchy, I actually had to write out the obscenities while I was talking to someone. So, I’d be like, let’s say, I’m talking to you right now, and then my exposure would be taken on a sticky note or on my phone, type out the word that my OCD is saying I should say. And it felt so opposite to my values. It felt so wrong on every single level. Even just remembering it, I’m going to get a sick feeling in my stomach. It does that disgust, that guilt, that anxiety. It’s so all-consuming. But I think I had to have blind faith and trust the process, as cliché as that sounds. Trust that this is supposed to habituate my brain and not I can tolerate it. So, yeah, it felt totally opposite. But then once it started getting better, meaning it started causing me less anxiety and less feelings of disgust, I started believing that like, “Oh, this is what I’m supposed to do.” And it was easier to keep going with it. But that first week was excruciating.

Kimberley: Yeah. I bet. I’m so grateful you did the work, but I’m sorry you had to go through that, right? It’s not easy. Yeah. And you’re right, and we share this all the time, is it does attack often the things you value. Moms have to do pedophilia exposures they are disgusted by, or the dad has to do harm. I’m not picking a gender for any reason, but just using those as examples of a dad who have to have harm exposures and have to expose himself to his own aggression. And these can be so painful. So, I love that you’re sharing-- particularly, I love that you’re sharing about the social justice piece because I’m seeing that a lot in my practice. Because of how aware we are now of making sure that we are politically correct, or even the Me Too movement, I think a lot of people are reporting anxiety about if they said something or if they touch somebody inappropriately. I think it’s becoming more and more prevalent.

Allyson: Absolutely. And that was something I really had to learn in therapy. There’s all these cognitive distortions with OCD and just like thinking errors, right? And one is that we are hyper responsible for everything we say and do, and that we have to say things perfectly, it’s very black and white. There’s no room for error. And that was a part where I had to accept that just like everyone, I’m imperfect. Sometimes I am going to have a thought that is not aligned with my values of social justice. But that doesn’t mean I’m bad. And it’s learning that that’s okay. I’m only human. It’s not my job to save the world.

Kimberley: Right. And that we can be imperfect, right?

Allyson: Right.

Kimberley: Yeah. I think that is so, so true. So, so beautiful. I’m so glad that you mentioned that. Okay. So, tell me a little bit about skills. Actually, I wouldn’t be totally happy as we go if you want to compare and contrast the skills you used in eating disorder treatment compared to OCD treatment, but what are some of the skills that you either learned through CBT School or ERP School and through your therapist? What were the skills that got you through the most?

Allyson: Yeah. So, I can tell you the top two that were the most impactful, because my compulsion is where mostly mental – learning not to ruminate and using mindfulness to do so, which you explained very well in ERP School. And so, basically, this is how I pictured in my head, is where let’s say, I’m talking to you and I’m starting to get intrusive thoughts that I’m going to blurt out something mean. I picture this little monster in my head, which is the OCD, and I just in my head and say, “Oh, okay, hi, you’re there.” Acknowledge it. But then come back to the present, like constantly refocusing my attention to the present. So, not trying to push it away, not trying to figure it out.

That was a huge game-changer for me because when you’re caught up in your thoughts trying to figure it out, then you’re totally removed from the present. I wouldn’t be able to focus on what you’re saying. But to learn like you can think four things at the same time. We do that all the time anyway. I could be thinking about my lunch right now and I’m still focused on you. So, learning that was huge. And I will say it wasn’t easy to learn though. In the beginning, I had to do it over and over. And then eventually, I feel like it’s like a muscle. Your brain gets more used to it. And now I can do it pretty easily. But it took me a while to get there.

And then the other one, it was one-upping my OCD, and you talk about that in ERP School. Also, I went to Chrissie Hodges’ Gamechangers event and Alegra Kastens was talking about one-upping and just giving examples of how she does it in her daily life. I started using that and just really standing up to my OCD.

So, for listeners, what that means is, let’s say I get an intrusive thought that I’m going to blurt out something really mean to Kimberley. What I would say to my OCD is, “You’re right. I am. I’m going to do it and it’s fine. I’m just going to do it. You’re right.” And just like, kind of what you would say to a bully, just rebel. And when you do it, standing in a really confident posture really helps me, just overpowering it. “You’re right. I’m going to blurt out today. I’m going to ruin my reputation. I’m going to go down in history as the worst person ever.” Just make it really dramatic.

Kimberley: Yeah. I love it. I do. I do. And I do agree with you on the posture piece, right? I think that power pose we take against OCD or fear can make OCD or the fear back down pretty quick. Not that it makes it go away, but it means you are in charge, not him.

Allyson: Exactly. Because OCD and anxiety and eating disorders make you feel really small and powerless. When we feel that way, our body reflects that. And then brain chemicals change that make us feel more like that. So when you change the bodily stance, yeah, it really does work.

Kimberley: So curious, did you have that fear about the podcast today?

Allyson: No, actually I didn’t. I mean, as we talk about it, the thoughts can come up, right? But I didn’t go into it that way, which is incredible.

Kimberley: Yeah. Would you agree that had you not gone through your own exposure and response prevention, this setting would be something that would be triggering or is it more just face to face with people in your daily lifestyle?

Allyson: It totally would have been triggering. Yeah. Because it’s any situation that’s a bit anxiety-provoking or that’s really important to me. So, this is very important to me, right? Or talking to people in my life that are super important. It would come up in those moments. Or with the pandemic, I hadn’t seen family for a long time. Then when I finally saw them, I was a little bit anxious and I had these thoughts towards them. So, it’s any situation where I feel anxious and sometimes OCD feels like it could be completely random.

Kimberley: Right. Oh, it’s so good. I like it. I just cannot tell you how rewarding it is just to hear you say. I just love when someone will say like, “Oh, I didn’t know I had OCD,” until they found ERP School or something or a podcast or something. So, I just love that information is getting out there. Before we finish up, is there anything that you really want the listeners to know? I know you’ve already outlined these main key points, but is there anything that maybe we’ve missed or you want to reinforce a message that’s really important for you that they would hear?

Allyson: Yeah, absolutely. I think just reflecting on the different journeys of anorexia recovery and OCD recovery, I will say that it is so important to learn that you can tolerate discomfort and anxiety because in anorexia recovery, there was so much focus on coping skills that I use so much distraction and reassurance and then all the compulsion to deal with recovery that I think if I had learned, that you can just tolerate anxiety, you can have a good day with anxiety, that would have prevented so much pain, mental pain. Because now when I get anxious, I’m like, “All right, I’m going to go to work just today, I guess,” or “All right, I’m going to do this anxious,” but it doesn’t automatically mean your day is going to be terrible. And that’s what OCD, anxiety, those disorders all try to make you feel that way. And it’s so empowering to know you can do this. Yeah. You can be an anxious mess and still have a great podcast.

Kimberley: 1000%. I love that message so much. I could just keep going. I’m actually really, so I’m going to, of course, give you a chance to share about where people can find you. But all I want to hear is I love hearing the contrast between the eating disorder and the OCD treatment. I think that that’s something we’re not talking about enough. We should propose a conference talk or something on that because I think it’s so important for people to understand those differences and why they’re so important and how ERP can actually work for eating disorders as well. So, so cool. Tell us where people can hear more from you. I know you have your own podcast. Tell us all the things.

Allyson: Yeah. So you can find me on my podcast. It’s just called Body Justice. It’s all about social justice, eating disorders, anxiety, all of that. And then on my Instagram @bodyjustice.therapist, and then my website, www.allysonfordcounselingservices.com. And on TikTok too, @bodyjusticetherapist. I’m getting into it.

Kimberley: I can’t get into TikTok, but I will watch and learn from you.

Allyson: It took me a while, but now I’m like, this is a bit easier than Instagram.

Kimberley: Oh, is it?

Allyson: Yeah.

Kimberley: Well, I really am so grateful for you. Number one, I’m so grateful that you’re out now as a clinician, training other people how to do this, which makes me so happy. We need more OCD therapists. So, that makes me so happy. But I’m also just grateful that you’re here to share this story. I think it’s so important that people hear your story and, yeah, I’m just so happy.

Allyson: Yes. I’m so grateful too, Kimberley. You’ve been huge in my journey to recovery from OCD. So, super grateful to talk to you today.

Kimberley: I’m so happy to hear that. We’ll be hearing more from you in the future. It sounds like you’ve got some amazing things to share. So, keep up the good work.

Allyson: Absolutely. Thank you.

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.

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