The what, where, why, when, how of how I use ERP scripting (imaginal exposure) for OCD
Finding an OCD/ERP therapist is often not as easy and straightforward as one might hope, so here are the steps I recommend to help you find a therapist that's right for you.
Read one of the most popular blog posts I've ever written about the subtle compulsion of engaging in OCD-influenced emotions and how it can fuel the compulsive cycle.
Kimberley Quinlan, LMFT, and I discuss how to manage mental compulsions as part of her 6-part Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast series on managing mental compulsions.
If you’ve ever felt like you have trauma from having untreated OCD, you’re not alone...and here are some ways to fight back.
If the news sounds a bit too much like your OCD, read Positive News for "journalism that inspires."
Thinking about the compulsions you could do, aka "trying on" compulsions, IS an OCD compulsion, even if you don't do them!
If you've been engaging in self-indulgence when it comes to your OCD instead of self-compassion, a day of ERP might help you get back on track!
7 tools for managing health anxiety/OCD with exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. (And p.s. OCD doesn't have a medical degree!)
Learn how to use self-compassion to manage regret when it's riding on the coattails of shame.
Now is the time for the courage to hold space for the pain in the world, to look it in the eye, to say I am here—with you—and I won't turn away.
Regret is keeping some secrets from you, and the truth about this common emotion can help set you free.
Telling OCD it's irrelevant lets OCD know that you think it's important. Instead, act as though the OCD doesn't matter!
Kimberley Quinlan, LMFT, has graciously given me permission to publish an excerpt from one of my favorite parts of her amazing new book, The Self-Compassion Workbook for OCD: Lean into Your Fear, Manage Difficult Emotions & Focus On Recovery.
A recent study reported that “individuals with OCD demonstrate resilience to large-scale crises.” So if you have OCD, you're more resilient than you think!
Want to really poke your OCD? Try the Invisible Ink ERP Game!
If you have OCD or related disorders, you can use self-compassion to escape from the mental nursery of nonstop negativity.
OCD and your smartphone both send you notifications when they want you to so something, but marrying your attention to your intentions can keep you from getting lost in either the digital world or OCD hell.
So how exactly do I approach ERP (exposure and response prevention therapy) for OCD? I share the process and steps I use as well as the difference between proactive and reactive ERP.
Join Reid Wilson, PhD, Ethan Smith, and me to learn more about the attitude of OCD recovery for COVID and beyond!
Your younger self may have lessons to teach you about how NOT to get caught in the OCD cycle.
Having trouble motivating yourself? Try the simple yet effective "this before that" technique!
It's unfortunately all too easy to create our own suffering using the tried and true formula of Pain x Resistance = Suffering.
When you have OCD, you might not have had a lot of practice in demonstrating self-love. Knowing your love language can give you a starting point for how to best communicate kindness and compassion to yourself.
When life throws curveballs (as it’s been doing to all of us lately!), sometimes I need to either proactively or reactively remind my OCD that I can use scary content as a weapon just as easily as it can. This is when I do an exposure and response prevention (ERP) exercise I call shower scripting.
The pandemic has reinforced my OCD’s twisted, negative view of the world. As I've been working to identify what could help me strengthen the healthier worldview I gained through ERP, one activity has risen to the top: changing my intake of news and social media.
On July 14, 2020, I lost my soulmate. My 35-year-old Arabian horse, Speciale Lee, died in the ICU of the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital, with me by his side. As I’ve worked to process my grief, I’ve been thinking about all Lee taught me and is continuing to teach me even though he’s gone. Knowing I’m not alone in going through grief right now, as we’re all experiencing loss and grief due to the pandemic, I thought I would share lessons from my love and loss of Lee in hopes that they will bring you as much comfort and hope as they have given me.
Giving OCD credit for your strengths is making a deal with the devil. Here's why.
In this era of COVID-19, OCD is being misused ever more frequently, such as “I wish I had a little OCD” or “we need OCD now,” as if having a mental illness is an adaptive benefit that can protect people from becoming infected with coronavirus. As a person who has obsessive compulsive disorder, I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.
Borrowing from some cognitive-behavioral therapy tools for anxiety, in my new Psychology Today blog post, Respond Instead of React: Managing COVID-19 Anxiety, I share five ways we can learn to turn our anxious reactions into more useful responses, helping us and our loved ones cope well in this time of crisis.
My OCD has been extra riled up lately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so much so that I decided I needed to reestablish my authority over it. After writing my OCD a letter and reading it out loud, I felt empowered, and my OCD has been much quieter as a result.
If you have OCD and it’s acting up because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. But don’t let your self-critical voice or OCD get you down if you’re struggling right now. Instead, empower yourself by validating your experience, modifying your expectations, and self-compassionately accepting your OCD recovery efforts.
Because of the toll the current coronavirus situation could take on people with OCD, Reid Wilson, PhD; Kimberley Quinlan, LMFT; and I have developed the following tips for managing OCD fears about coronavirus. We hope they will help you feel empowered and supported, so that even in this uncertain time, you can keep OCD from running your life.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that the people who tame OCD most effectively are those who make three strategic shifts in their attitude toward not only exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, the evidence-based therapy for OCD, but to life itself. Read 3 Ways to Power Up Your OCD Therapy on my Psychology Today blog to learn what they do.
I’ve let fear make a fair number of decisions in my life. But no more. I put my shoulders back and do the things I want to do, acting like all the noise in my head is irrelevant. And you can, too!
Just because OCD gets lucky sometimes does NOT mean it's right, plus what we're really trying to prove with ERP therapy for OCD.
Have you ever thought about taking the same arrogant attitude with your OCD that it takes with you when you do ERP therapy? Watch this video to watch how I approached ERP with a new attitude that helped me turn my life around.
What's wrong with saying, "I'm so OCD"? The hypothesis is that when people who have untreated OCD hear other people misuse the name of their disorder, it discourages them from seeking treatment.
With practice, you can learn to transform your OCD triggers into opportunities where you can #faceyourfear and win.
Words have power, and changing "I have to" to "I want to" can be tremendously empowering.
In an effort to stop rushing around the way Emmy Rossum elegantly captures in her song “Slow Me Down," a little over a month ago I took both The Focus Course and The Margin Course. I wanted to learn how to make better progress on important projects with less racing around and more breathing room. Assignments in both courses asked me to identify distractions that interfered with my ability to focus. I came up with a list of 11 types, including email, my phone, my Fitbit, social media and even OCD...
Here are the questions submitted about my blog Interrupt OCD’s Mental Rituals with “May or May Not” (MOMN) and my answers.
Realistic expectations of recovery are so important for the well-being of people with OCD. Because if people with OCD have unrealistic expectations they cannot achieve, they are incredibly likely to beat themselves up, which hurts them and their recoveries. Read more on my Psychology Today Beyond the Doubt blog.
If you have trouble using Shoulders Back/Man in the Park because you keep transacting with your OCD in your mind, otherwise known as “mentally ritualizing” or what some call “pure-O,” read about an ERP technique that’s a bridge tool to help you develop the strength to do Shoulders Back/Man in the Park effectively.
Here are the questions submitted about my blog post Shoulders Back! The Man in the Park and my answers.
The man in the park metaphor is one I use all the time with clients to explain how to most effectively handle OCD.
I wrote a 5-part series for my Beyond the Doubt Psychology Today blog called The Best TED Talks for People with OCD, plus an additional post related to Part 4 about how to feel more connected to others.