You’re ready to change things.

A reader sent in this personal story of overcoming compulsions at a difficult time in his life. He’s now working on becoming a therapist:  I’m 26 years old and I’ve been struggling with my mental health ever since I was just a little kid. In December of 2017 my mother got the bad news that she only had a year to live due to her cancer coming back. My mental health, which was already very bad at the time just

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Is that old-school approach to CBT giving you a chronic problem?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has evolved and changed significantly over the years. CBT is a category of therapies that include cognitive and behavioral components. It’s a category in the same way that “cardio” is a category of exercise. What a person does within that category, can lead to profoundly different outcomes. And the exercises evolve over time–we find more effective ways to reach the outcomes we’re pursuing. Group fitness in 1988 looked like this: 30 years later, group fitness looks a

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Beliefs, judgments, desires, compulsions…

When we’re struggling with mental illness, it’s often the compulsions that get all of the focus, both when we’re trying to figure out what’s going on and when we’re getting treatment. Many disorders are defined only by the superficial characteristics of the compulsions they’re engaging in when they show up to get a diagnosis. But the coping, checking, and controlling compulsions we engage in are a tiny part of a much bigger system. If you don’t learn address the beliefs

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Getting back to normal after mental illness. (video)

I often hear people talking about “normal” and wanting things to be the way they used to be before they got diagnosed with a mental illness. But normal and the way things used to be is what led to the way things are. Being normal is a lot like sitting in a psychologist’s waiting room–it’s something you do before you get a diagnosis. Instead of going back to “normal”, go to a completely different place, a much, much healthier place:

Motivation to beat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Doing behavioral therapies like Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are tough. And to be successful at those you need to do a lot of other tough things like eat well and exercise and communicate better. Taking care of your mental and physical health takes a lot of work and, unfortunately, there’s this very persistent myth that in order to do lots of hard work, you have to be “motivated”. But chasing motivation and waiting for

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