I love my therapist. She is so awesome. I keep getting recommendations from her of things that I should learn a little more about. Please share and post anything that has been helpful to you in understanding OCD or related issues.
Resources to share: I love my therapist... - My OCD Community
Carol Dweck and the fixed mindset versus the growth mindset:
There is plenty more out there on the topic, including the book that she wrote.
The OCD Stories podcast. I would especially check out these podcasts that Stu recommends:
Any with Dr Steven Phillipson - theocdstories.com/podcast/d...
Dr Reid Wilson - theocdstories.com/podcast/d...
Dr Jon Grayson - theocdstories.com/podcast/d...
Dr Jon Abramowitz - theocdstories.com/podcast/d...
Kim Quinlan - theocdstories.com/podcast/k...
Ethan Smith - theocdstories.com/podcast/e...
The episodes with people that have dealt with OCD can be particularly inspiring as well.
Sleep and dealing with insomnia:
Hi Selesnya - I will check all of these out when I have a little more time. Thank you so much for sharing these.
Freedom From Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by Jonathan Grayson is a great workbook as well as Getting Over OCD by Jonathan Abramowitz. Also Chrissie Hodges on YouTube is a great peer support specialist who has OCD and is very relatable -- full of tips/info. 🙂
This is great thanks for this guys. I will research them and share with my son as needed. He is doing pretty well in therapy thank God. Stay strong guys!!
Everyday Mindfulness for OCD by Jon Hershfield
A slightly different focus, but this helps set the stage for why you want to examine what your values are and focus on them as a means to living well instead of being distracted by the pull of OCD and immediate concerns:
I think that this goes well with The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety:
Great idea! It's more uplifting to look for positive ideas for function. Thank-you.
Stuart Ralph of The OCD Stories has an exceptional podcast up this week where he talks with Dr. Chad Brandt, primarily about the Bergen method of OCD treatment. I don't know how to link to the specific episode, so look for episode 178:
I think that this episode finally got it through my head how I need to approach exposures for it to be life-changing and really combat OCD. Bring it on!
Is Fred in the Refrigerator, by Shala Nicely.
Is Fred in the Refrigerator is a powerful book with a strong message of hope in the face of dealing with the difficulties of OCD. I wish that I could figure out how I feel about the messages. On the one hand, this is the best, in-depth, excruciating description that I know of that describes the monster in our heads when we are dealing with OCD. The monster is never short on dangers to watch out for, suggestions on how to avoid terrible consequences, or just being intrusive and persistent in an unrelenting fashion as new situations arise. Shala gets this and conveys the life-destroying implications of OCD in a way that I completely identify with, even if my obsessions and compulsions are not ones that Shala describes. If I ever need to raise someone’s awareness of what OCD is like, this is the book that I’m going to go to. The descriptions of the OCD attacks are vivid and fear-inducing. I feel like I don’t have to look for words to describe my own OCD experiences because Shala lays out her scenes so intimately and with such attention to detail. She explains what is happening in a situation, runs through the thoughts in her head and her attempts to control her reactions in beautiful, relatable detail. The first two-thirds of the book provides comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our struggles with OCD. Others have dealt with similar things to what we are going through, and it is possible to heal and improve from our current level of functioning with OCD.
Next, Shala goes into detail on ERP and approaches her anxiety and fear of uncertainty head-on. I find this attempt to deal with ERP and exposures as both providing hope and at the same time sowing doubts about my own possibility of recovery. Shala attacks OCD unrelentingly and with an assuredness that I cannot muster. You watch her stand up to the OCD monster and refuse to play the game. After attending an IOCDF conference and a weekend intensive ERP boot-camp, Shala gets how to attack OCD and goes after it whole-heartedly. The results are dramatic as ERP provides the tools to go after OCD. I take some comfort in knowing that Shala was at the head of her class in actually playing the ERP game of challenging OCD. Personally, I’ve been in therapy for about a year with someone that knows ERP, and while I have made dramatic progress in some areas of OCD, there are other aspects of my OCD that feel almost as daunting now as they did a year ago. How can I get Shala’s attitude toward OCD and make that transformation to stop cowering before anxiety and uncertainty myself? I feel that progress is possible, but it seems like it is going to be a slow process. Having already dealt with new areas of OCD attacking my thoughts, how am I going to be able to keep fighting this monster on all of the fronts that this battle requires? To what extent are Shala’s attitude and results hard to replicate, and how possible is it to start gaining ground in this battle against OCD?
Having finished Is Fred in the Refrigerator I am now starting on Everyday Mindfulness for OCD. I’m not very far into the book yet, but this seems to be the perfect follow-up book. If it can deliver what it promises, and can teach me the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, then maybe I have some hope in battling OCD. Is Fred in the Refrigeration can provide the inspiration, but Everyday Mindfulness for OCD seems like it is going to step through the details on how to actually make the changes that I need to combat OCD.
Everyday Mindfulness for OCD by Jon Hershfield and Shala Nicely
This is the book that I needed at the time that I needed it. This book is not a good introduction to convince you that ERP is the way to treat OCD or help define what OCD is and what it looks like, but it shows you how to do ERP and how to try to change your mindset to get the most out of ERP. The IOCDF has a document that I have found very helpful that details how to get the most out of therapy and ERP, but this book is a huge expansion on these exact some topics. The book addresses my objections and questions about ERP, and as an example walks through how meditation is helpful to approach ERP. I’ve heard of mindfulness and meditation as good for OCD, but I’ve never had it explained so explicitly why they are helpful in approaching ERP. Talking about how your meditation process of gently bringing yourself back to your breath is analogous to how you should approach any lapses in ERP. Be gentle and understanding with your lapses as you work on your ERP and treat yourself as you would when you are doing meditation. In meditation a wandering mind is a given and it is accepted that for 100% of meditation sessions you will have to do gently refocus your attention. Treat yourself the same way with ERP.
Despite the title, there is a large focus on self-compassion as well. This is a hugely relevant topic after living with OCD for 32 years before getting treatment with ERP. My self-compassion and self talk is about where one would expect after years of beating myself down. I need the explicit directions on how to talk to myself with understanding and compassion. Properly focusing on self-compassion, meditation and mindfulness is hopefully enough to give me a better chance to succeed with ERP from this point forward than the success that I have had in the past.
This is a book that I am going to carry with me for the coming months and I expect that I will read through it four or five times as I seek to implement the ideas that are presented here.
This isn't to recommend a specific resource, but rather a method to go about finding other resources.
Go listen to podcasts!
There are so many podcasts out there, including from shows that are no longer active, but that doesn't mean that the content isn't sometimes just incredible. I have been getting recommendations on books to read on various non-OCD topics, and simply searching for podcasts interviewing the authors of the books has been amazing. Search for the author's name or the book title and you will probably find a number of relevant hits.
As an example, I have been looking into marriage therapy approaches. OCD has had significant side effects and has done a fantastic job of building a wall between me and my wife and trying to break down our bond to each other. Searching for interviews with Dr. Sue Johnson, author of Hold Me Tight and Love Sense, has already given me the insight that I need to start seeing all of the harmful effects that OCD has had on our relationship. If the core of a relationship is asking the question "Will you be there for me?", then OCD has been convincing my wife that I will not be there for her. Being able to talk about this, our feelings on the topic, and exploring what has been holding us back from emotionally bonding to each other, this is all going to be crucial in mending our relationship.
There are lots of podcasts out there either by psychologists and therapists, or talking to psychologists and therapists. Take advantage of them!
Just so that I recommend some specific resources for others who may need some relationship help, check these out: