ANXIETY / OCD

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

Life in the San Francisco Bay Area can be stressful. Some of us go along, facing life’s challenges just fine, and then – suddenly – we might move through a phase in our lives that is particularly overwhelming. Perhaps there was a major life transition. Perhaps there have been a series of stressors. Or perhaps the feeling of anxiety has been slowly building over a period of time. 

Whatever the cause, mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (M-CBT and ACT) can be helpful.  With a non-judgmental attitude as our foundation, our therapists can help you begin to identify the triggers, along with the automatic thoughts / thinking mistakes / common cognitive distortions that tend to amplify the anxiety. Then, we can work together to re-frame the cognitive distortions to establish more helpful thought patterns, shifting the neural pathways towards mental health and wellness.

We can also explore these coping strategies:

  •      Externalize the anxiety
  •      Predict when the anxiety will come
  •      Talk back to the anxiety
  •      Practice RAIN: Recognize, Accept, Inquire, Nurture
  •      Practice self-compassion (3 steps)

If you are struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), we can also explore Exposure-Response Prevention (ERP) – an evidenced-based treatment for OCD. We can create a desensitization protocol together, and role play successive approximations to the feared experience to practice response prevention.

For all anxiety-related issues, it can be helpful to explore Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing(EMDR) as part of the treatment plan, to process the anxiety on a neural level, and address any underlying trauma that might be at the root of the anxiety.