Intrusive Thoughts

My question to my fellow therapists who treat women with OCD is this: “How can we teach women to whole heartedly love themselves, when a mind that creates negative, intrusive, and terrifying thoughts is such a large part of us?”  
The ability to be ourselves with clients makes it so much easier to connect, to be real about how challenging treatment is, and enlist their help to ensure that whatever the exposure is, its something they can tolerate, trust in, and most importantly, begin to experience relief from their intrusive thoughts and the compulsions that may dominate their lives. 
A thought is not a message about what is going to happen. Thoughts have nothing to do with character, which is a reflection of how you lead your life and what you choose to do. Believing even some of these myths can be responsible for ordinary intrusive thoughts becoming stuck. 
Anticipatory anxiety involves worry about—and the urge to avoid—not only anxiety or panic, but also disgust, anger, shame, regret, humiliation, becoming overwhelmed, or any other unwanted emotion. We think of anticipatory anxiety as a third layer of fear.

This blog was originally posted on Ten Percent Happier on April 22, 2022 and is reprinted here with permission

I’m a psychologist who treats OCD and Anxiety Disorders. When my patients get to a point in treatment when they shrug their shoulders and say to me, “Yeah, I had an intrusive thought, but ‘Whatever”, I know we have hit a home run.