The Difference Between Pain & Suffering

One of the most impactful things I’ve learned since my divorce is the Buddhist distinction between pain and suffering. Basically, they believe pain is inevitable and suffering is optional. At first, I was like WTF?  (I was, after all, recently divorced. My pain was front and center, and suffering didn’t feel optional.) But, as time...

5 Tips to Make Online Dating Easier

Dating. Now there’s a word that can strike dread into the hearts of many. Online dating. Does that amplify the dread? For many, it does, especially if you’re old enough to remember the pre-internet days. For most of us, searching for a partner is inherently nerve-wracking. I mean the vulnerability and uncertainty are palpable. Technology...

How Do I Set External Boundaries?

We’ve talked about setting internal boundaries, or as I like to say, keeping our brain on a shortened leash. Now, because I know you’re going to ask … let’s talk about setting external boundaries. When I talk to people about setting boundaries with other people, there’s the typical refrain: “I know I should, but I...

5 Tips to Set Internal Boundaries

Recently, we talked about willingness being the secret sauce to learning how to feel and tolerate discomfort. There’s great benefit to accepting reality, exactly as it is in this moment, even if you don’t like it. Now, I want to dive a little deeper. This is for those of us who sometimes find it really...

Harness the Power of Willingness

Ever since the OCD conference last month, I’ve been thinking so much about the idea of willingness. it’s not a new concept for me, but something Dr. Jonathan Abramowitz said landed perfectly. He said “we’re going to use exposures to get better at having anxiety.” For anyone who hasn’t been reading my posts, an exposure...

Treat Anxiety like a Workout

I recently discovered my gym’s VersaClimber classes. Within 5 minutes, I feel like I’m climbing Mount Everest without oxygen in the middle of summer, with no end in sight. A 30-minute class can feel like hours. Today, as beads of sweat tricked down my face, I asked myself, “why am I subjecting myself to this?”...

Thoughts: What Can You Control?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could control our worries? Sometimes. But all is not lost. Worry is a temporary feeling just like joy or anger, and it, too, serves a purpose. While we can’t control the initial thoughts that may have evoked the worry, we can control how we respond to the thoughts. The...

Stop Fighting Your Anxiety

I just came back from the Annual OCD Conference in Austin. Something I kept hearing over and over again was anxiety and fear tolerance over anxiety and fear reduction. As a therapist specializing in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and anxiety, this notion is something I know and impart often. But the conference speakers...

Why We Need to Be Brave

Someone asked me recently to define my professional goal. The first thought that popped into my head was to be FEARLESS! (cue Superman theme song) But that’s not possible, really. I’m human, and fear is part of the human condition. As I tell my clients, my kids, and myself — it’s about being scared and...