b. Foundational Concepts

Intentional Practice – Part I

You’re wondering if you are doing ERP correctly and if it will make you better. Great question. There’s a lot to discuss, so we’ll break this up over the next several weeks.  ERP stands for exposure and response prevention. It is a cognitive behavioral treatment technique. Anxiety is created, maintained, and intensified by experiential avoidance. …

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Intolerance of uncertainty and exposure to uncertainty as an opportunity

I described the nature of intolerance of uncertainty in my last post. Let’s talk more about shifting your interpretation of uncertainty to opportunity, rather than fear. When you’re feeling very anxious, it’s normal to attend to your anxious sensations, uncomfortable feelings, and catastrophic thoughts over everything else. You are not being selfish or going crazy. The …

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The role of intolerance of uncertainty in all anxiety disorders

Intolerance of uncertainty is the tendency to react negatively on an emotional, cognitive, and behavioral level to uncertain situations and events. There are two beliefs that maintain Intolerance of Uncertainty 1) Uncertainty has negative behavioral implications for me and means something bad. 2) Uncertainty is unfair and spoils everything. I shouldn’t feel uncertain. There are …

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Clinical perfectionism: a problem of strategy, not outcome

Clinical perfectionism is a problem of strategy, not outcome. Perfectionists have high standards and expectations for themselves and others. This value can be a strength, as long as perfectionistic strategies aren’t compulsively used to control thoughts and feelings. Adaptive perfectionism is a healthy, ego-syntonic way of approaching tasks that leads to a good outcome. Clinical perfectionism …

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Clinical perfectionism

Let’s come back to the concept of clinical perfectionism as a problem of strategy, not outcome. We’re not challenging your high standards and desire to do a great job. We’re challenging the strategies your mind uses to achieve your goals. Perfectionism shifts from being workable and effective to unworkable and ineffective when: You prioritize achieving a …

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Fear of positive evaluation and the imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome occurs when there is a discrepancy between your performance and your beliefs about your performance. I differentiate between two types of imposter syndrome: anxiety-driven imposter syndrome and developmental imposter syndrome. Anxiety-driven imposter syndrome occurs when you have the skills to perform at the level that is expected of you, but you feel anxious about …

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