This is a Piece That Many Therapists Miss

by | Jun 7, 2020 | Anxiety | 59 comments

“Our minds work very hard to make something out of nothing. We can perceive silence as rejection in an instant, and then build a cold castle on that tiny imagined brick. They only release from the tensions we weave around nothing is to remain a creature of the heart. By giving voice to the river of feelings as they flow through and through, we can stay clear and open.” – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Readers often ask me, “You talk about relationship anxiety. Is it the same as ROCD?” Or if the conversation centers around generalized intrusive thoughts I’ll often hear, “I have Pure-O. Is that the same as intrusive thoughts?” Psychology likes to package up a collection of symptoms and give it name which we call a diagnosis, and for some people this can be helpful.

What we must understand, however, is that the diagnosis is only important if it leads to effective treatment, and, sadly, many people do not find effective treatment for their “OCD” in many therapists’ offices. In fact, I’ll often receive emails from therapists themselves who have been fully trained in various modalities and are still struggling with their own intrusive thoughts.

What’s happening here?

What’s happening is that most graduate schools for psychology focus on a top-down approach for healing, which currently is CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). CBT teaches you to change your unhelpful thinking patterns (Cognitive) and practice new Behaviors in the hopes of creating more confidence. I want to be clear that I have no problem with CBT and I know it has helped many people. I’ve also quite aware of its limitations, which is what I’ll be addressing here.

Dr. Lionel Corbett, a long-time professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute (Dr. Corbett was a professor of mine in 1996), speaks to the limitations in this video. He says:

Everyone who comes to psychotherapy is suffering, and we can never fully understand suffering scientifically using quantitative, empirical methods. The human being is too complicated for this kind of simplistic, empirical approach. Many of the problems we see in psychotherapy, much of the suffering we try to alleviate, requires a response that can only emerge from the fundamental humanity of the therapeutic couple, from an understanding of the complexities of relationships, and from an appreciation for the depth of the soul… The attempt to squeeze the practice of psychotherapy into a scientific model I think is a defense against the difficulty of working with severe emotional pain, for which there is no obvious remediation.”

Read that paragraph again, and then watch Dr. Corbett delivering these words himself in the video.

What I’ve bolded above aligns with the quote with which I began this post. Do you see the connection? Before I give it to you, read both of these passages again and see if you can determine the link for yourself.

Here’s the key that’s missing from many therapeutic modalities and from many therapist’s approach:

 

We try to bypass the realm of the heart.

 

Mainstream psychotherapy believes that we can heal intrusive thoughts and other obsessive tendencies by plugging into a “scientifically validated model” without attending to the realms of the heart, the body, and the soul. Both Mark Nepo, a poet, and Dr. Corbett, an analyst-poet, are saying the same thing, which is that we heal at the level of the heart.

As intrusive thoughts are the mind’s attempt to bypass the pain of the heart, we must follow the breadcrumbs of the symptom back to the original source, which is the pain we’re trying to avoid because we learned early in life that we couldn’t handle it. Sadly, many therapists haven’t done their inner emotional work and are still operating under the assumption that pain can be managed away. This is what they teach to their clients, and this is why CBT is often a band-aid approach.

Furthermore, CBT posits that it can cure you of your symptoms in ten sessions (that’s the number of sessions that many insurance companies will allow). This is preposterous. While CBT can certainly teach you some tools for working with your thoughts (again, that’s the C of CBT) and educate you about the link between thoughts and behavior, because it fails to include the unconscious in its framework and understanding of the human psyche, it falls terribly short in terms of approaching human suffering through a holistic lens. CBT cannot address the full complexity of the human psyche because no approach can. But the depth psychological approach in its reverence for the mystery recognizes that the unconscious is far too vast to presuppose a “10-session cure”, and with humility at its starting point we open ourselves to be guided by the clients’ own wisdom, which is far superior than any therapists’ or therapeutic model.

As Dr. Corbett expresses above, true healing must occur within the safety and connection of a loving therapeutic relationship. We are not lab mice that can be systematically programmed out of our unwanted thoughts and behaviors. There is no formula we can plug a client into and expect them to be healed in ten sessions. As many of our ruptures occurred in relationship, they need to be healed in relationship – “ from the fundamental humanity of the therapeutic couple”. This recognition of the healing power of the relationship itself is another massive oversight in the CBT model.

Here are the bottom lines:

We must be willing to feel if we’re going to heal.

We must be wiling to address the protective beliefs we have around feeling the depth of our emotional pain

We must recognize that intrusive thoughts are also metaphors, which speaks to the realm of soul that is so central to the work of Jungians.

If we bypass the realm of the heart and soul, we’re bypassing both the mystery and richness of being human, the poetic nature of what it is to be alive, in these bodies, with these ephemeral souls that link to other times and to other realm.

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59 Comments

  1. This is one of the most important “emails” of our time. My therapist told me she was unable to help me after CBT did not “fix” my OCD and I felt like the most severe patient in the world. Then before going inpatient I miraculously met a social worker who did phone therapy with me 4 nights a week and we dealt with the “heart” issues….she said we dealt with the OCD by going through the “back door” and by unraveling why it was so important for me to “hold on tight to that OCD” since it actually is a defense mechanism. With my social worker, some peer support and the right meds I was able to avoid brain surgery (which a doctor suggested) and now I’m able to do the things I never would have imagined (like walk into a new restaurant I’ve never been to and order something I ‘didn’t trust’ wouldn’t make me sick like chicken or fish if it wasn’t cooked right). It took me a long time to get better but getting to the heart of the matter is exactly what therapists for OCD miss and I’m willing to be a cast study moving forward. Jen Roy

    Reply
    • What a true blessing that you found your way to the right support, and I’m stunned that brain surgery was ever suggested. The social worker hit the nail on the head with her recognition that the OCD is a defense mechanism. I wish more people in the healing professions understood this.

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      • I’m so glad you got that, but also heart broken that they would say something like that in the first place.

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    • “willing to be a case study moving forward” – I think this is a very important statement. So much of OCD is to do with self-trust, and it is wonderful that you seem to have gained that!

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  2. I love this article.

    It wasn’t until doing my own inner work after being broken open by anxiety during university that I realised that so much of the work we do on mental health wards is often misguided.
    I work in an acute mental health hospital, and we are seeing more people admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of anxiety and/or depression, often off the back of very real, difficult life transitions across the spectrum.

    As much as I will advocate for people if they wish to use medication to alleviate very intense symptoms, working on a male ward, I know it is often seen as a means to eradicate those symptoms completely.
    And If I’m honest, I feel that a large part of this is due to the belief that men can’t learn to feel their feelings, or even “shouldn’t” feel negative feeling for too long when experiencing challenging life events or situations. And then the person is left stumped as to why the medication “hasn’t worked”.
    I try my best as a nurse to normalise what these people are going through (and I’ve never seen a nurse I work with not do this), but I feel sometimes this work gets lost when it reaches doctor level, whom I think sometimes feel they need to solve the problem as quickly as possible.

    I’m not entirely sure what the answer is here.

    But I do wish more therapy was readily available via the NHS that was funded. I think that’s where the investment needs to be for adults who are struggling. The ones that are funded are limited and have extensive waiting lists. Which makes me sad.

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    • Thank you for your deeply thoughtful reply, and how very lucky those men are to have you in their midst.

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  3. Awesome!!! I am more than grateful for this work and for you!!

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  4. Hi, Sheryl!
    I very recently had a coaching call with you. It unlocked so much that had been just out of reach. Since the call I’ve been journaling everyday, and honestly, it’s now something I look forward to. I’m less stuck in my head, and am able to actually begin to feel what my intrusive thoughts had been perfecting me from. I know it’s only been a short time and there’s so much more to do, but I’m just so grateful for the huge shift that’s already taking place.
    In addition, I was able to talk to my partner about my needs, and he was more than willing to not only hear me and make space for my feelings, but also work with me to find a (somewhat unconventional) solution. We’re both sacrificing, but I no longer feel the weight of denying my emotions.
    I feel lighter, and more genuinely happy and hopeful, than I have in ages. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so very very much.

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    • This is so, so good to hear. Thank you for the update!

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  5. This puts into words what I couldn’t express about my old therapist. I KNEW there was a difference between your approach and theirs and that they didn’t quite “get” what was going on with me in my relationship anxiety experience. This explains that gap in understanding. Thank you, Sheryl!

    Continuing in this vein, I think we see something similar unfolding in the medical realm of academia. Students are taught to approach the healing the body in a completely and exclusively “peer reviewed” and “scientific” way, following pharmaceutical regimens much like therapists are following the cookie cutter “10-step” CBT programs. There is little to no concern for the individuality of each body and the complexity of the body/mind/soul connections and how they affect one another. My hunch is that, in many cases, the increasingly trusted pill popping methods are actually doing more harm than good because we don’t have respect for this complexity!

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    • Thank you for sharing this, and yes, we do see a similar mindset in the Western medical realm.

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  6. Yes to every word! Thank you from a therapist ❤️

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  7. Thankyou for this! As a social worker trained in psychodynamic therapy I sometimes doubt myself because I don’t use “evidence based therapies”. I hated CBT as a patient but loved DBT as it helped me learn how to cope with my feeling.

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    • Yes, keep trusting yourself. There are so many effective modalities available today!

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  8. Reading this felt like taking a deep relaxing breath.Thank you!

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  9. “We must be willing to feel if we’re going to heal.”

    This is the part I’m struggling with most right now.

    My husband of 5.5 years is out of work, again, for the 6th time in our marriage. He has been fired each time.

    I completed your wedding anxiety e-course while we were engaged, as I was dealing with severe relationship anxiety. I ultimately made it to the wedding intact, but here we are, an ADHD diagnosis (his) and two kids later, and I’m back to the old intrusive thoughts. But this time they’re more REAL. You discussed red lines often in the e-course, but none of the red lines included constant instability. Obviously life includes ups and downs and you want to pick a partner with whom you’re ready to encounter both. But after so many failed jobs, I’m struggling to see any light at the end of the tunnel. The jobless pattern has taken a huge toll on us both as individuals and also as a couple, and my anxiety about being with someone who makes me feel safe has reared its ugly head big time. How is this life safe, just because I’m physically safe? When I never know how long we’ll have a double income for, and when I’ll go back to being the only income? This has enormous implications for our current financial situation but also for retirement… He’s missed out on so many potential payments by being out of work. Our current situation is likely going to be felt for decades to come.

    I want us to heal, but I’m afraid to feel. It’s simpler to put up the familiar wall, and carry on with a brave face for his sake, while he searches for work again.

    How can I open myself up to truly feel when I’m the anchor, and opening up means falling apart?

    Reply
    • You’re describing very common marriage challenges that would arise with any partner – not necessarily in this form but in one way or another. If it’s at all possible I encourage you to consider couples therapy so that you can soften your walls together and address what’s at the core of the conflict, which probably has very little to do with his work situation. EFT is the model that I highly recommend, and you can learn more and find a couples therapist here:

      https://iceeft.com/what-is-eft/

      Reply
  10. Thank you for this! My anxiety has gone up in the past few months, and I’ve felt a big spike in the past two weeks. I appreciate reminders of the importance of approaching wellness and anxiety in a holistic way. Thank you, Sheryl, for making me more eager to explore analytical psychology. It connects to much of what already resonates with me. I really, really doubt that all this that I’ve carried for most of my life could be ‘solved’ within 10 sessions. I rather hear that it will be a long process, and yet one that will really help me see the root of things.

    I’m a member of the Break Free From Relationship Anxiety Course, and it has been such a blessing to have. This is the most I’ve felt seen and understood in my anxiety. What a relief!

    I’ve been moving a bit slow with it, but my recent uptick in anxiety is pushing me to be a lot more intentional (and brave) this week. I know I need it.

    Thank you very much for your work!

    Reply
    • Sending you love and courage as you continue to be intentional and brave on your inner journey!

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  11. Sheryl, if you are interested in becoming a therapist yourself, how do you find schools that understand psychotherapy and healing as you do? Do schools literally have programs with emphases in Jungian psychology? Just wondering where folks actually learn this stuff! (And which schools don’t teach it!)

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    • Pacifica Graduate Institute is the only graduate school I’m aware of that focuses on Depth Psychology, but I imagine there are others that incorporate it into their curriculum,

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  12. Hi Sheryl! I’ve recently been having intrusive thoughts about taking my own life and/or leaving my marriage. I know that deep within those intrusive thoughts are a desire to “escape” my pain. I don’t trust myself to be able to survive it, so I’d rather bypass it all together. I want the pain to stop. I’ve tried multiple methods suggested by you, but the pain keeps returning. I’m not sure how to make what I’ve learned “stick.”

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    • Hi Erin, you are not alone with these thoughts. I really resonated when you said “I don’t trust myself to be able to survive it”. I have been feeling this same thing about my emotional pain and fear of death/loss/change. One thing that helped me today was to think about the life I have not lived yet. Who am I to give up on the person I could become? Who am I to give up when there’s still so much to see unfold? We don’t know what comes in the future but we can hold onto hope that there is more to us than what we see today. There’s more to see and experience and there’s always more to learn. Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for the future is what I keep reminding myself. I’m with you in this Erin <3

      Reply
    • When you say you’ve tried multiple methods, can you be more specific? How are you working directly and daily with this intrusive thought to unpack it?

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      • I’ve worked on making room for spiritual practices: doing dream work and journaling to set intentions when I wake up and before bed. Mostly just working to accept and acknowledge that these thoughts are my brain’s way of trying to escape. I also meet regularly with a therapist who understands that intrusive thoughts work this way. She helps me appreciate the wisdom that my anxiety carries. This week, I’ve actually decided to take a long hiatus from social media (because I could not absorb all of the news, opinions, and toxicity coming from it). I think that was the piece I was missing. This, coupled with my journaling has actually helped everything “stick” better. Thank you for your teachings! They have helped so much.

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  13. Hi have pure ocd and receiving that diagnosis last October was the most helpful thing that I’ve ever encountered for my healing over the years. I now have two therapists – one I see for EMDR and emotional work. And the other is an ocd specialist with whom I exclusively do Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). While I agree that emotional work is essential for all healing, ERP is the ONLY thing that has worked for my ocd recovery over the last 12 years of therapists, courses, blogs, spiritual pursuits and other self help methods. I believe the middle way is the best approach – not denying the usefulness of diagnoses and science-based treatments, but not relying on them exclusively for holistic healing. And ocd specialists are few and far between so most therapists don’t know how to work effectively with ocd – in my experience.

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    • Thank you for sharing your experience, and I’m so glad you’ve found therapists and modalities that are working for you.

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    • Holly, this has been my experience as well. My intrusive thoughts only healed when I followed the model prescribed by OCD specialists (ERP), but I’ve found value in tending to the emotional side as well. I agree that I don’t think it’s an either/or situation.

      Reply
  14. This makes all the sense in the world. I’ve really been working hard to look deeper into some of my thoughts in the last 48 hours, since I had to put my beloved dog down so suddenly. Sometimes I struggle with the parts that say “we learned early in life that we couldn’t handle it”, because my growing up centered around that feelings were okay. Although, in hindsight, I didn’t get that from everybody all the time. But it’s only in the last 2 1/2 years, after a few pretty traumatic experiences, that my brain seems to feel the need to protect myself from feeling. Anyway, I’m really trying to find my way back to dwelling in the feeling realm.

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    • I’m so sorry for the loss of your dog, and I urge you to trust that you can absolutely handle the grief that arises.

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    • Hi Riley I’m not sure if this is helpful in what you are dealing with, but I just wanted you to know that I too have struggled with the idea of learning in early life that we couldn’t handle it. I grew up in a very emotionally safe childhood with no obvious traumas or wounds that were caused by caregivers, and that often has made it hard for me to figure out how Sheryl’s work applies to me.

      What I’ve recently resonated with (both in working on my relationship anxiety issues and looking at how my teenagers have handled some emotional challenges) is the idea that even if we felt safe and free to express whatever we are feeling as children, we still might have made choices to cope with vulnerable feelings that came up that were not necessarily the most “evolved” response to dealing with them. So, for example, what I’ve come to realize is that what I did as a child who felt very vulnerable and shy in groups, especially as I entered kindergarten and formal schooling, was to use my ability to academically achieve and therefore be the “good student” in school to cover up those insecurities. Essentially looking to the external to make me feel safe. And by doing that, I essentially covered up lots of vulnerabilities that I was unaware of until my 20s.

      It wasn’t until I got into law school and the working world where grades where A’s were not so easily achieved (and I got engaged) that those vulnerabilities really came into full flower, reflected in awful relationship anxiety.

      I’d be interested to hear Sheryl’s reflection on this idea of childhood “wounding”- perhaps it might help others who are otherwise really drawn to her work and reflections.

      Reply
  15. Hi Sheryl!
    After going through the course and continuing the inner work I’ve still found myself stuck on the issue of my relationship not being fun enough. I feel terrible for feeling bored sometimes and even like it’s an obligation some days but I’ve continued to fight because I really do love his heart. I’m nervous this is something other than relationship anxiety and I can’t tell if this is normal or not……

    Reply
    • The course is not a quick fix, and as I recall you’ve only had it for about a month so you’re just at the starting gates! Going through the course material is the first step. Now it’s time to do the work, which means looking at your projections and asking what they’re pointing to inside of you that needs attention, then learning to journal daily with the different parts of yourself that are being called up. None of this is fast or easy, and I hear from your comment that you’re still believing your intrusive thoughts which means you’re still adding logs to your fear fire. You’ll get this, E, but it does take time.

      Reply
  16. Thank you so much for this Sheryl. Although I was a client of yours for more than a year, and am now a qualified psychologist myself, I still benefit enormously from these weekly reminders from you of what is true in the work of healing.

    I hope one day – before too long – you will develop a professional development program for therapists. I would be there in a heartbeat.

    Thank you for you.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Clara ;). It’s always a joy to hear from you. One day I will create that professional development program for therapists, and thank you for the encouragement. Your gratitude and love always bring a smile to my soul. Sending love to all of you.

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  17. I have been in psychoanalysis for the last four years with a genius analyst, and in that time I have achieved amazing things with my career and my marriage, despite my ROCD. I deplore the fact that this approach is so widely condemned among certain professionals, and that CBT/ERP is seen by so may as the ONLY way to go. We do work on ‘exposure’ in therapy – the exposure to my life, my heart and my mind, and accepting that anxiety can be lived with and does not stop me living by my values and achieving my goals. Make sense?

    Reply
    • Yes, makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing.

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  18. After struggling with my relationship for YEARS and doing my own “work” I found out that my partner has been lying about and hiding an addiction from before the relationship started. I have to admit, although it was surprising, it was not shocking. And my gut was right the whole time. I do not feel agitation like I used to. I’m not in the throes of anxiety anymore. I have decisions to face but I’m much calmer-more grief than anxiety.
    The best modality my partner and I have found to uncover what’s really going on and to address things at the root is create balance.net
    I hope this is helpful to this community. Love and blessings

    Reply
    • Marlene: I’m so glad that you’ve finally discovered one of the core roots of your anxiety. This makes a lot of sense, and I’m glad that you’ve found support for the two of you.

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      • Thank you. HUGS to you

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  19. This part triggered me slightly:

    Here are the bottom lines:

    We must be willing to feel if we’re going to heal.

    It may be because I was triggered when working on the TY course where we need to feel our yeses, nos and I don’t knows. It’s so hard to feel when it comes to my relationship and I get so anxious. I completely shut down and often times, avoid the work, because it’s so painful. I don’t want to hear no. Sometimes it’s a loud no and sometimes it’s very soft. I just don’t know what to do. I know I’m really struggling with this pandemic being an extrovert, super social and also missing a lot of physical touch, so I am off myself. I know I get scared and shut down easily and push him away. He’s got a kind heart and a really good soul. I love the moments when our hearts connect – although they aren’t as often as I’d like. I have to keep pressing on, but I don’t know how to when I shut down.

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  20. Hello Sheryl.
    Once again an amazing post, however, I find myself this week struggling with more thoughts about my relationship. He is an incredible man and a wonderful conversationalist and we are both active curious people who like to try new things. But, why then do I think and worry that I feel my relationship is a chore or an obligation at times? Does that mean I’m experiencing boredom? I’d it fixable or are we doomed? As I wrote last time that “ugh” feeling is sitting in my stomach and I’m not sure what to do. I love his soul, but how can this be normal?

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  21. I’m in a bit of a quandey at the moment. My Relationship Anxiety has shown up quite potently this last week or so; stronger than it has for a while. It was triggered by a thought around further training (I’m using lockdown here in the UK to diversify and rekindle my love of composing whilst performing work is at a standstill) and “what if I have to break up with my boyfriend to make this change?” Now, I know that it was the thought that spiralled me into oblivion, so I’ve spent the last week using my tools to pause, call my thoughts out for what they are and journal with them. But I find myself getting stuck with truly dropping down into my feelings and accessing that release. I’m crying a fair bit, and, truth is, there’s a multitude of past traumas that I could be grieving from right now because of the uncertainty of the pandemic – when me and my boyfriend broke up for 24 hours two years ago, the fact that I’ve never had contact with my father, my grandad (who became my father figure) passing away – but nothing seems to land, which makes it very difficult for me to fully grieve and move forwards. I’m tired all the time (regardless of how much sleep I get) so my physical realm is quite possibly out of whack, making any inner work doubly difficult, but what would you suggest for me to move on to the next phase of learning Sheryl? I feel like I have all the tools at my disposal, and am doing my utmost to attend to all four realms during this difficult time when me and my boyfriend are stuck in a flat for the duration of the pandemic, but I’m still a little stuck. Thanks in advance! x

    Reply
    • This is so close to what I’ve been going through, Lynwen, it’s almost eerie (and comforting that someone else is going through this as well!). I sometimes wonder if global times of transition like the one we’re in now serve as catalysts for resolving old traumas on a personal level. The trauma of the pandemic seemed to open up a portal to past hurts for me, a portal which I am not always able to control (have been crying often as well), but although I’m feeling better able to access those times and the need to grieve them, it’s like I can’t quite REACH them, as though it’s just too much and my brain is trying to process it all at once. I would like to hear Sheryl’s take on how to open my heart to that multi-layered grief when the floodgates open as well, because it’s keeping me from accessing joy in my life as well.

      Reply
  22. Hi Sheryl,
    I liked your article, however, I’m thinking about one thing. How is journaling different from CBT? I’m starting to worry that what I do to get better is not enough. So acceptance and journaling is not enough?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Acceptance and journaling is a great start, and for some people it is enough. “Enough” is measured by reduction of symptoms and your ability to relate to your anxiety and intrusive thoughts from a wise and compassionate place inside of you. If that’s what you’re experiencing, then it’s enough.

      Reply
  23. Hi Sheryl,
    I have only found you recently and I am enjoying your blogs very much.

    At 52, I’m no stranger to depression, anxiety and OCD. What strikes me reading the comments on your blogs is how many people have such similar experiences! When I was young there was no internet, making anxiety a very isolating experience. I genuinely felt like I was a freak aged 19 when anxiety and OCD suddenly got so much worse. I was a student and I didn’t know then that this transition is a classic time for emotional issues to arise.

    I’m older and wiser now and have thankfully had a good life so far as a wife and mother, plus a reasonable career. What I’m still struggling with, however, is that my lapses still occur. I have had bad patches after every single life change – marriage, babies, house moves, bereavements …. I accept that this is a normal response for a sensitive personality type but I’m still very confused by the seemingly unrelated content of the intrusive thoughts I have at these times.

    This year I realised that my intrusive thoughts are ROCD after stumbling across it online. (I used to think it was depression and GAD although I have these ailments at times too). I keep returning to the same memories of a relationship that ended when I was a 21-year old student. The thoughts then panic me as I worry they mean I don’t love my husband. I now realise this is part of a recognised problem or pattern but I just don’t know what the thoughts are telling me. I have spent so many years worrying I married the wrong person and that has made me feel so sad but now I’m realising, thanks to you, that the thoughts must be telling me something about ME!

    Do you have a post on how the past still affects us and healing from that?

    Thank you xx

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment, and I’m so glad you found your way here. The internet can be quite neutralizing for the shame voice that tells us we’re the only one :). It sounds like you’re caught in an intrusive thought about regret. As such, I would start by entering “regret” into the search bar at top and reading those articles, then reading my book The Wisdom of Anxiety if you haven’t done so already.

      Reply
      • Thank you Sheryl – and for your quick reply too 🙂

        I will head over to the regret posts now….

        Reply
  24. As I remember once wailing to a CBT therapist: “Yes, I KNOW that everything will probably be okay, but I don’t FEEl it!” She admitted at that point that this was where CBT stopped being helpful. And then she suggested medication *sigh*. I knew there had to be a less invasive step in between those two modalities. Luckily I think I’ve finally located it by blending your work with Internal Family Systems therapy—both of which definitely approach through the realm of feelings rather than thoughts. Very illuminating post! Balanced criticism of CBT is scarce on the internet these days.

    Reply
    • I’m glad she admitted CBT’s limitations and I’m so glad you’ve found your way to IFS. It’s a beautiful model.

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  25. The book ‘Obsessions: The Twisted Cruelty’ by Francesco Bisagni may be useful. It is very techinical, but Bisagni is one of the few practitioners from the psychoanalytic tradition (he is a psychiatrist as well as a Jungian analyst) to tackle OCD head-on, and to give case studies about how psychoanalysis has helped his OCD patients. Worth checking out, and a useful counterpoint to the ‘CBT/ERP only’ school of thought.

    Reply
    • I will check it out for sure as I plan to write my PhD dissertation on this topic. Thank you so much for the recommendation.

      Reply
  26. Hi! Love this post and really appreciate all of your work. Within this context, how do you think about ADHD? Can you say a little more about ADHD (in adults) as a defense?

    Reply

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