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The OCD Stories

Welcome to The OCD Stories, hosted by Stuart Ralph. The podcast has been heard over 3.5million times globally. Check out your first episode from our existing hundreds of episodes featuring experts, and people experiencing symptoms just like you today. If you do, you may just feel understood, heard and possibly help you identify your next step in your own personal journey to healing. Disclaimer - this podcast is not a replacement for therapy. Please seek treatment from a licensed mental health professional.
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The OCD Stories
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Now displaying: 2021
Jun 13, 2021

In episode 281 I interviewed Dr Sam Greenblatt. Sam is a licensed clinical psychologist.

I chat with Sam about the effectiveness of exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP), the habituation model of ERP, why habituation isn’t always needed, what is the inhibitory learning theory model of ERP, why has it improved on the habituation model, how inhibitory learning theory looks in a therapy session, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/sam-greenblatt-281

The podcast is made possible by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Next monthly zoom hangout with Stuart is on Saturday 3rd July. Come chat about the show. Pay what you can/want: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/158363759267 See you then. 

Jun 6, 2021

In episode 280 I interviewed Brian Sullivan who has kindly agreed to share his story with us. 

I chat with Brian about his story, divorce, bullying, depression, medication, suicidal ideation, working with the wrong therapist, then finding a helpful therapist, hospitalisation and how Brian found that helpful, what Brian has learned in therapy about OCD and life, going back to studying, we talk about Asexuality, words of hope, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/story-brian-280

The podcast is made possible by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

May 30, 2021

In episode 279 I chat with Sheryl Paul. Sheryl is a counselor informed by Jungian depth psychology, and author of the book The wisdom of anxiety.

In this episode we chat about her story, transitions such as marriage, birth, death and the anxiety they can bring. We discuss the highly sensitive person, we talk a lot about relationship anxiety, we explore differing views of OCD and the integration of certain therapies with CBT, we discuss a Jungian view of OCD, the spirituality and beauty of ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention) and facing fear as an innate human skill, the timetable of healing, emptiness, the Jungian idea of gathering gold, and much more more. Hope it helps. 

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/sheryl-paul-279

The podcast is made possible by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

May 23, 2021

In episode 278 I chat with Eeva Edds. Eeva is a licensed professional counselor.

In this episode, we talk about her therapy story, what is caregiver burnout, how to prevent caregiver burnout, self-care, understanding your loved one’s experience of OCD, understanding accommodation, how the loved one can help the person with OCD, self-compassion, values, and much more more. Hope it helps. 

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/eeva-edds-278

The podcast is made possible by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

May 16, 2021

In episode 277 I interviewed Kyle who has kindly agreed to share his story with us. 

In this episode, we talk about his story, health/contamination worries, panic attacks, work stress, worries of harm coming to his kids, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Inference Based Therapy (IBT), what else helps him, opening up to his wife, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and much more more. Hope it helps. 

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/story-kyle-277

The podcast is made possible by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

May 9, 2021

In episode 276 I interviewed Rachel Huber. Rachel has kindly agreed to share her story with us. 

In this episode, we talk about her OCD story, maternal (Postpartum) OCD, worrying about the health and safety of her children, her therapy journey, and much more more. Hope it helps. 

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/story-rachel-276

The podcast is made possible by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

May 2, 2021

In episode 275 I interviewed Dr Steven Phillipson. Steven is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for OCD. Steven is the Clinical Director at the Center for Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy in New York.

In this episode, we talk about his thinking around the brain voice vs gatekeeper voice, knowing the difference between the brain voice and the gatekeeper voice, we do a role play using one of the areas that cause me anxiety, he uses this role play to demonstrate the brain voice vs the gatekeeper voice, the idea of writing the headline with the gatekeeper, the paradox of anxiety, self-compassion for the brain voice, and much more more. Hope it helps. 

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/dr-phillipson-brain-voice-gatekeeper-voice-275

The podcast is made possible by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Apr 25, 2021

In episode 274 I interviewed Shai Friendland. Shai is a clinical psychologist in Johannesburg, South Africa. He specialising in the treatment of OCD.

In this episode we talk about his OCD story, contamination worries, what led him to become a psychologist, we talk about OCD in South Africa, increasing advocacy in the country, living with uncertainty, words of hope, and much more more. Hope it helps. 

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/shai-friedland-274

The podcast is made possible by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Apr 18, 2021

In episode 273 I interviewed Dr Michael Twohig. Michael is the co-director of the USU ACT Research Group, a licensed psychologist in the state of Utah, and a Professor of Psychology at Utah State University.

In this episode I chat with Michael about his research and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) story, his experience of training under Dr Steven Hayes, what is ACT, why he studied ACT initially as a sole intervention for OCD and what he found, he breakdowns the 8 session ACT protocol he used in his research, we talk about psychological flexibility and why it’s important, we talk about cognitive defusion, integrating ACT with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), how bringing in values into therapy can helpful, some of the metaphors he likes for OCD, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/michael-twohig-273

The podcast is made possible by and sponsored by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Apr 11, 2021

In episode 272 I interview Elke Atzpodien. Elke shared her story in episode 102 back in 2017, and she has come on to give us an update.

In this episode I chat with Elke about an update on her story, her experiences of Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP), group therapy, support groups, meeting Margot her therapy buddy, mixing exposure homework with valued activities, stopping asking for reassurance, how her husband had also suffered and decided to go to therapy to help process the 20 years of experiencing OCD in the home, her peer support training, stigma and self stigma, dealing with OCD during supporting her father through cancer treatment, the ideas of OCD treatment that helped her, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/elke-272

The podcast is made possible by and sponsored by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Apr 4, 2021

In episode 271 I interview Dr Ben Sedley. Ben is a clinical psychologist from New Zealand. He has authored two books, and runs a private practice called ACT Wellington.

In this episode I chat with Ben about his therapy journey, what is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), how Relational Frame Theory (RFT) underpins ACT, how ACT can be useful for OCD, Ben gives examples of how ACT enhances ERP, ACT’s view of suffering, we talk about grief and OCD, his and Lisa Coyne’s book ‘Stuff that’s loud’ an ACT book for teens with OCD, his book ‘Stuff that sucks’, the importance of listening to teens, the ACT metaphors Ben likes, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/ben-sedley-271

The podcast is made possible by and sponsored by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Mar 28, 2021

In episode 270 I chat with Laura Johnson. Laura is the creator of OCD Doodles and has kindly agreed to share her story with us.

In this episode I chat with Laura about her story, her earliest experience, existential and superstitious worries, how as a kid seeing a school shooting on TV triggered worries of harm coming to her family, how OCD impacted her family as a child, contamination worries, relationship worries, drinking alcohol to self-medicate, seeking help, taking medication, her treatment journey from getting the wrong types of therapy, her negative experiences of working with a coach, finally getting therapy with a qualified therapist experienced in OCD, feeling guilty around harm OCD, parenting while dealing with OCD, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/laura-johnson-ocd-doodles-270

The podcast is made possible by and sponsored by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Mar 21, 2021

In episode 269 I chat with Dr. Michael J. Greenberg. Michael is a licensed clinical psychologist.  He is the director of OCD Associates, a practice specializing in Rumination-Focused ERP.

In this episode I chat with Michael about why rumination is a compulsion, rumination focused exposure and response prevention (RF-ERP), how his approach to treating OCD doesn’t fit with the habituation model of ERP but how it’s closer to the inhibitory learning model approach, he gives examples how he does ERP, how and why he focuses on getting his client’s anxiety close to zero before doing an ERP exercise, why he focuses on eliminating rumination first before physical compulsions, the difference between thinking normally and ruminating, noticing when you are ruminating, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/dr-michael-greenberg-269

The podcast is made possible by and sponsored by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Mar 14, 2021

In episode 268 I chat with Neil Hemmer. Neil is a therapist with a masters in social work, and has plenty of personal experience with OCD. He has kindly agreed to share his story with us. 

In this episode I chat with Neil about his story, his early memories, contamination OCD, he gives his candid account of intrusive thoughts, his faith, religious OCD, medication, self medicating with alcohol, relationship OCD, obsessive worries about having sexually assaulted someone, harm OCD, suicidal ideation, hitting rock bottom, addiction and OCD, going inpatient for OCD and addiction, smart recovery for addiction, writing scripts in exposure and response prevention theory (ERP), he shares some graphic stories of his clients in the aim to give hope, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/story-neil-hemmer-268

The podcast is made possible by and sponsored by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Mar 7, 2021

In episode 267 I chat with  Lou who has kindly agreed to share her story with us.

In this episode I chat with Lou about her story, ruminating, reassurance seeking, not feeling good enough, self medicating at a young age with alcohol and drugs, how the birth of her first child triggered an OCD episode, peadophile themed OCD (pOCD), worries of her and others harming her baby (postpartum OCD/maternal OCD), feeling like a bad person, getting therapy, dealing with anger, discovering Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), eventually deciding to take medication and her experiences, the various triggers around her children, telling her husband something wasn’t feeling right, a fear of upsetting people, the OCD camp, what else helps her with her well being, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/story-lou-267

The podcast is made possible by and sponsored by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Feb 28, 2021

In episode 266 I chat with Dr Jonathan Abramowitz. Jonathan is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Chapel Hill, NC specializing in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He is also Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina. And author of several bookings including Getting over OCD, and The family guide to getting over OCD. 

In this episode I chat with Jon about why he wrote this book, how the family system plays into OCD and vice versa, he writes the book from two perspectives: one, the loved one with OCD wants to get better, and two, the loved one with OCD doesn’t want to do treatment, we discuss family accommodation and why it’s not helpful, how to stop accommodating your loved one, we discuss treatment refusal (when someone refuses to get help), we discuss the difference between a reward and a bribe for children, setting boundaries, how to get family life back on track even if a loved one refuses to get help, how to listen to and talk to your loved one with OCD, what areas of OCD research Jon is excited by, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/the-family-guide-to-getting-over-ocd-266

The podcast is made possible by and sponsored by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Thank you for listening to this week’s podcast. If you enjoy The OCD Stories and would like to support us with a one time tip/donation please go to theocdstories.com/support. All tips, no matter how large or small are greatly appreciated.

Feb 21, 2021

In episode 265 I chat with Chance McNeely who has kindly agreed to share his story with us.

In this episode I chat with Chance about his OCD story, themes - sexual orientation OCD, harm OCD, relationship OCD, pedophile OCD, growing up in an anxious household, compulsively overthinking things, finding out about intrusive thoughts, peer support, self-compassion as his saving grace, becoming a certified peer, working for OCD Peers, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/story-chance-mcneely-265

The podcast is made possible by and sponsored by NOCD. NOCD are now in the UK. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Feb 14, 2021

In episode 264 I chat with Mike Vatter who has kindly agreed to share his story with us. Mike is on the board of OCD Jacksonville.

In this episode I chat with Mike about his OCD story, things having to be just right, panic attacks, hitting breaking point, pulling hair, how his first therapist thought he didn’t have OCD, how a hit and run OCD episode helped him get an OCD diagnosis, using humour to make it easier, meeting his biological parents, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/story-mike-vatter-264

The podcast is made possible by and sponsored by NOCD. NOCD are now in the UK. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Feb 7, 2021

In episode 263 I chat with Dr Steven Phillipson. Steven is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for OCD. Steven is the Clinical Director at the Center for Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy in New York.

In this episode I chat with Steven about what is somatic (sensorimotor) OCD, neutral obsessions, obsessions and compulsions of this theme, how depersonalisation/derealisation may be a subset of this theme, how certain personality styles may play into this theme, how often he sees this theme in his private practice, he gives case examples, the focus of therapy for this theme, examples of exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP), why Steve gets his patients to record each therapy session, what he wishes he knew when he started his journey in therapy, Steve’s biggest life influences, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/dr-steven-phillipson-somatic-ocd-263

The podcast is made possible by and sponsored by NOCD. To find out more about NOCD, their therapy plans and if they currently take your insurance head over to https://go.treatmyocd.com/theocdstories

Jan 31, 2021

In episode 262 I chat with Chrissie Hodges. Chrissie is a certified peer and family support specialist in Colorado, and co-founder of OCDPeers.com. Chrissie was awarded the hero award by the IOCDF for her advocacy work. 

In this episode I chat with Chrissie about what’s new with her and her work, what’s new with the OCD Gamechangers, what is (certified) peer support, what it is not, what does a peer conversation look like, how peer support can support the therapy process, what is OCD peers, the most attended group topics at OCD peers, what Chrissie has learned about OCD in the last 12 months, her learnings about advocacy, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/chrissie-hodges-peer-support-for-ocd-262

This episode is sponsored by OCD Jacksonville and Natural Life. Shop the Fearless collection of apparel and gifts here https://www.naturallife.com/collections/fearless-giveback-collection. Use code “FEARLESS” at the checkout for 20% off the Fearless range. To find out more about OCD Jacksonville click here: https://ocdjacksonville.com/

Jan 24, 2021

In episode 261 I chat with Elizabeth who has kindly agreed to share her story.

In this episode I chat with Liz about her story, her experiences growing up including the death of her dad, and school bullying, her experiences with OCD, the fear of being judged, contamination worries, getting a diagnosis, hit and run OCD, what’s been helping her, her journey of finding the right treatment fit, dealing with the discomfort of seeking help, the experience of telling her family about her experiences, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/story-elizabeth-261

This episode is sponsored by OCD Jacksonville and Natural Life. Shop the Fearless collection of apparel and gifts here https://www.naturallife.com/collections/fearless-giveback-collection. Use code “FEARLESS” at the checkout for 20% off the Fearless range. To find out more about OCD Jacksonville click here: https://ocdjacksonville.com/

Jan 17, 2021

In episode 260 I chat with Ashley Annestedt and Felipe. Ashley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in OCD, Anxiety, and Neurobehavioral Disorders. Ashley is the founder of Beyond Borders CBT. She is joined by Felipe Malaco de Oliveira a former client from Brazil who has agreed to share his story. 

In this episode I chat with Ashley and Felipe about what is beyond borders CBT and why set it up, Felipe’s OCD story, sexual orientation OCD, doing exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP), living with uncertainty, a relapse after the birth of his son, postnatal violent and sexual intrusive thoughts, OCD and Brazil, Ashley’s take on Felipe’s therapy, opening up to his wife about OCD, increasing the global access to ERP, and much much more. Hope it helps. 

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/ashley-and-felipe-beyond-borders-cbt-260

This episode is sponsored by OCD Jacksonville and Natural Life. Shop the Fearless collection of apparel and gifts here https://www.naturallife.com/collections/fearless-giveback-collection. Use code “FEARLESS” at the checkout for 20% off the Fearless range. To find out more about OCD Jacksonville click here: https://ocdjacksonville.com/

Jan 10, 2021

In episode 259 I chat with Jon Hershfield. Jon is a psychotherapist and the director of The Center for OCD and Anxiety, at Sheppard Pratt. He is the author six OCD books, including his most recent book the 2nd edition of “The mindfulness workbook for OCD”, and his upcoming book “The OCD Workbook for Teens”.

In this episode I chat with Jon about what’s new with him, The mindfulness workbook for OCD, what the book about, what’s new with this 2nd edition, Jon’s personal experiences with meditation and mindfulness, why he broke the book down by themes. We discuss The OCD workbook for teens, what it’s about, Sean Shinnock’s illustrations in the book, exercises in the book, how he works with teens, staying in the present moment, dealing with uncertainty, living joyfully, and much much more. Hope it helps. 

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/jon-hershfield-mindfulness-workbook-for-ocd-259

This episode is sponsored by OCD Jacksonville and Natural Life. Shop the Fearless collection of apparel and gifts here https://www.naturallife.com/collections/fearless-giveback-collection. Use code “FEARLESS” at the checkout for 20% off the Fearless range. To find out more about OCD Jacksonville click here: https://ocdjacksonville.com/

Jan 3, 2021

In episode 258 I chat with Dr Jonathan Hoffman. Jon is a licensed psychologist in the states of Florida, New York, and Utah. He is Chief Clinical Officer of the Neurobehavioral Institute (NBI) in South Florida, and director and founder of the NBI ranch residential program. He is author of the book Stuck: Asperger's Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors.

In this episode I chat with Jon about what he’s been up to, what is Autism Spectrum Disorder, where OCD and ASD can overlap, Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors, how Covid has impacted people with ASD and OCD, exposure and response prevention (ERP) for OCD with ASD modifications, the NBI ranch, words of advice on getting the most out of your therapist, advice for parent and families, and much much more. Hope it helps.

Show notes: https://theocdstories.com/episode/autism-spectrum-disorder-and-obsessive-compulsive-disorder-258

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