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Your Anxiety Toolkit - It's a Beautiful Day to Do Hard Things

With over a million downloads, Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast delivers compassionate, science-based tools for anyone with Anxiety, Panic, OCD, and other mental health struggles.

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Ep. 113: How To Manage Intrusive Thoughts

Welcome to Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast.   Today we are talking about a concept that I get asked about so often.  Today we are talking all about how to manage intrusive thoughts.  So often I am asked by clients and the CBT School community questions like, “What is an intrusive thought?” and, “How do I manage intrusive thoughts from becoming mental compulsions?” and, “Why is it so hard to manage intrusive thoughts?” These are all such good questions and I can totally resonate with why it is such a difficult and confusing topic.  In today's episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, I talk about why thought suppression doesn’t work and why distraction is a tool that only works for a short period of time.  In this episode, we review the practice of mindfulness in an attempt to manage intrusive thoughts and create an environment in your brain where fear and uncertainty doesn’t run the show.   A wonderful follower sent me the below question: “I have heard you talk about distraction and thought suppression. Does that mean I need to just focus on my thoughts and stay in my own head? While keeping myself busy with my job and other activities keeps me engaged and gets me out of my own head, does this count as a distraction? Also when you say distraction is bad, is it in the context of OCD or in general? I'm a bit confused, can you please provide some clarity on this.” This is such a common question that I get asked and I wanted to take this time to address a concept called “Occupation,” which is the practice of allowing thoughts WHILE you go about your day.  Occupation is a practice of taking intrusive thoughts with you while you do the things you value in life.  This is a very important concept and can help us to define how we manage intrusive thoughts and how we can reduce engaging in compulsive behaviors and mental compulsions.   I hope this episode helps give you additional tools to help manage intrusive thoughts and mental compulsions.  


9 Aug 2019

Rank #1

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Ep. 98: Three Mindfulness Basics for Anxiety and Depression

Three Mindfulness Basics for Anxiety and Depression Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Do you ever feel like you have to go back to basics?  Maybe you feel overwhelmed with all the “tools” and strategies you need to practice to manage your anxiety, obsessions, compulsions, and emotions.   Maybe you are feeling like you need to simplify your mental health practices so that you only have a few things to manage instead of many.  If you are feeling this way, you are not alone.  I recently realized that I had to return back to some mindfulness basics and review the tools that helped me many years ago.   In today’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, I talked about the 3 mindfulness basics for anxiety and depression that you must return to when you are struggling with anxiety, stress, life events, depression, and grief.   In this episode, we talk about how we sometimes refuse to go back to the basics because we are afraid it means we are “going backward.”  We dispel this myth and address how these 3 mindfulness basics for anxiety and depression can recharge our mental health plan and practice. If you'd like to learn more about mindfulness skills that I teach my face-to-face clients who struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), we have an online course available on CBTschool.com called Mindfulness School for OCD. Click HERE to learn more and sign up. Before we go, I want to remind you of two wonderful upcoming events!  The TLC Foundation will host their annual conference on Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors from May 2-4 in Virginia.  Click HERE for more information and to buy tickets.  Also, the IOCDF Annual Conference will be held in Austin, Texas, from July 19-21.  I will be speaking at this event and love seeing you there!  Click HERE for more information and to buy tickets.


26 Apr 2019

Rank #2

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Ep. 106: Your Relationship with Anxiety

Dr. Sarah Sarkis Talks About Anxiety Management and Your Relationship with Anxiety Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast.  Today we have Dr. Sarah Sarkis on to talk about Your Relationship with Anxiety.   Dr. Sarah Sarkis is a psychologist, writer, and performance consultant with a private practice in Honolulu, Hawaii (though it won’t take you long to discover she’s a Boston girl at heart). Her integrated approach is big on science, low on bullshit, empowering us to achieve long-term change and growth through an eclectic blend of psychology, neurobiology, and functional medicine. Her blog, The Padded Room, is your virtual safe space to help you manage the jarring realities of life. There, you’ll find a soft landing for life’s harshest truths. You can find it at drsarahsarkis.com.  Addressing your relationship with anxiety might be one of the most important steps you take when it comes to your anxiety management.  Dr. Sarah Sarkis beautifully shares how she approaches fear and how your relationship with anxiety can determine the degree of suffering around anxiety. She also addressed people’s conceptualization of “I cannot handle this” or “I cannot face this” when it comes to facing fears.   During this interview, we also addressed concepts around Optimum Performance and Dr. Sarkis’ experience in her practice with patients in this area.  I am sure you will agree that changing your relationship with anxiety is a game changer when it comes to your mental health, and I am so excited to share this inspiring interview with you For more information on Dr. Sarah Sarkis, visit: Website: https://drsarahsarkis.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drsarahsarkis Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drsarahsarkis/ Lastly, the annual IOCDF conference is being coming up SO SOON! It will be held in Austin, TX, from July 19-21. This national meeting focuses solely on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related disorders. I will be one of the presenters among over 100 presentations, workshops, and seminars. There will be support groups and evening events as well. Click HERE for more information and to buy tickets.


20 Jun 2019

Rank #3

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Ep. 127: Using ACT to Get you Unstuck with Giulia Suro, Ph.D.

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Today we have a very special guest, Giulia Suro, Ph.D., who is going to talk to us about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and how we can use ACT tools in our everyday life. Giulia is a psychologist in private practice in the Washington, D.C. area. She is passionate about ACT and helping her clients develop a new way of looking at their thoughts and feelings. Giulia does such a beautiful job of bringing these ACT tools to us in a compassionate and articulate manner. Thank you, Giulia! In this episode, we address how Acceptance and Commitment Therapy centers on the concept of mindfulness. We learn that ACT is really quite unique because anyone can use the tools regardless of the struggles they are facing. Giulia discusses how fighting or resisting those struggles can impact us in the long term and we learn that ACT involves moving towards our values. We also address the core ACT tools that Giulia uses in her daily life and in her practice, such as, the Bullseye worksheet (link below).  Giulia Suro beautifully addresses the following questions with grace, care, and expertise:  What is ACT?  Why do we use ACT In everyday life?  How can it complement our recovery/wellness plan?  What tools does she use with her clients?  What tools does she personally use?  What struggles does she see some of her clients go through when practicing ACT? Giulia's Website: www.giuliasuro.com Instagram @drgiuliasuro Workbook: Learning To Thrive Bullseye Worksheet file:///Users/kimberleyjquinlan/Downloads/Bulls%20Eye%20Values%20Exercise.pdf BFRB SCHOOL is here! A COMPLETE ONLINE COURSE FOR BODY-FOCUSED REPETITIVE BEHAVIORS (BFRB's) Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling) Compulsive Skin Picking Compulsive Nail Biting https://www.cbtschool.com/bfrb-school-online-course-trichotillomania-skin-picking


15 Nov 2019

Rank #4

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Ep. 101: How To Be Uncertain

How To Be Uncertain In the Management of OCD Welcome to this week's episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit.  When it comes to the management of anxiety, practicing being uncertain is the key to long-term recovery. We must face our fears and purposely not try to solve what will happen and what we would do if our fear came true.   For anyone attempting this, we can all agree that being uncertain is a very difficult skill to practice.    I have found that while my clients logically are on board with the idea of being uncertain, they still struggle with HOW to be uncertain.  Cognitively, we know the importance of uncertainty, but the actual practice of it might not be something that we are fully on board for.  Nearly every day, a client or a follower on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) will ask me HOW to be uncertain.  They might say, “Kimberley, I get that I have to lean into the uncertainty, but HOW do I actually be uncertain?” In today’s podcast episode, we talk all about how to be uncertain and what major roadblocks might be causing you to bypass uncertainty.   We also talk about some key mindfulness tools to help with the practice of uncertainty when managing strong obsessions and compulsions.   This is a very important concept when it comes to anxiety management, so I would love to hear your thoughts.    There are a few very exciting events coming up! The IOCDF is hosting their 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Calabasas on Saturday, June 1, to increases awareness and raises funds for the IOCDF and its Local Affiliates so they can continue their mission. I will be walking at this one! Click HERE for more information and to register. Also, the IOCDF Annual Conference will be held in Austin, Texas, from July 19-21.  I will be speaking at this event and love seeing you there!  Click HERE for more information and to buy tickets.


17 May 2019

Rank #5

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Ep. 120: How to Manage Perfectionism (with Monica Packer)

In today’s episode, we are talking all about how to manage Perfectionism. I am so honored to have Monica Packer on the podcast as this week’s guest, as she has such an inspirational story about how she was impacted by perfectionism and what steps she is taking each day to take her life back from Perfectionism.  This episode is jam packed with tools and strategies to demonstrate how to manage perfectionism in your life.   In this episode, Monica answered the below questions and delivered some incredible insight into how to manage perfectionism in areas I myself had never considered.   What is perfectionism and how has it impacted your life? What did perfectionism look like for you personally?  We often praise people who are “perfect."  What are your thoughts on this?  At what point in your life did you realize you were a perfectionist?  What did perfectionism look like for you personally?  How long had you experienced perfectionism?  What was your experience with overcoming perfectionism?  What advice do you have to those who experience perfectionism? Were there any roadblocks/setbacks etc to this journey for you? If you are early in the process of learning about perfectionism or you are well aware of your perfectionistic characteristics, I am sure you will benefit from this incredible interview. For more information on Monica, visit: Instagram: @aboutprogress  Facebook: @aboutprogress Website: aboutprogress.com Before we go, I want to remind you that ERP School for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is available for purchase until October 1, 2019! ERP School is a complete online course that teaches how to apply Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) to your Obsessions and Compulsions. Click HERE for more information and to purchase.


27 Sep 2019

Rank #6

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Ep. 121: How to Live In the Present (Listener Question)

Do you ever wonder how to live in the present? Is this a question you ask yourself often? Or, have you already got a good mindfulness practice, but you wonder how to live in the present when it comes to intrusive thoughts, intrusive images and strong emotions and urges? If this sounds true for you, you are not alone. I, too, am constantly on a mission to figure out how to live in the present in a more authentic and mindful way. In this week’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, we take a CBT SCHOOL listener’s question. A wonderful member of our CBT School community reached out and asked a very important question and instead of replying personally, I thought it would benefit everyone by addressing this question with you all. Considering that I am always on a mission to solve the question of how to live in the present, I thought we could all take a look at this issue together! The listener’s question is:  "I work hard to implement mindfulness in my life, and in many ways it makes sense and helps me. But sometimes I feel like I escape when I try to live in the present moment. It's like my OCD tells me ‘wow, you have learned a new tool…great, but do you know what – if something is contaminated or dangerous it doesn't matter if you try to live in the present moment. You are just kidding yourself!  You have to take care of the problems from yesterday and you have to make sure you have a future to live in. Don't be fooled into that mindfulness stuff…’ My mind gets twisted. Do you have any thoughts that can bring some clarity?” Before we go, I want to remind you of two wonderful awareness weeks!  BFRB Awareness week is happening NOW and ends on October 7.  You can participate by attending local events, joining the conversation online, and more.  Click HERE for more information. OCD Awareness Week, from October 13-19, is almost here!  This year’s awareness-raising campaign is focused on sharing videos of you and your friends facing your fears.  The goal is to educate the public about the realities of living with OCD and the challenge of having to face your fears on the path to recovery. To participate, the IOCDF is asking everyone to create a video or photo of themselves doing something that makes them anxious and then to post on any and all social media platforms with the hashtags #FaceYourFear and #OCDWeek.


4 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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Ep. 125: How to Prevent Social Anxiety

Hello there everyone and welcome to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. This week's episode is all about how to prevent Social Anxiety. I know that the title, “How to Prevent Social Anxiety” might sound a little fishy, but in this episode, we are going to look at some groundbreaking new research on social anxiety that might help us to understand the relationship between shyness and social phobia and how to prevent social anxiety in adolescence. In this incredible new finding, researchers found that there is a direct relationship between shyness and social anxiety in pre-adolescents. For the purpose of this episode, we will define shyness as the feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness. These symptoms will increase, especially when a person is around other people and in new or unfamiliar situations. This research found that negative social self-cognitions mediate the shyness - social anxiety link, whereas, social interpretation bias does not. Social interpretation bias, by definition, is the tendency to interpret ambiguous situations in a positive or negative fashion. What does this mean in regard to how to prevent social anxiety, you may ask? Basically, if we can teach pre-teens how to interpret themselves in a more positive way, we might be able to reduce the impact of social anxiety in adulthood. This research showed that prevention should address the negative self-cognition of shy (pre-)adolescents. So examples such as the below statements might be corrected into more logical and objective statements. ◆“I am a fool” ◆“There is something wrong with me” ◆“I look like an idiot”  More Objective Statements ◆I am not for everyone ◆Just because there was silence, doesn’t mean I am incapable of being in social settings ◆It's ok that they didn’t laugh at my jokes. One person's “funny” isn’t everyone's version of funny. Link to research. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0193397318302818


29 Oct 2019

Rank #8

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Ep.126: Sex and Anxiety

Welcome to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast.  This topic has been a long time coming, and highly requested. This week’s podcast is all about anxiety and sex.  In this podcast, we talk about how anxiety and sex can become two peas in a pod and how anxiety can present itself in many different ways.   While I am not a sex therapist, I do have a lot of experience talking with my clients about anxiety and sex. The truth is, there are many ways anxiety shows up during sex, or sex shows up in our anxiety. This is true for many people and this can become very confusing.  People often report anxiety impacting sex in many ways.  This might include loss of arousal, loss of libido or interest in sex, intrusive thoughts during sexual intercourse, hyper-awareness of sexual-related sensations and many more.   In this week’s episode, we address the following topics             •          Social Anxiety:  In social anxiety, people are afraid of being judged by their sexual partner and will often avoid sexual interactions in fear of being judged. For people struggling with social anxiety and sex, they must accept the risk of being judged and work to find a partner who respects them and their fears.  Finding safety in a partner can help immensely.              •          Performance anxiety: This involves the fear of not being able to perform well (or perfectly) in sexual interactions.  This is very common and often involves setting realistic expectations for ourselves.               •          OCD: There are many ways that OCD can create anxiety around sexual intimacy. This is most common for those who have sexual orientation obsessions, relationship obsessions, or pedophilia obsessions              •          Panic Disorder: Symptoms of panic can often come on during all stages of intimacy, not just anticipatory anxiety               •          Trauma: Trauma is a very important component to address.  We encourage people who have trauma in this area to seek professional mental health care and work through these issues with a safe and caring clinician. Find a Sex Therapist:  https://www.aasect.org/aasect-requirements-sex-therapist-certification https://www.amazon.com/Passionate-Marriage/dp/B00159T73Q


6 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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Ep. 97: The Emotional Stages of Recovery - Rebuilding Life After OCD (with Chris Trondsen)

Chris Trondsen Talks Rebuilding Life After OCD Do you ever wonder what life will look like after OCD Treatment?  If so, this is the podcast episode for you! We are talking all about the common emotions involved with the recovery process from mental illnesses such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anxiety, and depression in today’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Many of you have asked for more episodes about the emotional side of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anxiety, Depression, Eating Disorders, and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s), as well as what life is like after mental illness.    In today’s episode, we talk with Christopher Tronsden on Rebuilding Life After OCD. In this episode, Chris Tronsden talks about his childhood of “confusion” about his symptoms and thoughts and how he was claimed to be a “difficult child.”    Chris Tronsden also talks about how he moved towards isolation after being wrongly diagnosed with other mental illnesses, and resultantly survived a suicide attempt.   Chris shares the emotions he experienced after this suicide attempt and how it led him to finding the correct treatment for OCD (Exposure and Response Prevention) and moving towards Rebuilding life after OCD Treatment.  What I loved the most about Chris’ story is how beautifully he explains and articulates the process of building up the courage to perform Exposure and Response Prevention and then having to manage the painful experience of anger and loss after his OCD treatment. Chris Trondsen explains how he had to have some difficult conversations with loved ones and himself before he could turn his battle into something that was meaningful.   Chris ends the podcast episode with a beautiful message of hope for those who are at all stages of treatment and recovery.  His message really does give hope to those who are embarking on the process of rebuilding life after OCD Treatment.  Thank you, Christopher Trondsen, for a beautiful interview.   For more information on Chris, visit: IOCDF SoCal: https://ocdsocal.org/about-us/board-of-directors/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/christrondsen?lang=en Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christrondsen/?hl=en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisTrondsen Email: christrondsen@gatewayocd.com


19 Apr 2019

Rank #10

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Ep. 112: Affordable Self-Care (with Dr. Jenn Hardy)

This week’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast will really change the way you look at and relate to Self-care. In this episode, we aren’t talking about luxurious, expensive and unsustainable self-care.  We are talking about affordable self-care.  And, we are talking about self-care that costs NOTHING!  If you struggle with self-care, this is the episode for you.  If you struggle to even be aware of when you need self-care, this is the episode for you.  In this episode, we talk with Psychologist Dr. Jenn Hardy about how marketing and media have made self-care into something that should look perfect, cost a lot of money and be luxurious.  Dr. Jenn Hardy brings up the wonderful point that a self-care plan that is expensive and indulgent is not sustainable and won’t fit into most people’s daily lives.  Dr. Jenn Hardy addresses a concept she coined, affordable self-care, which is taking care of your basic needs and making time each day to give your body and mind what it needs.   Here are a few examples of affordable self-care that you can include into your life in simple and easy ways.  Going pee when you need to pee Journaling  Slowing down  Taking a breath between activities  Honoring what your body needs Saying no to things  The thing I love the most about this episode is that we learn just how accessible affordable self-care is.  We all have access to affordable self-care, no matter what your income is, where you live and what you do for a living.  For more information on Dr. Jenn Hardy, visit: Instagram: @drjennhardy Website: Drjennhardy.com  Before we go, I want to share a virtual conference with you that I will be speaking at (from August 5th-15th): Share Triumph Cancer Conference. I will be speaking at this free, virtual event in which women share how they made decisions about medical treatment and discuss how the emotional effects of diagnosis impact them today.  Specifically, I will be talking about managing anxiety related to physical illness and cancer. This event brings together renowned doctors, therapists, nonprofits, fashion brands, comedians, podcasters, survivors and metavivors teaching you how to get through diagnosis, treatment and the aftermath to help keep your mind and spirit intact! Click HERE for more information and to register


2 Aug 2019

Rank #11

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Ep. 102: Managing Sleep Anxiety

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit.  Today, we are talking all about Managing Sleep Anxiety.   It is very common for my clients to report significant anxiety at bed time and during sleep.  They might report trouble getting to sleep, racing thoughts while trying to fall asleep, trouble staying asleep, waking up panicking, or ruminating on an event or worry.  In this episode, we are not talking about the specific medical side of sleep disturbances.  We are talking specifically about managing sleep anxiety.  Did you know that more than 40 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder? (according to the National Institutes of Health). And, did you know that 50% of those with GAD have a sleep disorder? These statistics blew me away and made me realize I need to be addressing this issue more often.  I am sure you will agree that stress and anxiety may increase sleeping problems or make existing problems even worse.  Many will report that their sleep quality is much reduced when they are going through a difficult time in their lives.   But, the real question is, which one comes first? Sleep disorder or Anxiety Disorder? We will discuss this in this episode. In this episode, we also address sleep hygiene, caffeine intake, and the importance of exercise when it comes to managing anxiety. We also talk about the importance of reducing screen time, keeping naps to a minimum and the necessity of seeing a sleep specialist if you are really struggling.  I really hope this episode helps you manage sleep anxiety just a little better. It's a beautiful day to do hard things, CBT School community!  Before we go, I'd like to remind you about two amazing events coming up and a way for you to give back to the OCD community! International OCD Foundation 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk What: The IOCDF is hosting their 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Calabasas on Saturday, June 1, to increases awareness and raises funds for the IOCDF and its Local Affiliates so they can continue their mission.  I will be walking at this one!  There are many walks happening so be sure to check your area if you are interested.  When:  June 1 Where: Juan Bautista de Anza Park | Calabasas, CA Click HERE for more information and to register. International OCD Foundation Annual Conference What: Since 1993, the Annual OCD Conference has been the only national meeting focused solely on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders. The unique event allows people with OCD and their loved ones to learn about the latest OCD treatment and information alongside the mental health professionals who care for them. The Conference features more than 100 presentations, workshops, and seminars as well as nearly two-dozen support groups and various evening events. Presenters include some of the most experienced and knowledgeable clinicians and researchers in the field, as well as people with OCD and family members sharing their stories about life with OCD. When:  July 19-21 Where: JW Marriott Austin, Austin TX Click HERE for more information and to buy tickets. Giving Back During the month of May, Shala Nicely is giving 100% of her royalties from Is Fred in the Refrigerator? Taming OCD and Reclaiming My Life to the International OCD Foundation for the conference scholarship fund. In celebration of the one-year anniversary of Fred’s publication, she hopes to raise enough money to send at least 5 people in need to the conference.  And with your help, we can send even more! As Shala shares in the Fred chapter “Changing the OCD Mind,” going to her first IOCDF conference was life-changing: she finally learned about exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP) for OCD and actually tried the therapy on her own, realizing with amazement that ERP gave her the power to reclaim her life.  If you have OCD, know someone with OCD, treat OCD, or have ever been curious what OCD is really like, please purchase a copy of Fred. As I wrote in my endorsement of the book, “Is Fred in the Refrigerator? is a stunning story of growth, perseverance and hope. Shala beautifully details how mental illness shaped her life, taking us with her on her brave journey through perfectionism, shame and fear. This book is the perfect combination of entertainment, education and validation for those who are on their journey to recovery from OCD, but also for any human being who wants to live courageously and joyfully.” 100% of the royalties from every book sold will directly support sending people with OCD to the IOCDF conference, where they will learn that they, too, can reclaim their lives. Thank you!


24 May 2019

Rank #12

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Ep.124: Emotions, Radical Acceptance and POTS

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast! Do you know what POTS is? I didn’t know either until earlier this year, and my life has not been the same ever since. Let me tell you one thing, we are NOT talking about something that holds plants and something you cook spaghetti in. This episode is all about Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, also called POTS for short. Why? Because October is Dysautonomia Awareness month and because I have recently been diagnosed with POTS. This episode is aimed at educating you about POTS and also addresses my own experience of being diagnosed with a chronic medical condition. It has been an emotional ride, and my hope is to share with you a few tools that have helped me to manage this news and the ongoing treatment that I will need to adhere to. Thank you so much for supporting me this year. Your messages and kindness has been overwhelmingly positive and I am so grateful for you all. So, what is POTS? Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a condition that affects circulation (blood flow). Basically, for most people, our autonomic nervous system works to control and regulate our vital bodily functions and our sympathetic nervous system, which activates the fight or flight response. However, if you have POTS you have what is called orthostatic intolerance. What this means is that when standing up from a reclining position, blood pools in the legs causing lightheadedness, fainting, and an uncomfortable, rapid increase in heartbeat. People with POTS have trouble regulating the blood vessel squeeze and heart rate response causing blood pressure to be unsteady and unstable. Each case of POTS is different. Patients may see symptoms come and go over a period of years. In my case, I have probably had it my whole adult life, but it has worsened enough to need medical attention. In most cases, with proper adjustments in diet, medications and physical activity, a person with POTS will see an improvement in quality of life. People with POTS usually suffer from two or more of the many symptoms listed below. • High/low blood pressure • High/low heart rate; racing heart rate • Chest pain • Dizziness/lightheadedness especially in standing up, prolonged standing in one position, or long walks • Fainting or near-fainting • Exhaustion/fatigue • Abdominal pain and bloating, nausea • Temperature deregulation (hot or cold) • Nervous, jittery feeling • Forgetfulness and trouble focusing (brain fog) • Blurred vision • Headaches and body pain/aches (may feel flu-like); neck pain • Insomnia and frequent awakenings from sleep, chest pain and racing heart rate during sleep, excessive sweating • Shakiness/tremors especially with adrenaline surges • Discoloration of feet and hands • Exercise intolerance • Excessive or lack of sweating • Diarrhea and/or constipation Please go to the below website for more information on POTS https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16560-postural-orthostatic-tachycardia-syndrome-pots


25 Oct 2019

Rank #13

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Ep.133: Perfectly Hidden Depression with Dr. Margaret Robinson Rutherford

In today’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, I speak with the incredible Dr. Margaret Robinson Rutherford. I cannot tell you how happy I am that she reached out for this interview. In this episode, Dr. Margaret Robinson Rutherford talks to us about a term coined, perfectly hidden depression. She talks specifically about how it differs from classic depression and she describes for us the ten characteristics of perfectly hidden depression with number 8 being that it often accompanies mental health struggles such as OCD, eating disorders, addictions or anxiety disorders.  The following are those 10 commonly shared characteristics that Dr. Margaret Robinson Rutherford discusses: You are highly perfectionistic, with a constant, critical inner voice of intense shame.  You demonstrate a heightened or excessive sense of responsibility. You have difficulty accepting and expressing painful emotions. You worry a great deal and avoid situations where control isn’t possible.  You intensely focus on tasks, using accomplishment as a way to feel valuable. You have an active and sincere concern about the well-being of others while allowing few if any into your inner world. You discount or dismiss hurt or abuse from the past or the present. You have accompanying mental health issues, involving control or escape from anxiety. You hold a strong belief in “counting your blessings” as the foundation of well-being. You have emotional difficulty in personal relationships, but demonstrate significant professional success. Dr. Margaret Robinson Rutherford also addresses the Five C’s in the healing process for perfectly hidden depression. I think you will really resonate with the words and concepts discussed in this episode. Thank you Dr. Margaret Robinson Rutherford for your wonderful work. https://drmargaretrutherford.com/perfectly-hidden-depression/ https://drmargaretrutherford.com/ https://drmargaretrutherford.com/selfwork/   OCD Gamechangers – Annual Conference https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-annual-ocd-gamechangers-tickets-82657196901 https://ocdgamechangers.com/events/ March 7 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pm MST Denver Turnverein, 1570 N Clarkson St Denver, CO 80218 United States


13 Feb 2020

Rank #14

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Ep.123: Living with Sexual Obsessions (with Alegra Kastens)

Welcome to Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast! Today I am so thrilled to introduce to you this week's guest, Alegra Kastens, MA. Alegra is not just a guest on the podcast. Alegra is also a very important part of CBT School and has helped me so much since CBT School launched in 2018. Alegra Kastens has been a huge part of the creation of this podcast, uploading it each week, creating a lot of the technological support, creating images and supporting me when I am struggling with all the projects. Alegra is now moving forward with her career and is working as a therapist who specializes in OCD. In today's discussion, Alegra told us about the first moment she had her first intrusive thought and how these impacted her life. She also shared with us the process of her finally deciding to ask for help, even though she was petrified and so ashamed. Alegra shared what she found helpful and not helpful from her therapist and how she was supported and encouraged to seek specialized OCD treatment from her therapist who did not specialize in OCD. What I loved most about this episode is that Alegra Kastens so candidly talks about her experience of shame, guilt, and stigma related to having OCD. Alegra’s main sub-type of OCD was pedophilia obsessions, which caused her to be stuck in self-doubt, self-criticism and complete panic for a very long time. Alegra Kastens shared what it was like to experience sexual obsessions such as pedophilia obsessions and what it was like to undergo Exposure and Response prevention for her OCD symptoms. Alegra shared some of the ERP exposures looked like and the importance of being given psycho-education about ERP before beginning. I loved how much education and inspiration Alegra Kastens brought to this conversation. To learn more about her story, click HERE to read an article she wrote for IntrusiveThoughts.org. For more information on Alegra Kastens, visit: Instagram: @ObsessivelyEverAfter Website: www.alegrakastens.com Psychology Today blog: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/all-things-anxiety


16 Oct 2019

Rank #15

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Ep. 118: A Liberated Mind (with Steven Hayes)

I am honored to have Steven C. Hayes, author of A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Towards What Matters, back on the Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. He was on Ep. 83 and is joining us again! There is nothing that makes me happier than to chat with Steven Hayes about the unbelievable work he is doing and I cannot tell you how much I adored his most recent book. In this week's podcast episode, Steven Hayes addressed how we can reach a liberated mind by improving psychological flexibility and moving away from psychological rigidity.  Not only does Hayes address these important topics using a combination of science and reason, but he also discussed how we can access a liberated mind by practicing compassion and kindness, and by seeking out our own set of values. During this conversation, we touched on some really difficult topics including suicidal ideation, immigration, global warming and other issues that impact the state of the world. Steven Hayes does such a beautiful job teaching us how we can reach be more open to our suffering and be open and flexible with other people’s suffering.  Steven Hayes also addresses how we overuse problem-solving with our emotions. He talks about how we can create our own “hero’s journey” by choosing a path that feels liberating and freeing, instead of one that is powerless and rigid.  For more information on Steven Hayes, click below: Website: https://stevenchayes.com/ TedX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o79_gmO5ppg To purchase his most recent book: https://www.amazon.com/Liberated-Mind-Pivot-Toward-Matters-ebook/dp/B07LDSPRYM A book freebie:https://stevenchayes.com/a-liberated-mind/ Steven Universe video - "Here Comes a Thought": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHg50mdODFM


13 Sep 2019

Rank #16

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Ep. 96: Religious (scrupulosity) and Moral Obsessions (with Dr. Jed Siev)

Dr. Jed Siev Talks Religious (scrupulosity) and Moral Obsessions Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Today, I am so thrilled to talk with you about Religious and Moral Obsessions.  In this episode, I was honored to talk with Dr. Jed Siev.  Dr. Jed Siev is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Swarthmore College and is skilled in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), specifically Religious and Moral Obsessions.  Religious and Moral Obsessions are very common among OCD sufferers and I am so thrilled to share with you. I was able to take some questions from followers on Instagram (@kimberleyquinlan) for this episode and Jed Siev did such a great job of bringing compassion, skill, and research into the conversation.   Here are some of the questions we addressed in the interview:   What is scrupulosity?  What are the common obsessions and compulsions for Religious (scrupulosity) and Moral Obsessions?  How does Scrupulosity differ from Moral Obsessions?  What does treatment for Religious (scrupulosity) and Moral Obsessions consist of?  Does treatment for Religious and Moral Obsessions differ for different common religions?  The below questions from listeners are addressed: Is it helpful to involve a member of clergy when treating religious OCD? Is it common to question whether you are a good person or just do a good thing to prove you are a good person?  How do you practice acceptance of thoughts and obsessions even if it feels so against your morals?  When you struggle with religious (scrupulosity) and Moral Obsessions, how do you teach your younger child to pray?  Why is there such a strong feeling of guilt attached to Religious (scrupulosity) and Moral Obsessions?  How do you address the fear of doing things that are disloyal? What to do if you keep judging your actions?  What to do if you keep putting shame on yourself?  Thank you for everyone who submitted these questions.  I am sure you will find this episode very, very helpful, as I learned so much from Jed Seiv.   For more information on Dr. Siev, visit: https://www.jedsiev.com/ https://www.swarthmore.edu/psychology/faculty-staff EXCITING NEWS...OCDeconstruct is THIS WEEKEND!! OCDeconstruct is a free online conference designed to give those with OCD, and their loved ones, the information needed to understand key concepts related to the disorder so they can get a productive start on treatment. During the conference, six therapists will present on topics including intrusive thoughts, ERP, family dynamics, medicine and more. OCDeconstruct happens on Saturday, April 13 and will run about 4 hours.  


12 Apr 2019

Rank #17

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Ep. 145: The 5 Thoughts You Need to Watch Out for During COVID-19

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit. Today I want to share with you the five thoughts you need to watch out for during COVID-19. I know we are in a stage right now where we are all trying to adapt to our new normal. Over the past week, I have noticed a few thoughts that have come up with clients about our current situation that I want to share with you.  Here we go. These are the 5 thoughts you need to watch out for during COVID-19. 1. “I cannot handle this.”  This is really important because if you are telling yourself that you cannot handle it then chances are you probably won’t. What I would love for you to say instead is, "I can do hard things.” You don't have to do it perfectly, but you absolutely can handle it. 2. “I am going crazy indoors." It is easy to start feeling claustrophobic if you are constantly reminding yourself that you are indoors or cooped up. Instead try switching this statement to “It’s hard for me to be indoors.” I also think it is really important if you are in a place where it is safe and you are able to try and get outdoors every day. Even if it means just standing outside your front door. Getting outdoors at least once a day is so important for our mental health. 3. “When will it end?” This one is really, really hard. If you are spending a lot of time trying to answer this question then you are probably going to end up frustrated, disappointed and more anxious because nobody has the answer. Instead, I would encourage you to try and stay in the present moment. Try focusing on the present day only, not what might happen next week or next month. 4. “Life will never be the same.” Another one that is really hard because there is a lot of grieving happening right now. You may be grieving that your life looks and feels so different. If we keep telling ourselves that life will never be the same, we end up creating a lot more anxiety and ultimately a lot more grief. I think it is so important to give yourself a lot of compassion if this thought is coming up for you.  5. “I should” statements. These look like “I should be handling this better. I should be cleaning my house. I should be learning a new language.” No, we are in the midst of a pandemic. You may not have the energy, bandwidth or mental space to be doing any of those things and that is absolutely OK. I would encourage you to shift your language from “I should” to “I could.” Instead of saying “I should be handling this better.” say “I could be handling this better, but I am doing the best I can with what I have.”   So these are the five thoughts I want you to watch out for during COVID-19. Some of them you may be thinking a lot, some not at all, but I really felt it was important to address these five because it can be so easy to fall into some of these traps! ERP School, BFRB School, and Mindfulness School for OCD are all now open for purchase. If you feel you would benefit, please go to cbtschool.com Please join the IOCDF for a live Townhall discussion on COVID-19 & OCD Saturday April 18 at 2 PM EST. There will be a live Q&A session. Please click here for more information. Did you know that we were listed in the top 10 OCD podcasts to follow in 2020? https://blog.feedspot.com/ocd_podcasts/


16 Apr 2020

Rank #18

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Ep. 136: 8 Things I Want You to Know Today

In today’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit, I wanted to share with you the 8 things I want you to know. You might be wondering, “How does Kimberley know what I need?” You are correct. I really cannot be sure, but I can guess and I wondered if you needed to hear any of these 8 points.  Here they are:  1) It's ok to feel what you are feeling. You are allowed to feel it all! The good. The bad. The uncomfortable. There is no “right” way to feel. 2) Your thoughts do not define your worth. Not today. Not tomorrow. This is true for every single person. If you are wondering, “If she only knew how bad my thoughts are." I mean you too. There is no thought that disqualifies you or depletes your worth.  3) There is nothing you need to change. Nope! You are perfect, even with all of your imperfections. Hey, you are perfect because of your imperfections.  4) You are supported. Lean on the CBT School Facebook group if you are feeling alone. 5) We will not give up on you. When I say “we” I actually mean YOU AND ME! I won't give up on you and you can’t either.  6) You are enough. That is all I am going to say. It’s a fact!  7) This moment is temporary. This moment might feel unbearable, I understand. However, please remember that this moment is only here for a moment....and then it passes. No anxiety lasts forever.  8) You deserve love and peace. You really do deserve love and peace. We all do. If you are having a hard time right now, I am sorry. I wish you love and peace in the little ways and the big.  OCD Gamechangers – Annual Conference https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-annual-ocd-gamechangers-tickets-82657196901 https://ocdgamechangers.com/events/ March 7 @ 10:00 am - 6:00 pm MST Denver Turnverein, 1570 N Clarkson St Denver, CO 80218 United States ERP School is coming soon! Mark your calendars for Feb 27th!


13 Feb 2020

Rank #19

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Ep. 139: How to Manage Health Anxiety

Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit. In today's podcast, I give an account of how I manage health anxiety, both when managing medical issues and during medical tests. With all of the fear related to the Coronavirus, health anxiety is becoming a very scary word. Many with OCD are impacted by this because doctors and authorities are telling them to be concerned. This is very much the same when you are dealing with a medical issue and it can be hard to differentiate what is appropriate and what is fear-related. In this episode, I address how to manage health anxiety from many different perspectives and I hope you find it helpful. Please check out this post about managing health anxiety over the coronavirus. https://www.shalanicely.com/aha-moments/managing-ocd-about-coronavirus/ ERP SCHOOL is HERE! ERP School is a complete online course that teaches you how to apply Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) to your Obsessions and Compulsions. The cost is $197 and includes almost 6 hours of the same ERP information and skills that Kimberley teaches her face-to-face clients. ERP School is only offered two times per year. The last day to purchase is Monday March 9, 2020. https://www.cbtschool.com/erp-school-lp


5 Mar 2020

Rank #20