Many of my clients ask what ERP stands for? Exposure and Response Prevention sounds so formal and technical. Simply put, it is a process that creates ORDER out of mental CHAOS. It works by systematically facing your obsessions while abstaining from your compulsions. ERP is helpful when combined with lots of other skills.
K.D. Holmes Blog
Sometimes in my office people are curious about me. Some ask what do I struggle with? There is an assumption that therapists do not struggle because of what they know. Knowing and doing are two different types of learning. I had an anxiety disorder for most of my life. I suffered from depression and anxiety when I was a child and young adult.
Have you ever had a thought that just keeps popping up in your head? These kinds of thoughts can be images, phrases, even feelings that intrude upon an otherwise perfect moment. These intrusions are not hidden desires or even thoughts the sufferer wants to think. They just pop on in your head and terrify you. In Obsessive Compulsive Disorder they get stuck, and play on repeat in your mind. Because once isn't terrifying enough, let's play that thought again and again, and compulsively check if it is still there.
I began working with individuals who have OCD about 10 to 12 years ago. I was taught about OCD in my graduate program, but did not have an accurate understanding of its symptoms and treatment at that time because more specific training and education is required. When someone came to me with OCD symptoms and needed treatment, I was stumped, and anything that baffles me sparks my curiosity.
During my first session with a client (also known as “the intake session”) I always ask no matter what the mental health issue—
Many of the individuals I work with (myself included) are plagued by an obsessive brain. Obsessive brains are repetitive and stuck, living in a rabbit hole of thinking that leads to nowhere but feels real to the sufferer. These individuals are often diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which is composed of obsessions followed by compulsions.
Well this is one complicated question, but I will attempt to sum it up as best as I can. Overachieving is made up of habits, personality traits, mental health symptoms, our history, and social networks -- which makes for a complicated way through this issue.
Overachieving is comprised of emotional urges, habits, and so much lost time. I was constantly consumed by the urge to achieve, while outwardly it appeared like I was thriving. Ultimately the internal costs far outweighed any of my successes.
This specific type of anxiety and depression is difficult to change because most individuals don't want to change something that brings them accolades in the world, positive feelings within, and intense fear that they are avoiding catastrophes with these overachieving habits.
I see so many clients who have no idea that overachieving is a part of their mental health problem. They come to me with so many achievements, yet they are consumed with anxiety and/or depression, thinking that their inner overachiever god is "good", necessary, and "essential" for life.