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Blog 2020

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Dr. Z and Seth Gillihan

"You must be vulnerable to be sensitive to reality. And to me being vulnerable is just another way of saying that one has nothing more to lose. I don’t have anything but darkness to lose. I’m way beyond that." - Bob Dylan. We often play-it-safe by hiding, avoiding,...

Dr. Z and Chris Martin

As Chris Martin would say, the curiosity didn't kill the cat. In fact, she's alive and well." Today, I'm sharing with you an interview with Chris Martin, a content producer and creativity coach who helps people unleash their creative fire by transforming imaginative...

Dr. Z and Debbie Sorensen

How often do you play-it-safe by minimizing what's important to you and avoiding conversations? In this conversation, I interview Debbie Sorensen, a clinical psychologist, co-author of the book ACT daily Journal, and co-host of the psychology podcast Psychologists Off...

Dr. Z on Choices

Imagine what would happen if you made choices to give just 10% more of yourself to your career? Imagine if you make choices to give just 15% more of yourself to your relationships? Imagine how your life would change if you make choices to give 20% more to your health?...

Dr. Z and Paul Ollinger

One way in which we play-it-safe is by “discounting what’s important to us or minimizing our needs.” Of course, in relationships sometimes we prioritize the relationships’ needs versus our individual needs. And yet, if this playing-it-safe move goes unchecked we may...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z and Jonny Say (part 2)

I never have heard a person say "I'm concerned about how kind, caring and compassionate I'm with myself." Most of us, may go into a judgemental mode when making a mistake, saying the wrong thing, or looking back at actions we took in the past. Sometimes, we may even...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Fear of Failure

The fear of being a failure is more common than what we know, and it drives many struggles: perfectionism, procrastination, low moods, and many more. But are you aware of how it shows up and you handle it? In this episode, I invite you to answer 3 questions that will...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z and Aaron Harvey

Do you ever wonder how a person makes ideas happen? How a person creates a concept and puts it into action in a campaign, art, or book? How do ideas scale to the point that they're so popular and well established? Do you ever wonder how a creative mind chooses an idea...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Negative Predictions

When I ask people how often they get lost in their thoughts, most of them say "a lot." There wasn't a single I've talked to who said "never." Perhaps, that's not a surprise. Our minds are a powerful content-generating machine that is constantly generating all types of...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z and Jonny Say (part 1)

"Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Ruling Thoughts

A lot of our struggles come from holding onto thoughts as rules - ruling thoughts - and going along with them without checking how they work in our day-to-day life. In this episode, I discuss 3 specific ruling thoughts that could be keeping you stuck. Listen to the...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Uncertainty

Imagine for a moment that all knowledge is represented in the shape of a pie that adds up to 100%; there is maybe 5% of things we know, another 15% of what we don’t know, and 80% of things we don’t know we don’t know. The reality is that as much as we want, wish, and...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z and Sarah Peck, M.A.

In this conversation, Sarah Peck shares how she gives herself permission to be a good enough parent and how this philosophy has led her to have a fulfilling role as a mom. She also shares how she handles worry thoughts about not being a good mother for her children...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Values

Values" is a word that gets thrown around a great deal these days, and it means different things to different people. In this episode, Dr. Z describes what values are within Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and what they're not. Listen to the episode on your...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z with Rae Senarighi

From the outside, our lives may look great, fun, and perfect! But sometimes, our lives get messy, complicated, and hard to handle because unexpected things happen. On top of that, some contextual situations make things extra hard for us: struggles with mental health,...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Mindfulness Part 4

In this episode, I share with you some tips on how to practice mindfulness-on-the-go when things go wrong, south, and terribly bad. Each week I create resources to get unstuck from worries, fears, anxieties, and obsessions so you can stop playing-it-safe and start...

PIS Episode: Dr Z. and Jill Stoddard

In this conversation, you will hear how Dr. Jill Stoddard, a TEDx speaker, author, ACT clinician, and mother of two children practices self-compassion and faces her fears of not being an expert on a given topic. Listen to the episode on your favorite player: 👉🏻 Apple...

PIS Episode: DR. Z and Michael Heady, LCPC

PIS Episode: DR. Z and Michael Heady, LCPC

Few times we have the opportunity to see how therapists walk the walk, put into action what they know about managing fears, anxieties, and worries, and what it means to make a shift from struggling to thriving. In this personal, relatable, and real conversation, I...

PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Mindfulness Part 3

PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Mindfulness Part 3

Mindfulness practices go hand-in-hand with compassion practices. There are so many ways to put them into action in our lives. In this episode, I share a brief tip that you can practice anytime and anywhere to show kindness to yourself and discuss what connects...

New PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Mindfulness (Part 2)

New PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Mindfulness (Part 2)

In this episode Dr. Z shares how to practice mindfulness on-the-go when dealing with overwhelming fear-based emotions, why practicing mindfulness-on-the-go in your day-to-day life is important, and tips to catch some of the most common responses when dealing with uncomfortable experiences.

PIS Episode: Dr. Z with Steve Hayes

PIS Episode: Dr. Z with Steve Hayes

This is Part 1 of a very personal conversation with Steve, and it gives us a peek into the life behind the scenes of a person that published over hundreds of academic papers and academic books, trained hundreds of clinicians, presented at countless of international conferences and developed a model of psychological science that has exploded in the last 30 years.

PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Perfectionism (Part 5)

PIS Episode: Dr. Z on Perfectionism (Part 5)

New Episode In this episode, Dr. Z. speaks briefly about the intersection of procrastination and perfectionism. How, although they may seem to be different and isolated problems, they are in fact not. Listen to the episode on your favorite player:⁠ ⁠ Apple...

PIS EPISODE: DR. Z WITH DR. CHERYL ROBINSON

PIS EPISODE: DR. Z WITH DR. CHERYL ROBINSON

In this episode, I chat with Dr. Cheryl Robinson who is also known as the Queen of Pivoting. We chatted about how people make pivots in their careers and in their mindsets.In her research, Cheryl has identified 3 processes that help people to make a pivot; she shared...

PIS EPISODE: DR. Z ON PERFECTIONISM (PART 4)

PIS EPISODE: DR. Z ON PERFECTIONISM (PART 4)

Is it wrong to pay attention to details? How does it really work? In this episode I discuss how selective attention leads us to perfectionistic behaviors and invite you to check the impact of those actions when doing things that you deeply care about. Listen to the...

Workbook for Teens with OCD

Workbook for Teens with OCD

This workbook, based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) presents concepts like Choice Point, real-life examples and tons of fun activities to help you manage and work through OCD.

PIS Episode: Dr. Z with Paul Jarvis

PIS Episode: Dr. Z with Paul Jarvis

In this episode I chat with Paul Jarvis, author of Company of One, and a proponent that “less is more” when running your business. In this conversation, you will hear how Paul handles his fears of making mistakes, impostor syndrome, how he went from writing a cooking book to writing Company of One, how he approaches larger projects, and whom he would like to have a cup of coffee with.

PIS Episode: Dr. Z with Russ Harris

PIS Episode: Dr. Z with Russ Harris

In this episode Dr. Z. chats with Russ Harris, M.D., author of The Happiness Trap, The Reality Slap and many other self-help books. Russ shares how he applies skills from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – grounding, defusion, acceptance – to his writing process.

Are you parenting a super-feeler?

Are you parenting a super-feeler?

In the book, you’ll find the tools you need to parent your troubled teen, pay attention to your own reactions, and put an end to the cycle of conflict that has taken over your home. In this book, you’ll learn to observe the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations that drive your own parenting behaviors, and how these behaviors can impact your teen.

PIS Episode: Dr. Z with Clarissa Ong

PIS Episode: Dr. Z with Clarissa Ong

In this episode, I chat with Clarisa Ong, a predoctoral intern at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. We discussed the difference between values and pliance, how Acceptance and Commitment Therapy approaches perfectionistic behaviors, and how to pay attention to rules when wanting to do things right and perfect.

Parent Series: Social Anxiety

Parent Series: Social Anxiety

For parents who want to know how to help their kids' struggles with social anxiety, this page is a useful resource. Information about therapy, what not to do, and types of social anxiety is available to help you. Check out the link below....

Check Out Our Newsletter

Check Out Our Newsletter

Who doesn’t experience fear or play it safe? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter to keep up to date with all the latest information, research, skills, and tips on dealing with fears, anxieties, worries, or obsessions. You don’t want to miss it. #ACTBeyondOCD...

Parent Series: OCD

Parent Series: OCD

Want to understand OCD better? Curious about your child's obsessions and the best therapy for them? This page can help. It provides information regarding the different types of OCD, how to parent a child dealing with OCD, along with skills and tools to help work...

The ACT Workbook for Teens with OCD

The ACT Workbook for Teens with OCD

The ACT Workbook for Teens with OCD is my tool for you to learn new skills to handle the stream of pesky obsessions that show up in your mind. This workbook, based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) presents concepts like...

Check Out Our Newsletter

Who doesn’t experience fear or play it safe? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter to keep up to date with all the latest information, research, skills, and tips on dealing with fears, anxieties, worries, or obsessions. You don’t want to miss it. #ACTBeyondOCD...

Do you feel easily overwhelmed by your emotions?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your emotions? Ever been told that you’re ‘too sensitive’ or ‘overreacting’? You are not alone – millions of people go through the same struggle. Escaping the Emotional Rollercoaster will help readers understand and manage their...

Are you raising a super-feeler?

If you have a teen who experiences extreme emotions, either as a result of a mental health diagnosis such as borderline personality disorder (BPD), or simply because you have a highly emotional teen, you probably need help right now. Parenting a teen comes with its...

Do you have a super-feeler at home?

  If you have a teen who experiences extreme emotions, either as a result of a mental health diagnosis such as borderline personality disorder (BPD), or simply because you have a highly emotional teen, you probably need help right now. Parenting a teen comes with...

EBBTC Intensive Outpatient Program – IOP

EBBTC Intensive Outpatient Program – IOP

Our Intensive Outpatient Program, or IOP, is tailored exclusively to you to help with OCD and anxiety. To learn more about our unique Intensive Outpatient Program, why treatment for OCD is important, and what treatment looks like, check the link below....

Treatment Outcomes

Curious about the results of our treatment? This page shows you exactly what treatment outcomes look like and why treatment for OCD and anxiety is so important. Here you can learn about Exposure Response Prevention and see the successful results of several former...

Types of OCD

There are many different types of OCD. Some may feel familiar and others, not so much. If you believe you or your child may be struggling with OCD, this page may provide some clarity about the various types, manifestations, and treatments for OCD. Check it out, link...

Parent Series: Mood Problems

Parent Series: Mood Problems

PARENT SERIES: MOOD PROBLEMSwork withWhy our clients love working with ustestimonials"I was referred to Patricia Zurita Ona from my son's psychiatrist for cognitive behavioral therapy treatment of his obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety which rose to a level...

A Workbook for Adults Struggling with OCD

Adults suffer from OCD too. With this workbook, you will get real guidance, real skills, real how-tos, and real takeaways to keep and share with others about overcoming OCD episodes and getting your life back on track. This workbook is for anyone newly diagnosed with...

Parent Series: Emotional Regulation

      Frequent, constantly changing and strong emotions can be difficult to manage. If you are a parent and your teen is struggling with emotion regulation problems, this page provides very helpful information about parenting teens dealing with strong...

New resource: Workbook for Adults with OCD

New resource: Workbook for Adults with OCD

Adults suffer from OCD too. With this workbook, you will get real guidance, real skills, real how-tos, and real takeaways to keep and share with others about overcoming OCD episodes and getting your life back on track.  This workbook is for anyone newly diagnosed with...

Escaping the Emotional Roller Coaster

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your emotions? Ever been told that you’re ‘too sensitive’ or ‘overreacting’? You are not alone – millions of people go through the same struggle. Escaping the Emotional Rollercoaster will help readers understand and manage their...

Is your teen a super-feeler?

If you have a teen who experiences extreme emotions, either as a result of a mental health diagnosis such as borderline personality disorder (BPD), or simply because you have a highly emotional teen, you probably need help right now. Parenting a teen comes with its...

An ACT Workbook for Teens with OCD

The ACT Workbook for Teens with OCD is my tool for you to learn new skills to handle the stream of pesky obsessions that show up in your mind. This workbook, based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) presents concepts like...

Check Out Our Newsletter

Who doesn't experience fear or play it safe? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter to keep up to date with all the latest information, research, skills, and tips on dealing with fears, anxieties, worries, or obsessions. You don't want to miss it. #ACTBeyondOCD...

Conditions We Treat for Parents

Parents, are you worried that your child may be struggling with ODC or anxiety? This page has all the information you need about the conditions we treat at EBBTC, what is unique about our work, and our process. Check it out to learn more about how we can help.  ...

Super-feelers: every moment is a new moment to start

Super-feelers: every moment is a new moment to start

In Dr. Z’s new book, Escaping the Emotional Rollercoaster, you’re introduced to 6 core skills and ways of beginning to change the ups and downs of your emotions. Each of them is explained and carefully walked through so that you can take it out of the box, handle it, try it out, and see what you think.

Superthinkers: What does “recovery” mean?

Superthinkers: What does “recovery” mean?

You may remember that we had a guest post with Morgan and Molly, of Not Alone Notes. Morgan also runs the associated blog, My OCD Voice. She recently posted about what recovery looks like for her, saying that it doesn't mean that she never has intrusive thoughts or...

ADAA: 5th Annual Clinical Practice Symposium

ADAA: 5th Annual Clinical Practice Symposium

There is just a month left to join Dr. Z at the 2019 ADAA Clinical Practice Symposium that she is hosting! On Friday, March 28th, from 8am to 10am, a panel of experts-- Dr. Dougherty, a psychiatrist at McLean hospital, Dr. Neziroglu, the executive director at The Bio...

Read a client review of exposure (1 min read)

Read a client review of exposure (1 min read)

Don't believe the value we place in exposure work? Read it from our clients who have done it! This client wrote, Exposure therapy is SUPER helpful. It helps you face your fears and it really does help. You might feel a little uncomfortable a couple of times, but just...

Superthinkers: Parents can’t ‘cure’ OCD

Superthinkers: Parents can’t ‘cure’ OCD

In another great contribution to the world of parents with kids who struggle with OCD, Chris Baier, one of the creators of Unstuck: an OCD Kids movie wrote this article for the Mighty a few years back that remains just as relevant today as then. He talks about his...

Clinicians: Train with Dr. Z online!

Clinicians: Train with Dr. Z online!

We're so excited to announce the Dr. Z will be doing a 6 week online course for all the clinicians who are yearning for training in how to treat OCD through ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), ERP (Exposure-Response Prevention) and ERT (Emotion Regulation...

Read what our client had to say about exposure

Read what our client had to say about exposure

We sincerely appreciate reading our clients' opinions of exposure work! This client said, Most of the exposures I've done are working pretty well! I've gotten rid of lots of my habits, but I wish there were more than two different exposure types, because on one of my...

Look back on OCD Awareness week (1 min read)

Look back on OCD Awareness week (1 min read)

  October 7-13 was OCD Awareness week, and they used the hashtag #RealOCD to bring together people from the OCD community in building public awareness and community. We are so happy to see so many people sharing videos and posts for the week, and to see familiar...

Shoutout to ADAA (<1 min read)

We value community resources for patients, practitioners, and parents, which is why we have been members of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America for several years. We are so honored to see that they have recognized our work and endorse it to their wide...

Super-feelers in business? (2 min read)

Super-feelers in business? (2 min read)

Mental health is rarely spoken about in the workplace. Even in places where management may understand the impact of psychological well-being, when mental health is brought up, it's usually in a negative judgment. However, we know that people are worried, stressed, and...

Hear Dr. Z’s upcoming training (in Poland!)

Hear Dr. Z’s upcoming training (in Poland!)

Dr. Z is doing a two-day, 4-hour webinar on using flexible exposures for OCD and anxiety-related disorders. It'll be on October 20th and 21st, from 6pm to 8pm on Zoom. While a basic understanding of ACT is assumed of participants, Dr. Z will break down how to approach...

OCD: Watch Kids Speak Out, with Chris Baier

OCD: Watch Kids Speak Out, with Chris Baier

We're excited to share with you Chris Baier's YouTube project, Kids Speak Out. Chris Baier is one of the creators of a movie we've featured before, Unstuck: An OCD Kids movie, and we've also interviewed him here previously. So, clearly, we're big fans of his work....

Featuring: IOP program

We're calling out our IOP program today, to highlight some of the amazing changes that clients in the program have seen. To start, let's clarify: IOP stands for Intensive Outpatient Program, and for us, that means committing to having sessions at least 3 times a week,...

Parenting a Troubled Teen review

We have been thrilled with the reception to Dr. Z's book, Parenting a Troubled Teen. Recently, we came across this review by parent and clinician, Thomas: As a therapist and parent of a teen who has seen Dr. Ona for social anxiety, I highly recommend her and this...

Anxiety Tech Conference 2018

Anxiety Tech Conference 2018

The Anxiety Tech Conference is going to be on July 18th of this year, in San Francisco! As practitioners who value the role of technology in our work, this conference is a must-attend. The conference leaders write: "By coming to Anxiety Tech, you will learn how to...

Shoutout to Life in Balance!

We are always so thrilled when other clinicians find our books helpful for their clients and recommend them. A big thank you to Life in Balance Therapy, from Toronto, for listing Parenting a Troubled Teen as a resource!  ...

Quicksand of Agoraphobia: Part IV

We had a wonderful talk with Diane Mengali, author of The Quicksand of Agoraphobia, a few months ago. She was very warm and open in sharing her experience, for which we are very grateful. We have revised the interview into four parts. This is the fourth and final...

DBT is not for Me! What else can I do?

DBT is not for Me! What else can I do?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a well-established treatment for people who suffer from emotion dysregulations and impulsive behaviors. This includes people with self-harming and suicidal behaviors, substance abuse, and chronic interpersonal difficulties. And...

Technology Use for Children and Teens

Technology Use for Children and Teens

Nearly all parents at some point will have a conversation with their children about technology use. This may be in the context of video games, social media, screen use time, responsible Internet use, or any other category. Parents often struggle to figure out how to...

Body Image Assessments

Body Image Assessments

Is it hard to look at your body? Are you experiencing concern regarding your eating, or your mood? We have a variety of self-assessments that can help determine whether what you're experiencing might be better addressed with a clinician. Find them...

Quicksand of Agoraphobia: Part III

We had a wonderful talk with Diane Mengali, author of The Quicksand of Agoraphobia. She was very warm and open in sharing her experience, for which we are very grateful. We have revised the interview into four parts, to be released monthly. This is the third post. To...

Guest Post: Mindful Powers

Guest Post: Mindful Powers

Today we're glad to hear from Mindful Powers, a mindfulness app for kids that helps foster greater awareness. Read on for their introduction of this neat app! Mindful Powers™ is a kid-first, holistic approach to building social-emotional learning through the power of...

Emotion Regulation Assessment

Is something about your moods really throwing you off lately? Maybe what you're feeling seems too big to handle. Try taking our self-quiz for emotion dysregulation on our assessments page: http://eastbaybehaviortherapycenter.com/what-we-treat-adults/

Updates from IOCDF Newsletter

We are happy to share some of our update from the OCD quarterly newsletter sent from the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF). In the beginning of the year, we were lucky enough to contribute towards clinicians' learning and development through a 2-day workshop on...

Quicksand of Agoraphobia: Part II

We had a wonderful talk with Diane Mengali, author of The Quicksand of Agoraphobia. She was very warm and open in sharing her experience, for which we are very grateful. We have revised the interview into four parts, to be released monthly. This is the second post. To...

Stress and worry assessments

Feeling off lately? Too much worry, stress, anxiety, or low mood to handle? We have an array of self-quizzes you can take to see if something more than being "tired" is going on. They include assessments for mood disorders, anxiety disorders, body image disorders,...

Quicksand of Agoraphobia: Part I

We had a wonderful talk with Diane Mengali, author of The Quicksand of Agoraphobia. She was very warm and open in sharing her experience, for which we are very grateful. We have revised the interview into four parts, to be released monthly. Keep reading to get a sense...

OCD series: I need to confess

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can take on many forms, and today we’ll be talking about the need to confess. The typical characteristics of OCD are: 1. Obsessions – these are intrusive, unwanted thoughts, images, urges, sensations that people experience as...

Parenting a Super-Feeler

  Please join us on January 30th for an online training Dr. Zurita Ona will be leading on parenting teens who get swept up by their strong emotions. It is hosted by Praxis, where registration is available. This talk is 10am to 12pm PST, and will offer concise,...

Alternatives to compulsive skin picking

Fidget toys can be immensely helpful for those struggling with dermatillomania, or compulsive skin picking. These can introduce an alternative to picking skin, while remaining tactile. The toys range from a different textured item, like slime, to something subtle,...

Life with OCD

You love your significant other and your pets so much that your feel your life would be over if you lost them. Imagine trying to prevent this with every waking moment of your life. Your life wasn’t always like this.   One day you had the thought: “What if my...

Turtles All the Way Down reading

We are so excited to see John Green's newest book, Turtles All the Way Down! Drawn from Green's personal OCD experience, he is able to build a wonderful main character who suffers from OCD. Curious about the book but not sure whether you'll like it? Listen to the...

Values Jounal

‘It’s not about how long you live; It’s about how you live” is a quote you may have heard before, and it’s one that Dr. Nic Hooper, of the ACT Centre for Wellbeing, goes into explaining. He explains that how you live is not based on accomplishments, a set list of...

Parent series: Are you in judgment mode?

Parent series: Are you in judgment mode?

[bctt tweet="“The ability to evaluate, classify, criticize, and judge is unique to human beings, and we’re evolutionarily wired to do it; our early ancestors learned to differentiate what’s good from what’s bad, so they could put their efforts toward preventing...

Scavenger Hunt at EBBTC!

Come join us on Saturday, October 7th for a free event at EBBTC!  We'll be doing a fun scavenger hunt, playing with OCD and finding new ways of interacting with our anxiety, all while winning prizes along the way. Click on the image to see the full-size flyer.  ...

Parent series: is your teen sad or depressed?

Depression is a term that’s thrown around a lot in our daily lives and often used synonymously with feeling sad. However, depression is a clinical disorder and needs to be addressed as such. This blog post will help parents better understand and differentiate between...

Interview with Unstuck: An OCD Kids movie

We previously introduced the movie "Unstuck: An OCD Kids Movie" and now we have the pleasure of hearing from the creators, Chris Baier and Kelly Anderson! Read on for the interview:   How did you come up with the idea to create Unstuck? KA: After my daughter was...

Giveaway: Parenting A Troubled Teen

We are so excited to announce that Goodreads is offering a chance to get a free copy of Dr. Zurita Ona's latest book, Parenting a Troubled Teen!  This practical book is a great resource to parents who have frequent conflicts with their emotional teens, and walks...

Tribute to Lee Baer

"You are not so abnormal as you think. Every human being is visited from time to time by the Imp of the Perverse, who makes you think the most inappropriate thoughts at the most appropriate times." -  Lee Baer, Imp of the Mind Lee Baer, Ph.D. was a leading clinician...

Scavenger Hunt for kids with OCD

  EBBTC will be out in full force at the OCD Conference in San Francisco this coming weekend! They will be leading a scavenger hunt from 4 - 5:30pm for kids struggling with OCD.   For many kids, OCD can stop them from doing fun things in life and can even...

Parents of Teens Support Group

East Bay Behavior Therapy Center will be at the San Francisco OCD Conference next week! The first presentation will be a support group for parents of teens, on July 6th, Thursday from 6:30-7:30 pm.   Parenting is one of the most rewarding and amazing tasks;...

ACBS Recap #3: ACT for Emotion Dysregulation

  In our last of the recaps, we thank Dr. Z for sharing her knowledge to advance the field and help those dealing with anxiety or emotion dysregulation. ACT for Emotion Dysregulation Problems (Borderline Personality Disorder) In a presentation targeted towards...

ACBS Recap #1: ACT 101 for Parents

Dr. Zurita Ona recently was in Seville for the ACBS Annual World Conference. Here, we recap one of her presentations: It's Not My Fault, It's Not His Fault: ACT 101 for Parents of Emotionally Dysregulated Teens. This presentation helped parents break the cycles of...

Life in Rewind

  Ed Zine's OCD was so severe, at age 24, that it took him seven hours to move from the end of his bed to the basement door in anticipation of meeting Michael Jenike, the psychiatrist who would help him. The mantra of 'Time equals Progression, Progression equals...

Unstuck: An OCD Kids movie

Produced by Kelly Anderson and Chris Baier, parents of children with OCD, Unstuck is about showing kids as they truly are, OCD experts. The movie focuses on what kids know, the challenges they have overcome and the tools they have learned to fight back. Watch the...

Brandon Marshall and Project 375

Brandon Marshall is a wide receiver for the New York Giants, and the co-founder of Project 375, a foundation dedicated to eradicating mental health stigma and improving quality of care for those in need. He spoke recently with The Players' Tribune about how he decided...

How Do I Find the Right Provider for Me?

A couple of weeks ago, we published a post on how to choose a therapy for your child based on the theoretical orientation of the clinician. This post is a continuation to the previous one and it will give you information about how to choose therapist based on the...

OCD, photography, & J. William Keedy!

What do you get when you cross an artist/photographer with an unspecified anxiety-based mental illness? Some incredible images that give an insider’s view of how it feels to live with OCD and anxiety. Click on the following link to see the extraordinary work of John...

Parents series: A 504 or an IEP?

Your child is struggling in school, and you know they need help, but where do you turn? Many parents start by hiring a tutor, but for some children, this isn’t enough. If you think the classroom setting itself is not facilitating learning, it’s probably time to look...

What Does Dialectical Mean?

We all get used to using acronyms, but sometimes we don't know quite what they mean. DBT, or Dialectical Behavior Therapy, for example, is a type of treatment that is very effective for emotion regulation problems or “feeling too much, too quick, too soon." It's a...

From our friends: Stu & OCD Stories

We recently had a great conversation with Stu from the OCD Stories, a brilliant resource to learn more about overcoming OCD, and are excited to share our exchange with our readers. Stu is a smart, informed, and passionate person who has conquered OCD in many ways;...

Let’s learn “how to negotiate!”

Negotiation skills are helpful in buying a car, agreeing to a contract at work, or deciding where to spend Christmas with your spouse. In each of these scenarios, the negotiation is before actually discussing the issue with someone else. Negotiation is at times,...

Grow a Mustache for Movember!

Want a fun and unique way to update your look and do some good? Grow a moustache this month for Movember and start conversations about men's mental health with the hair below your nose! Read more here and find some great styling tips here!

What Causes OCD?

Many of us are aware of the symptoms of OCD, but do we really know the cause behind the symptoms? What is happening in our brains and why is behavior therapy so effective. The following article gives a great overview of how we came to know about OCD and how behavior...

Remember about .. .Movember!

Mental health problems are rampant and this month the EBBTC is supporting the movement to advocate for mental health and spread awareness of mental illness and suicide among men. Mental health issues that go unresolved and untreated carry a higher risk of suicide,...

How are you handling your emotions?

Do you have an emotional switch or emotional dial? Do you often feel like you’re drowning in emotion? Or that you can’t control your emotional reactions to situations or people? Do you have difficulty naming what you feel? Are your reactions and feelings getting in...

From our Friends: Rogers Memorial Hospital

Every day, millions of children, teens and adults are affected by the overwhelming symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorder. Many are so filled with anxiety that they no longer have the ability to leave home, keep a job or maintain...

From our friends: Navigating OCD & Uncertainty

We recently spoke with  Jeff Bell, news anchor and author of two relateable and informative resources for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): When in Doubt, Make Belief and Rewind, Replay, Repeat: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. We often recommend Jeff’s...

What is Trichotillomania?

What is Trichotillomania? Trichotillomania is a disorder where people engage in repetitive hair pulling. People may pull hair from any number of body areas including the head (most common), eyebrows, arms, etc. Perhaps you recognize this pattern: stroking or playing...

Movember for men’s mental health

November is "Movember" according to the Movember Foundation, a charity focused on men's physical and mental health! Movember is a beautiful time to grow out a mustache, donate to the cause and spread awareness of men's health. Globally, the rate of suicide is alarming...

“I am not ashamed, and I am not afraid.”

Dear readers, Take a read of this story by an outspoken public figure and beauty queen who chose to be open with her mental illness. She talks about the support and love she received at her truthfulness, and also the judgment and discrimination. How else can we...

Are you procrastinating your procrastination?

In 1988, Nike started the campaign, “Just Do It” which is ultimately the worst advice for those of us who tend to procrastinate. Procrastination is delaying action that usually involves uncomfortable feelings such as stress, guilt or criticizing thoughts, negative...

We need our negative emotions

Emotions or feelings, both positive and negative, are bits of important feedback for us, they’re telling us something and we can choose to listen to them, fight them, or avoid them. Here is a very interesting article about emotions and feelings on the Wall Street...

It’s OCD Awareness Week!

Monday was World Mental Health Day and this week is OCD Awareness Week, where we are set to promote awareness, education and understanding of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related conditions! What you can do this week: Speak up and call people out when they...

Grounding: Getting Back to Our Bodies

There are times when we become so emotionally overwhelmed by anxiety, anger, sadness, frustration, and other emotions, that we lose our connection with our bodies and the world around us, as if we’re fully disconnecting. We feel the intensity of the emotions...

From our Friends: David Adam & OCD

We recently interviewed David Adam, author of The Man Who Couldn't Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought. He's been featured in the New York Times and NPR because of his story. Here is what you need to keep in mind when reading this interview: David...

Emotional tsunamis, self-harm, and suicide

If you're reading this it's likely that you or someone you know is in a lot of pain. Imagine for a moment being stranded in the middle of the ocean and suddenly seeing a huge wave coming at you; anywhere you look to escape there's just more water and the wave is still...

From our friends: OCD and storytelling

We’re always excited to introduce our readers to the incredible work our friends are doing so you can have access to the most effective and “up-to-date" resources to manage any struggle you’re going through. Today, it’s with great pleasure we introduce you to the...

From our friends: OCD Tips with Dr. Allen Weg

There's a great resource on YouTube with brief and easily digestible OCD Tips by the Stress and Anxiety Services of New Jersey and Dr. Allen Weg: "Welcome to OCD Tips.  As you will hear in the Introductory video of this video clip series, we decided to embark on this...

A Self-Assessment for PTSD

We are all vulnerable to threatening events in our lives -events such as community violence (e.g., shooting, mugging, burglary, physical or sexual assault, bullying), sexual and/or physical abuse, being in or witnessing a serious car accident, sudden unexpected or...

Relationship saboteurs

Dear Readers, This month our blog is dedicated to relationships. Let’s start by acknowledging the nature of all relationships and what makes them successful: relationships are living entities that evolve, morph, transform, and to be successful, they require...

A Self-Assessment for Anger

Do you often feel like your head is going to blow over from anger or frustration like a pot of boiling milk? Do you have a hard time controlling your feelings, especially anger? Has anyone ever expressed fear or conflict with your reactions? There are ways to manage...

For parents: Anxiety 101

Anxiety is a normal part life; every human being is wired to experience anxiety. You may not like to hear this, but as we are wired to experience joy, happiness, and other comfortable emotions, we’re also wire to experience sadness, frustration, and anxiety- to name a...

Are you struggling with complicated grief?

Dear Reader, When we think about grief, most of us quickly think about the loss of someone or even the loss of a pet. However, in this post, we want to invite you think about grief as a process that refers not only to losing a pet or a person; but a dream, a hope, or...

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation Anxiety Disorder At some point during childhood most children have difficulty with being away from their parents or caretakers, that’s natural.  Perhaps a child will initially express concern about a parent beginning a new job which requires traveling or a...

From our friends: Fusion Academy

By Jeff Kozlowski, Fusion Academy In today’s world, every teenager is challenged to adapt their emotional makeup to meet the demands of our culture. There remain the age-old pressures from peers regarding sex, drugs, and at-risk behavior (e.g. cutting). But...

An Assessment for Parents

Being a parent of a child or teen with emotion dysregulation, debilitating anxieties or OCD can be extremely confusing, scary and lonely. There’s a way to help. Get informed of where your kid’s struggles are coming from and learn how to effectively respond. Take our...

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder? Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is seeing as a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) because it's characterized by intrusive thoughts related to physical appearance, beliefs about others paying particular attention to those body...

Body Image Issues: Self-Assessment

Are you constantly preoccupied with your body? Do you count calories obsessively, more than others around you? Has your body image kept you from doing things you love? Have you avoided people and situations because of you’re scared of hopefully being judged or...

Gay OCD

What is gay O.C.D.? One type of Obsessive compulsive disorder that have been very minimally researched is gay OCD that involves obsessions and compulsions around sexual orientation. Sexual orientation fears may involve fear been sexually attracted to individuals of...

OCD Self-Assessment

Are you struggling with obsessive thoughts or excessive fears about contamination,  illnesses, death, harm,  or doing things right,  that are keeping you from living your life? Are your compulsions of checking, or cleaning or checking again disrupting work, school, or...

Relationship OCD

Many people experience doubts about their intimate relationships. They ask themselves, "is this the person for me?,” "Does this person truly love me?, “Is my partner being loyal?" "Is my partner cheating on me?” Clinicians make it clear that while this is normal and...

TED talk:

Dear Readers, The next TED talk is given by one of the founders of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Steve Hayes, Ph.d. this is a very intimate talk about his struggles, how he learn to live with and learn from them, and how he made a  promise to himself to make a...

Communication SOS: Making Requests (Part II)

In the previous post, Communication SOS: What do you want? you learned to recognize your emotions as the first step to really pay attention to what you need or want. Here is the next important skill when dealing with others: making requests. Making requests of others...

From Contemplating Death to Embracing Life?

On New Years Eve, my friend and I perched ourselves atop a large rock and witnessed a beautiful bay area sunset. Eyes on the rapidly evolving color gradations surrounding the Golden Gate Bridge, my friend shared with me how she was responding to a particularly...

For parents: behavioral plans step by step!

Parents, are there behaviors in which you and your child or teenager engages in that repeatedly lead to conflict? Have you tried to manage these behaviors through punishment, only to find that they continue to occur time and again? If you answered “yes” to the above...

Part 4: You are trying really hard

  You have been trying really hard to manage your teen’s behavior, and maybe by now you have already read many books, took your teen to many therapists, offered your teen money, removed the cell phone, forbidden him to see his friends, denied buying music from...

Mental hibernation?

The longer days and cooler temperatures may serve as a welcome change to some. Others may feel like hibernating inside, dreading the quickly approaching holiday season. Whether you are more inviting of fall or fighting against it, each of us is impacted in our own...

For parents (3): What’s wrong with my teen?

It’s Monday night, and Kathleen returns home after a long day at work; she opens the door and as soon as she enters she hears the voice of her 15-year old daughter, Natalie, “Can I spend the night at my boyfriend’s house?” Caught by surprise, Kathleen pauses, and then...

For parents: does lecturing really works…

One of the interesting aspects of working with children is the presence of behavior that seemingly doesn’t serve the child’s own self-interest. For instance, a child may be misbehaving at school, getting into trouble at home and not have any clear friendships. It’s a...

For parents: Time Out: Part II

Now that we’ve defined what behaviors will result in time-out, let’s consider implementation. It’s a good idea for a young child to have a designated time-out spot in the home. This could be the corner of a room or in a hallway. A room in the house that is relatively...

Mindfulness: The Three States of Mind

One of the core skills of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), is mindfulness. Studies have shown that mindfulness skills are effective at reducing the odds of having another major depressive episode, reducing symptoms of anxiety, reducing chronic pain, decreasing...

For parents: Why and how to do time-outs?

Time-outs are a highly effective method to decrease problem behaviors. Before we can even being to utilize them, we need to define which behaviors will and will not result in time-outs. Because this issue is so important, our first blog in this series will focus...

For parents: anxiety and avoidance

Managing a child’s anxiety can be quite difficult for parents. Sometimes parents know that the teen usually has an irrational fear and are tempted to talk to reason with their child. This typically feels like running on a rat-wheel as there never seems to be much...

June 2014: Adolescents group

June 2014: Adolescents group

Social flexibility training (adolescents)  Do you feel like skipping school because of anxiety? Are you anxious about social situations to the degree that it’s affecting your friendships and schoolwork? Anxiety can be extremely stressful and difficult to deal with in...

Social anxiety (4): What about dating?

Dear Readers, This is the fourth post of a series about social anxiety; hopefully you'll find them helpful. This particular post is about social anxiety and dating. For those of you struggling with social anxiety, shyness, or introversion, dating can be an especially...

April 2014: Upcoming groups

Please be aware of the following upcoming groups in Walnut Creek that we will be facilitating: DBT skills group for adults. Starting date: April 9th., Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Facilitator: Patricia E. Zurita Ona, Psy.D. Social anxiety group for adults....

Post-doctoral positions 2014-2015

The East Bay Behavior Therapy Center (EBBTC) is offering a part-time post-doctoral position for 2014-2015 with the possibility for a second year.  The East Bay Behavior Therapy Center is a private center dedicated to the "practice, improvement, and dissemination" of...

Anger group: from furious to curious.

The East Bay Behavior Therapy Center (EBBTC) is pleased to announce the following groups in Walnut Creek for January 2014: Anger: From furious to curious (adults) Is anger affecting your relationships? Anger is a natural response but it could become problematic at...

Social flexibility training

Social flexibility training

 Social flexibility training (adults)  Are you anxious about social situations to the degree that it’s affecting your life? Anxiety can be extremely stressful and difficult to deal with in your own. This group will allow you to understand how anxiety has become a...

2013 in review

Dear Readers, WordPress.com prepared a 2013 Annual Report for the East Bay Behavior Therapy Center and I thought about sharing it with all of you. Here are some of the highlights: Crunchy numbers The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. Our...

Why evidence-based therapy matters?

For over twenty years I've been passionate about evidence-based therapy or empirically-supported treatments. I continue to believe in the importance of psychological science, clinical data, and the importance of integrating research findings into my clinical work....

Mr. Nelson Mandela and values-driven behaviors

On December 5th, 2013 Mr. Mandela passed away. I found myself thinking about how his life clearly reflects a values-based life. His actions were consistent with his personal values even though he was attacked, insulted, arrested, and persecuted multiple times. Over...

Anger specialists (2): Why do I continue to be angry?

In my previous post, Anger specialists (1), Why did I become angry?, I presented a definition of problematic anger, introduced the difference between a healthy anger chain and a problematic one, and discussed the most common factors that lead a person to be angry:...

Anger specialists (1): Why did I became angry?

Quite often in therapy, either my clients or their significant others ask me, why did I became angry? What happened? Why am I such an angry person? I decided to answer those questions in detail in a series of posts about anger that will specifically describe why a...

August 2013: anxiety group and why…

Anxiety problems are one of the most common debilitating conditions in the United States; according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million of people (adolescents and adults) struggle with one form of anxiety, and only one-third of them...

Upcoming groups August 2013

It’s with great pleasure that the East Bay Behavior Therapy Center announces its annual groups in the Lamorinda/ Walnut Creek area for August 2013: Anger: From furious to curious (adults) Starting date: Monday, August 19, 2013. Duration: 10 weeks. Description:  Anger...

Dr. Zurita Ona’s article for New Harbinger Publications

Dr. Zurita Ona’s article for New Harbinger Publications

How to Integrate Values and Exposure Interventions to Treat Anxiety By Patricia E. Zurita Ona, PsyD Over the years, I have found that exposure practices can be very intimidating for clients regardless of the type of anxiety they’re struggling with; also, as we know,...

Is behavioral change possible?

Over the years I worked with clients struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder or emotion regulation problems, in group and individual therapy modalities, as primary therapist, as a consultant, or as a member of a consultation group with other colleagues. It's...

For Parents of Teens: dealing with your teen’s outbursts

If you are a parent to a teen that has intense emotional outbursts, you may have experienced your own emotional outburst because of the way your teen is behaving. Most of the parents I have worked with in clinical practice have come into the therapy room exhausted,...

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and distress

On Monday April the 18th.,  2013, I attended a lecture given by my mentor Matthew McKay, Ph.D. on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), exposure-based interventions, and distress management. This lecture was extremely motivating because it opened the door to a room...

Responding To Anxiety Without It Derailing Your Life

I have encountered a lot of people who think anxiety is a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong—if you or someone you know suffers from anxiety, you may be aware of what a horrible or painful experience it can feel like. However, there is a value in having our bodies become...

From anger problems to anger & relationships

In my previous post, “Anger: Behavior account-ability and response-ability,” I described the components of problematic anger responses: high levels of physiological arousal, strong emotions, thinking traps, and aggressive behaviors. Particular emphasis was placed on...

Are you ready to be an architect of change?

The beginning of a new year comes with new resolutions, new goals, and ultimately, the possibility of change. Over the last couple of years I worked with clients who most of the time were “ready to do something different” about their challenges. There were also times...

Emotional decluttering and chain analysis

Cluttering Is About Our Feelings, Not About Piles of Papers" - (From Clutter-Proof Your Business) In my clinical work quite often I hear about moments in which people struggle with problematic situations such as arguments with others, emotional outbursts, ongoing...

Emotion Regulation and Emotional Intelligence

On November 8th, 2012 a new DBT skills module on Emotion Regulation will start at the East Bay Behavior Therapy Center. Emotion regulation skills refer to the "ability to control one's response to emotions." Emotions are complex systems formed by neural and chemical...

Types of OCD

  Most of the time the media has portrayed certain types of OCD such as cleaners, repeaters, checkers, and others through different sources including movies (e.g. As good as it gets, The Aviator, etc.), and TV shows (e.g. Monk). However, those presentations can...

Health anxiety, somatic obsessions, or hypochondriasis

In the past some academicians and clinicians discussed the difference among "health anxiety, somatic obsessions, or hypochondriasis" while others have looked at their commonalities (e.g. Taylor & Asmundson, 2004). Clinically speaking, all these terms simply refer...

James Gross, Ph.D. a-n-d Emotion Regulation

Approximately 3 years ago, I had the opportunity to listen to James Gross, Ph.D. at the annual conference of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science in Reno, Nevada. Dr. Gross, an emotion theorist and researcher in Stanford, has conducted multiple studies on...

A moment of choice, behaviorally speaking…

Very often in my clinical work I'm face with moments in which I'm inviting my clients "to do" something different from what they usually do when dealing with their struggles; to develop an alternative behavioral repertoire to their pain.  Sometimes, my clients are...

From traditional to contemporary exposure work

Over the last couple of months I wrote different posts about exposure and its current clinical applications: Exposure: What is it and why is it important?, (b) Values-based exposure: what is it? Why to do it?, Social phobia/anxiety and values-based exposure). Today, I...

Social phobia/anxiety and values-based exposure

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about what characterizes social phobia/anxiety and mentioned briefly that the most effective treatments have an exposure-based component. Now, occasionally when I tell my clients, new or current ones, about exposure-based interventions...

Social phobia/anxiety and ideopathic craniofacial erytheme

Did you hear the term "ideopathic craniofacial erytheme?" This is a medical term to describe severe facial blushing that can be easily triggered. From time to time in my clinical work with clients struggling with social phobia/anxiety I hear the question: Can you...

Do you have social phobia/anxiety?

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) approximately about 15 millions of adults in the United States have social anxiety, and 36% of them report symptoms for 10 years or longer.  More often than not social anxiety is underdiagnosed and...

Validation: I see you.

Before you start reading this post about "validation" please see the following youtube video: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aks0bco7IQQ] I found this short-film to be a great reminder of the importance of validation in the context of relationships and a nice...

Why “coping” is important in our lives?

During my years of graduate school I became interested in the processes of  "primary pain" and general people responses to it. That was the path that led me to read, research, and write about "coping." For the purposes of this post,  coping is understood as "any...

Emotion phobia, what is it? what to do about it?

The first time I heard the term "emotion phobia" was when I was a graduate student and attended a workshop on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) given by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D.  Over the years in my career as a Clinical Psychologist I've become more and more interested...

Values-based exposure: what is it? Why to do it?

My previous post was about exposure: what is it and why is it important.  I'm certain that if you search about exposure on google you will find a significant amount of academic and non-academic information on the different types of exposure, how to do it, when to do...

Exposure: What is it and why is it important?

Approximately twenty years ago, Edna Foa, Ph.D. started delivering exposure-based interventions for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in particular. Dr. Foa’s pioneer clinical work has not only tremendously...