Escaping the emotional rollercoaster book




Everyone, at one point or another, feels overwhelmed with crushing emotions and doesn’t know how to handle them. Super-feelers, however, feel their emotions as if they have a switch that turns on and off—they feel too much, too quickly, and they act too soon, as if they’re being kicked, stomped on, and knocked down to the floor by those feelings. 

If you’re a super-feeler, your emotions are running your behaviors, 24/7, with no vacations and no holidays. For instance, when you feel guilty, you’re pulverized with guilt; when you feel anxious, you’re crushed with anxiety; when you feel sad, you’re flooded with sadness. You experience your emotions quickly and intensely; believe every thought, interpretation, or hypothesis that comes into your mind as if it were the absolute truth; and then do exactly what the emotion tells you to do. Later on, you regret your actions because you get hurt and the people you care about get hurt, too.

Going through this dance with your emotions, up and down, left and right, back and forth, is exhausting, and you find your life is full of broken relationships, loneliness, difficulties holding a job, and perhaps, even suicidal thoughts. It’s not easy for you, and it’s not easy for the people around you.


Are you a Super-Feeler?


  • Have you been told you are too sensitive or that everything is a big emotional deal for you?
  • Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by your emotions—like a knob turned all the way up for anger, anxiety, guilt, sadness, and other emotions?
  • Do you experience your emotions so intensely, as being overpowering, that you cannot manage your behavior or think clearly in the moment?
  • Do you behave in ways that you later regret because in a given moment you do exactly what you feel?
  • Do you struggle to identify what you’re feeling most of the time?
  • Are you exhausted from going up and down, left and right, because of overwhelming emotions?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you are a super-feeler.

As a super-feeler, you’re dealing with emotion regulation problems—as all people do at times—but because of your makeup, you feel most of your emotions at a maximum level, turned all the way up, and despite your efforts, you frequently get stuck on a reactive chain of emotion after emotion, almost on a daily basis. You may wonder . . .

“At last: a truly practical book for ‘super-feelers’ on how to effectively handle overwhelming emotions. Packed full of great advice and effective strategies for taking the impact out of painful feelings and acting effectively in the face of life’s challenges.”

Russ Harris

Author of The Happiness Trap

“Rarely, have I read a book that has provided me with true insights as to how one thinks, feels as a super-feeler and what to do about it. Reading Dr. Z.’s book gave me hope. If you read her book, you know that you are not alone and that there is help for you.”

Susan Gurely

Executive Director of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America

“Zurita Ona provides a veritable treasure chest of strategies you can use to make your emotions work for you, rather than against you. It isn’t a bad thing to be a ‘super-feeler’, it is a good thing! I highly recommend this wonderful step by step program to help you develop a new level of emotional intelligence!”

Kirk Strosahl Ph.D

Author of The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression

“Escaping the Emotional Roller Coaster is a precious tool for anyone struggling with making sense of emotions and expressing them in a way that is both coherent with the current situation and pursuing life’s most cherished dreams.”

Dr. DJ Moran

Founder of the MidAmerican Psycholigical Institute

What’s inside

Chapter 1: Am I a Super-Feeler?

Chapter 2: Why Your Quick Fixes aren’t Working

Chapter 3: New Opportunities: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Super-Feelers

Chapter 4: Clarifying Your Values: Vivir Mi Vida La La La!

Chapter 5: What Are Emotions?

Chapter 6: What is the Function of Emotions?

Chapter 7: Charting an Emotional Strategy Course

Chapter 8: Watch Out for Those Gut Feelings!

Chapter 9: Emotions about Emotions

Chapter 10: Cranky Town

Core skills



About Dr. Z.

Patricia E. Zurita Ona, Psy.D., “Dr. Z,” is a clinical psychologist specialized in working with children, adolescents, and adults struggling with OCD, anxiety, and emotion regulation problems.

Dr. Z is the founder of the East Bay Behavior Therapy Center, a boutique therapy practice, where she runs an intensive outpatient program integrating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) to support clients getting stuck from obsessions, figure out what they care about, and do stuff that matters to them.

Dr. Z. is a Fellow from the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS), member of the OCD San Francisco Bay Area (affiliate from the International OCD Foundation), and a chair of committee for the Anxiety and Depression American Association (ADAA).


Intensive Outpatient Program

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Our intensive program will teach you all skills you need to get unstuck from worries, fears, anxieties, and obsessions and get back into your life.

You can learn cutting-edge skills 1-1, in a personalized program, with a flexible schedule, and under the care of expert hands.

Online courses

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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
and Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) skills for
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)


Obsessions + compulsions + avoidance = restricted life

I'm afraid of hitting someone in the street if I don't pay attention when driving. I cannot let go of this awful feeling that comes when I don't share everything with some people. If I don't hear from others that I didn't do anything cruel to my kitty, I cannot leave the house. Would I feel love when I die? 

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Why our clients love working with us


"I am very grateful for finding Dr Zurita. She is responsible for teaching my son skills that have changed his life socially and enabled him to leave home and attend an out-of-state university. This was the dream of a lifetime for him and it would not have been possible without her help. Her guidance has also made it possible for him to live a much richer life, full of experiences he would have never considered, prior to his time meeting with Dr. Zurita.

I encourage parents to start this process much sooner, if they sense their child is having difficulty at a social level. Had I understood what he has been going through all of these years, I would have started the process much earlier, so that his prior social experiences and especially those in school, would have been much fuller ....

"Working with Patricia Zurita Ona has changed and saved my life. I have struggled off and on for years with sever anxiety disorder and OCD . I have been to therapy throughout the years and have found some helpful but nothing really got to the core of the problem. I often felt crazy and that my incredible fear and my phobias would remain with me thorough my life, I would not drive on the freeway, eat certain things and had constant catastrophic thinking, thus creating a lot of depression.

I needed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which I saw advertised on many therapists’ websites. When I would call most of them they said they offered it and specialized with Anxiety Disorder/ OCD which was not the case. I had felt alone, hopeless and frustrated for the past 9 years. Never feeling like I was getting the help I needed. It was not until I started meeting with Patricia that I actually started to feel better and feel as if I had control over my life and started to live again ...

“Patricia and her team have completely changed my life! I cannot express my gratitude enough.

She helped me craft values and goals I wanted to have in my relationships, and walked me through each step of how to get there. Her methods are simple, manageable, and make sense when you are upset. I’ve been to therapists who have told me to take deep breaths, visualize calming colors, rip paper, go for a walk or scream in to a pillow when im angry. But in the moment, when im soooo angry, none of these world work. I would forget to do them, or I would already be so angry, that they were ineffective to help me calm down. Patricia’s methods are not only EXTREMELY effective, but they are easy to do, they make sense in the moment, and they bring about radical change when you apply them ...


“I do not know how it reflects on my credibility should I happen to brag about being a seasoned vet when it comes to therapists and mental wellness pursuits. Regardless, I am. And on top of that, I also happen to be a health care practitioner myself. This means, for the purposes of a review, that when I walk into a new Doctor’s office, there is an additional dimension of critiquing for me to process. I would never willingly put myself under the guidance and care of a Doctor who did not 1) Impress me as a capable and honest caregiver and 2) Impress me as a professional colleague.

– Empathy
– Knowledge
– Professionalism
– Respect

I think that these are the basic bulletpoints that strike me when I consider why I think so highly of Patricia. Dr. Zurita takes NOTHING more seriously than the pursuit of her profession. Except possibly you, the patient.

Some therapists really care.

Other therapists are extremely knowledgeable.

Very few therapists are both. Patricia Zurita Ona is one of those very few.”

"I have referred several of my most challenging patients to Dr. Patricia Zurita-Ona, and been extremely impressed both with her clinical skills and humanity. I recommend her most highly. John Melbourne McGraw, M.D."

“Dr. Patricia Zurita Ona truly cares about her clients. Behavior therapy with her has benefited myself and my husband regarding my obsessive compulsive behavior. She has a gentle and kind approach and I would recommend her to others.”

“I was referred to Patricia Zurita Ona from my son’s psychiatrist for cognitive behavioral therapy treatment of his obsessive compulsive disorder (ocd) and anxiety which rose to a level which was out of control. Dr. Zurita Ona is very skilled at working with teens who suffer from anxiety, especially related to academic success and test anxiety. She helped my son learn coping mechanisms and stress reducing strategies to control his level of anxiety. Dr. Zurita Ona introduced my son to a great stress relieving app which involves deep breathing and meditation. She has an amazing ability to connect with teens and get them to open up about their struggles, create realistic plans of attack and create goals so they can lead joyful lives and not be so burdened with their stress. We saw her weekly for about 1-2 years and my son’s sessions with her were very beneficial to not only him, but our entire family as his stress was causing tension for us all. Dr. Zurita Ona explained to me why my son had certain behaviors and ways to help him learn new strategies to cope with his anxiety. If you have a teen who needs help to learn how to manage and control stress and anxiety, schedule a session with Dr. Zurita Ona! I highly recommend her services!”

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