About the book
Why Use a Single Treatment for All Emotional Problems?
For many years, psychotherapy researchers focused on developing specific treatments for each of the emotional disorders. There were individual treatments for the six anxiety disorders, several empirically tested treatments for depression, several for anger, as well as protocols for guilt and shame. All in all, researchers developed more than two dozen treatment regimens for emotional disorders.
This profusion of treatments had good and bad aspects. The good news was that psychological science had developed multiple research-based protocols that had been proven effective. They helped people and changed lives. The bad news can be summarized as follows:
- People with more than one emotional problem (called co-morbidity) had to undergo more than one treatment. Treatments were often done sequentially, so therapy for one problem might be delayed while another emotional problem was addressed first.
- Skills developed to cope with a particular emotional problem were often not generalizable to others. So, for example, a successful treatment for social anxiety in your 20’s wouldn’t give you the tools you needed to cope with depression in your 30s.
- Most of the protocols for emotional disorders were focused on symptoms and symptom reduction. They didn’t address the common underlying factors that create and maintain all emotional disorders. These are called transdiagnostic factors (TDFs). A treatment that targets TDFs—the cause of emotional problems—may be more effective than one that is merely focused on symptoms.
This book is a universal treatment protocol to help you with feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, shame, or guilt. It will also help if you are struggling with high levels of multiple emotions—called emotion regulation problems.
Reading isn’t enough to learn emotion regulation skills. They can only be mastered by doing the actual exercises in this book, and putting them into practice in daily life. The changes you seek with overwhelming emotions start with changes in your behavior—how you think and how you act. Altering your old is essential to creating a new life and a new relationship to your emotions.
We’ll be with you every step of the way: showing the path, coaching you, giving you examples of how others have succeeded. We’ll have answers to many of your questions, helpful strategies, and step-by-step guidance for how to get you there. Working this program iswork. We admit it. But if you do the work and change your old avoidance patterns, a lot of your emotional pain will fall away. It will just be a memory. The research-tested modules in this program can open the door to a new life. We encourage you to start now. Turn the page, walk through that door, begin the changes you’ve been yearning for.
You got this!
Chapter 1: The Universal Treatment
Chapter 2: The Nature of Emotions
Chapter 3: The Cost of Avoiding Emotions
Chapter 4: Values in Action
Chapter 5: Mindfulness and Emotion Awareness
Chapter 6: Defusion
Chapter 7: Cognitive Flexibility Training
Chapter 8: Self-Soothing
Chapter 9: Doing the Opposite
Chapter 10: Interpersonal Effectiveness
About Dr. Z.
Dr. Z, is a clinical psychologist specialized in working with children, adolescents, and adults struggling with OCD, anxiety, and emotion regulation problems. She’s 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).
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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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"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.
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. melmcgraw.net."
“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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