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July 30, 2007

27 Jul
Serious progress is being made on the new imagery for the painful condition known as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).. which is not to be confused with Obsessive Compulsive Personality which describes rigidly organized neat-freaks who enjoy being that way..
Hello, everyone.

I’m very happy to report that serious progress is being made on the new OCD imagery. I’m well into my research on this challenging condition . I generally do the reading/studying part before I talk directly with professionals and sufferers. (This preliminary research phase on our audios is why I’m pretty knowledgeable on issues we’ve made CDs for and a complete moron on conditions we’ve never addressed. Those of you who’ve written in to ask me about some health issue I’ve never studied and were shocked when I sent you elsewhere because I hadn’t a clue, this is why.)

But I digress. Did you know that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder effects one person in 40, or 6 million Americans? (And I’m not talking about Obsessive Compulsive Personality - that category is for rigid, super-organized, neat freaks who enjoy being that way and feel virtuous about it. (And they do tend to get a lot done, to the irritation of us sloppy types.)

The designation "OCD" is for the group of people who suffer horribly from repetitive, obsessive worries and intense anxiety, and the need to ritualize (endless hand washing, stove checking, etc - like the Monk character on TV) in order to try and neutralize their concerns, which may be about germs, inadvertently setting the house on fire, having random sexual or aggressive thoughts... the list of possible topics is pretty long. Many wind up having to build their whole day around their avoidance and ritualizing, and can become quite phobic and dysfunctional when the condition is in full bloom. (Monk can still solve crimes, after all, in spite of his endless ritualizing, presumably because he’s so smart. But some days he can’t get out of bed.)

The literature is pretty clear that ritualizing may lend some temporary relief, but ultimately it only keeps the condition going and exacerbates the problem. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Edna Foa-style, seems to be the treatment of choice. It coaches people to face down their fears, even exaggerate them, and NOT ritualize, which eventually works, painful though it may be to get through. (The best self-help book on this, by the way, seems so far to be Philadelphia psychologist, Jonathan Grayson’s Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It displays his incredible comprehension of what it’s like to live with this, and a proven track record for helping people get rid of it. This CD will be designed to enhance and support CBT.

People who have this are not crazy - they know their behavior is irrational - but they feel they cannot stop. It’s considered a biochemical disorder in the brain. Stay tuned to learn when this title will be completed.

Two workshops I want you to know about: There’s a terrific holistic cancer retreat for women on August 21-26 at the Shambhala Mountain Retreat Center in the Colorado Rockies. I’m talking about the second annual Courageous Women, Fearless Living: A Retreat for Women Touched by Cancer, with renowned Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Tulku Thondup Rinpoche, the fabulous Dr. Victoria Maizes, Executive Director of Andy Weil’s superb Integrative Medicine program at the U of Arizona; and many more talented teachers, such as Acharya Judith Lief, Linda Sparrowe & Sofia Diaz. This popular program focuses on the latest insights in integrative medicine, applied Buddhist teachings, yoga, and expressive arts. You go home with many practical skills and tools to use for your own strength and wellness. Visit the site or call 888.788.7221 for this powerful, healing experience.

And the other workshop I want you to know about is Jim Gordon’s next superb Mind-Body Medicine Professional Training program, coming up in New Orleans September 28 - October 3, 2007. (Anyone who mentions us will automatically get a 20% discount on their tuition, except for students, who already have a deeply discounted price).

This hugely successful and comprehensive program combines large group didactic training with the Center’s unique small-group model, making it possible for healthcare professionals to integrate the best methods into their clinical practice and teaching. Continuing education credits and partial scholarships for those with financial need are available, as well. (In fact, the Center paid for 42 healthcare providers who were working with trauma in New Orleans, and they hope to be able to bring even more to this training. For complete details, or to meet the extraordinary faculty, visit www.cmbm.org/mbm or call 202.966.7338, x 216.

And finally, check out the fabulous blog of Mary Ann and Fred Brussat over at http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/blogs/blog.php.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award