How to Get the Most Out of Therapy

podcast, blog, anxietyWhat’s so special about therapy anyway? Isn’t it just a super long conversation with a stranger?

No, it’s not. It’s much more. It can feel like the millions of conversations you’ve had in the past but with one major twist.

When done right therapy elicits the truth; you know that thing you hide from everybody.

Most people aren’t totally honest about their inner world because humans are damn good liars, which isn’t all bad.

Lying serves an important function in that it helps us to keep on a pretty mask so the “ugly” doesn’t scare away our friends and family.

That’s what makes therapy useful. It creates a safe place to talk about things that are usually taboo or sensitive.

And although a therapist is the farthest thing from a friend, they are in fact human beings that provide other human beings with an opportunity to spill the beans, dare I say explore the soul, without all the dangers associated with talking to people you know in a “real” way.

Therapists are also able to assist you with developing skills that will help you to identify issues that need to be addressed and guide you through the process of choking out your inner demons; or something like that.

The problem is that therapy doesn’t always work. There are a million reasons why therapy could end in failure, but I also know that there are steps you can take, aside from being brutally honest, to ensure that you get the most out of your therapy sessions.

In today’s episode of the Anxiety Guru Show I share four tips that will help you squeeze everything you need from therapy so you can decrease your bad nerves and get your life back on track.

Click the icon below to listen now and leave your comment below.

podcast, anxiety, blog


Why I Never Took Psych Meds


The reason I never took medication is dead simple. I was scared.

I used to think that using psych meds meant risking my sanity, so why push my luck?

Sounds dumb now but that’s what my mind screamed at the height of my nervous sickness.

There was also the issue of control. Actually, I still have control issues.

I like to be in control – always have. When I’m in a car, I drive. When I’m on an airplane, I wish like hell that I could drive.

So back in the day the more I felt anxiety the more I craved control of my environment and everything in it. It made me feel safe.

But it was also that need for control that clashed hard with any kind of risk taking – even the kind that helps.

In the end, I regret not trying anti-anxiety medications because they could have reduced my suffering.

To help me explain why I never used anti-anxiety medications and how that impacted my life I produced a short podcast.

Take a moment to listen and comment below.

And if you’re feeling particularly kind share this podcast on Facebook or Twitter.

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Hope in the Face of Fear

I’m intrigued by anxious people.

What isn’t interesting about somebody else’s anxiety?

In some ways it’s like holding up a mirror and confirming, among other things, that you aren’t alone in all this. At the same time it’s an opportunity to learn about how others manage their symptoms and fears.

I just recorded an interview with Jess, a brave soul that wanted to share her story to help you move on, past fear and away from anxiety.

What We Covered During the Interview:

  • The origins of Jess’s anxiety
  • Her family’s reaction to her struggle with anxiety
  • Jess talked about some of the tools she’s tried to overcome her anxiety
  • Jess offers tips based on her experience

I think it’s outstanding that so many people are stepping up and sharing their stories on to help others.

If you want to do the same, shoot me an email at

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Bouncing Back From Panic

After experiencing your first panic attack or anxiety symptom you’re immediately faced with a critical decision. You either take action or stick your head in the sand and hope for the best. On today’s podcast my guest Julia Cardoso chose the former.

I spoke with Julia over Skype and I got a fascinating glimpse into her struggle with abnormal anxiety. Luckily for Julia she’s approached her anxiety problem with courage and determination. I hope she inspires you to do something about your anxiety problem if you haven’t already.

In this podcast Julia and I discuss…

1. Her first panic attack and its aftermath

2. The stigma of having an anxiety disorder

3. How anxiety impacts relationships

3. What steps she took to deal with her anxiety problem

5. And more…

I want to thank Julia for stepping up and sharing her story. It’s not easy to come out in public and talk about yourself. It’s even harder to talk about an issue that most people ignore or ridicule. I hope that by Julia sharing her story you gain some insight into what it takes to win the fight against abnormal anxiety.

You can listen to more of Julia on her podcast Anxious Ramblings. Now on iTunes!

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A Message to the Sometimes Anxious Person

Low-level anxiety is still anxiety. For that reason, any kind of anxiety that makes you think twice about it should never be minimized.

People forget that there are those that don’t get panic attacks, chest pain or palpitations that are still hounded my bad nerves. If you’re one of these people you might be tempted to just put up with your anxiety because it isn’t “that bad.” To my mind this isn’t a good thing.

There might be people in your life that say things like “It’s just anxiety” or “Just distract yourself.” But these aren’t solutions. In most cases this doesn’t work because being strong so to speak doesn’t make the anxiety go away.

I can speak from my own experience. It’s for this reason that I can be sure of two things. First, non-action in the face of low-level anxiety is a typical reaction. Second, low-level anxiety is the easiest to treat. So then, take a few minutes – 13 to be exact – and listen to today’s podcast to learn more about this topic.

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Insanely Easy Way to Stop Anxiety

Have you ever wondered why you’re not getting better? There are probably lots of reasons but the main reason is this: You’re too distracted.

You’re on the internet looking for a solution miracle that’s going to turn things around but, and I hate to break this to you, in the world of anxiety miracles don’t exist. We’re all too different to be helped by the same thing. The “thing” that helps you will be of your own making.

Plus, you probably spend a lot of time reading very interesting information that’s useless. But it’s useless only because you have unconsciously decided to stay in a perpetual state of helpless awe.

I can hear you now, “This sounds good, that sounds good, wait this too.” It all sounds good, for awhile at least. The truth is that none of it is helping you because you’re not actively turning that information into something usable. It’s not your fault though. Anxiety is a master manipulator and once you let it crawl into your head you start to believe all the baloney it puts there.

I want to help you revamp how you go about getting better so that you can get to the promised land sooner. Best of all, my tip is insanely easy to use.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

podcast, anxiety, blog

Dinner With Panic

I had a friend ask me if anxiety could kill him. He’s new to abnormal anxiety so he wanted to know what to expect. I thought about giving him some kind of “how to” tip but something told me that a story would be better. After I told him the story he seemed to understand the nature of anxiety and how he could deal with it.

Today I want to share that story with you. I got so excited about telling you this story that I decided to produce a podcast instead of writing about it. I think it explains a pretty powerful idea about anxiety that I hope will help you see things differently. Take 10 minutes to listen to it and tell me what you think in the comments section below.

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Why Is Anxiety So Hard to Overcome?

anxiety treatmentI’ll be honest with you; this isn’t a question I thought a lot about when I suffered from abnormal anxiety.

I focused more on when my next panic attack was going to strike. Looking back though, I wish I had.

Perhaps I would’ve understood what I needed to do sooner, or not. See, even after I knew what to do I stayed anxious anyway.

It took a long time to go from “I get it,” to “I truly understand.” This, I think, explains why my two eBooks are so different.

I recently had a reader email me this question:

In the first book, you mention several times that we need to challenge anxiety, to fight our way out and to be active in our recovery. But the second book makes great emphasis on acceptance and letting go. How can I do both? It’s probably just a turn of phrase I’m not grasping, but I’d appreciate some clarification. Thanks!

The recovery process can be a fight; at least it was for me. You have to motivate yourself, to move beyond information gathering and into acquiring a true understanding of anxiety and yourself. This can be time consuming, even scary.

That’s why it’s so easy to get discouraged and, despite how lousy it feels, to continue down the path of misery. That’s why you have to fight with yourself to get going and stay going toward recovery.

You have to get beyond false starts and move toward a real commitment to the recovery process. That can be a ‘fight.’

In fact, in my first eBook, How to Stop Anxious Thinking, I outlined all the reasons why you could fail to get better. I did that knowing that a lot of people want to get better but lack the focus and mental stamina they need. It was a warning against every pitfall that I tumbled into as I sought relief myself.

I guess it’s the same reason why many people with weight issues struggle to lose weight. They know what to do, they know the benefits of losing the extra pounds, yet they stay in the same situation. They lose 5 lbs; gain the 5 lbs back, plus 5 more. It’s a fight.

After you recognize AND break through your apathy, stagnation, and routine you’ll start to see change. That’s what I was trying to highlight in my first eBook.

Unfortunately, I barely included the concept of acceptance in my first eBook because my own understanding of how I got better hadn’t fully evolved when I wrote it. It was a long, complex process that only became clear to me long after I got better.

I had grown in ways I wasn’t aware of. I had undergone a process that I didn’t fully understand, so I had to ‘process’ it for a while. This is why I wrote my second eBook, The Big Idea. I wanted to explore this powerful realization.

Given all that, I still think the two approaches can coexist. On the one hand, it is worth your while to understand the obstacles you face, to learn about anxiety, the process of stress, and to challenge old patterns of thinking.

On the other hand, learning how to accept your fears remains the final step, in my opinion, toward resolving the constant inner chatter that keeps you off balance and stuck on ‘What If’ scenarios.

Ultimately, I still think that you build your own solution to this problem.

You build the ‘answer’ over time using information from others (like me), but most importantly, with information from yourself. Only you understand what you really fear and what it’s going to take for you to sit with those fears without a strong response.

Overcoming anxiety is challenging because it has to do with the all the stuff you don’t want to happen in life, like dying. These fears are often unconscious, or at least not so clear in your mind that they represent a cause for concern.

Your job is to find out what your fears are, learn about your reaction to those fears, and then learn how to embrace them. That’s how you get better.

This topic is terrific, so I made a podcast to explore it a bit more. Take a few minutes to listen and comment below!

P.S. You can learn more about my new members website by clicking here.

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How to Cope With Grief and Loss

One of the hardest things in life is to lose someone or something you love.

Whether it’s because of death, divorce, the loss of a house or job, experiencing loss can be painful. It focuses your mind on the negative and fosters intense emotional reactions.

During times of loss there’s a good chance that you’ll encounter denial, anger, and even guilt. Have you ever had your heart broken? I know I have, more than a couple times. That kind of thing can knock you down (literally) for days. I’ve also felt grief, like when my father died. That experience was shocking, tragic, and through me into a rage on more than one occasion.

Today I want to offer some tips on how you can cope with grief and loss. Even though there’s no one way to grieve, or to ‘deal with it,’ there are indeed steps you can take to help mitigate how bad things get. After all, if you let your loss hold you down for too long, then you run the risk of becoming depressed. Unable to sleep, eat, or even give a damn about what happens next, you could end up consumed by the situation. It’s a slippery slope you don’t want to play on.

Many people have told me that they prefer podcasts to articles, so I produced a podcast to express my ideas on this topic. Take a few minutes to listen to the podcast then share your thoughts in the comments section below.

anxiety symptoms