Skills = Your Health
Adopting new tools and skills is an essential part of improving your health and quality of life. Think about it-without learning and applying new skills to the same old problems, we are just doing the same thing and expecting different results. I often recommend skills-based workbooks for my clients as an adjunct to therapy because they can provide added structure, insight, and practice outside of the therapy session. Check these out if you're interested in making changes to your life-with or without therapy.
Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life Workbook
Read that title again. What does it even mean?! Turns out, it's the way to psychological freedom. When we find ourselves "stuck" in life, our tendency is typically to think about the "stuckness" in every which way possible. We focus more heavily on the pain we're experiencing. We think that the more we turn it over in our minds, we will be able to find the solution. And while this may be the case for many obstacles we encounter in life, this "thinking" approach is often what ends up keeping us stuck because the real hard truth is that we cannot "think" our way out of emotional discomfort. Steven Hayes, the co-creator of the evidence-based therapy model called ACT (short for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), was able to identify this process as one of the most prominent underpinnings of human suffering. It's simple, really--the harder we try to control something we cannot control (emotions, physical sensations, other people, etc.) the more we find ourselves focused on resolving an impossible task...which inevitably CREATES anxiety, pain, and hopelessness rather than relieving them. The obvious question is: Well, what do we do instead? The answer lies in the six core processes of the ACT model, and that's why I use it with my clients. I love this workbook because it translates ACT concepts into real-life changes. Through understandable content and simple exercises, it helps you develop a greater understanding of why you're stuck as well as the actions you need to shift your patterns. This workbook can apply to virtually any diagnosis or concern, including anxiety, depression, life stress, relationships problems, health issues, or any other pattern you may feel stuck in.
Mindfulness Workbook for Beginners
I recommend this workbook often! Early on in therapy, I typically explain that mindfulness (non-judgmentally noticing what's happening with your body, mind, and environment) is essentially the mechanism or skill that allows almost all other change to be possible. Without mindfulness, there is no awareness of the patterns we are stuck in or the physiological signs that teach us what is going on within our nervous systems. Without that awareness, there is no space to make changes. If you are on a path toward healing or making changes in your life and you don't know where else to start, THIS will give you a great foundation regardless of the treatment or direction you take next. You can reference AWARE, by Dan Siegel, on the Habits list for the mind-blowing (pun intended) science behind meditation and mindfulness.
The Binge Eating Prevention Workbook
This workbook is a very thorough and effective approach for binge eating patterns. It offers research-based education on the patterns that create and maintain binge eating patterns and it walks you through the process of identifying triggers, working with internal obstacles, adopting healthier coping mechanisms, and shifting habits in order to change your relationship with food.