Entries by Amy Jacobsen

Writing a New Story

Anxiety tells us “stories” about our experiences. For example, if you experience panic attacks, the story you may hear is that these feelings are bad and dangerous, that you can’t handle them, and that they must stop in order for you to be safe. Anxiety’s talent for storytelling becomes so powerful that we believe the […]

Finding Joy Through Perceived Mistakes

The experience of making mistakes is a part of life. How we relate to these “mistakes” or perceived failures is what matters most.   When my nearly 7 year old daughter had the chance to get her ears pierced at the same time as her older sister, we decided to let her go for it. […]

Supporting Your Loved One with a BFRB

Handout from the Pulling Together Conference in May 2016 Amy Jacobsen, Ph.D. & Becky O’Halloran, LMFT A common reaction when discovering that a loved one is pulling their hair or severely picking their skin may be a combination of fear, distress, frustration and hopelessness. Many parents describe feeling angry – at their child for not […]

Treatment and Resources for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors

A Follow Up: Pulling Together Conference   Last month, I had the pleasure of serving as one of the speakers at the first Pulling Together Conference. This conference, which was sponsored by the Kansas City Center for Anxiety Treatment’s Community Education series, promoted education and resources for Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs). It was fantastic […]

Entering the world of “Inside Out”

  I recently watched the movie “Inside Out” for the second time with my daughter. As someone who studied emotional development during my graduate school years, I was delighted and impressed by how well the writers conveyed the complex and evolving nature of children’s emotional awareness. As young children, we largely experience emotions as discrete […]

What does “overcoming” anxiety really mean?

Naturally, when individuals seek treatment for anxiety, their primary response when I ask about their goals is, “To stop…worrying/panicking/obsessing/etc.” This is understandable because their symptoms have caused such turmoil in their lives! As a CBT clinician, I often use the classic metaphor of anxiety as an alarm. An alarm serves the purpose of alerting us […]

Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures (PNES)

Despite estimates that 1 out of 5 patients sent to epilepsy centers for difficult seizures have PNES, it often takes years (about 7 years!) to receive an accurate diagnosis. The challenge is that PNES attacks look like epileptic seizures to an outside observer, yet they are not actually caused by abnormal electrical discharges in the […]

Relaxation Apps

Technology has its ups and downs. While so much of what we encounter can increase our stress and anxiety, it’s refreshing when technology brings opportunities for relaxation. The world of apps has led to the development of numerous programs that assist with relaxation and mindfulness skills on the go. Check out the following apps that offer a variety of exercises […]

Anxiety Disorders in Older Adults

Anxiety disorders were previously believed to be less prevalent among older adults. Newer findings, however, suggest that anxiety is just as common across age groups. One factor that may have contributed to this misconception is the tendency for older individuals to report their physical symptoms. There also is significant overlap among symptoms of medical conditions […]

Welcome

“Do one thing everyday that scares you” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt Welcome! It is an exciting time of change and new experiences as I transition into independent practice! Roosevelt’s quote inspires me to embrace these new experiences and grow through them. Through this blog, I aim to post information on common questions or topics that arise […]