Fresh Counseling Insight
View this email in your browser
Fresh Counseling Insight.  A Newsletter from
Justin K Hughes, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor
Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
OCD Is A Formidable Foe-
Have An Even Tougher Team Behind You
This Newsletter is a bit of a "Digest."  Here's the Table of Contents:
  1. "Understanding OCD" sample- my updated blog post!
  2. 16 Essential OCD Resources for 2020
  3. Announcement of my new role with OCD Texas!
  4. My response to the American Counseling Association's inquiry for their OCD article in February 2020
  5. FREE Mindfulness Worksheet (in case you missed it)
  6. OCD Resources on my page update!
Understanding OCD
[updated blog]
<<First Name>>,

“Why can’t I stop thinking about this?”  “Why can't I stop?  I know it doesn't make sense.” 

William went to the Middle East after his unit was deployed from Ft. Hood.  Most of what he heard about soldiers’ experiences were rumors and media stories- he had no way to be prepared for what would happen.  After nearly 6 months of swallowing sand stirred up by 110 degree winds, William had 5 days left until he would return home.  Momentarily losing his hearing, all his senses were shaken when an IED tore shrapnel through his three closest friends.  They were dead.  Just like that.  After being rushed by helicopter for triage medical care, William soon discovered he only narrowly missed death- the same shards of nails and rocks that killed his friends were found inches away from where he stood. 

Returning home is where cleaning up the fragments took the longest.  After being debriefed and allowed medical and family leave, Bill struggled getting back to civilian life.  Some of the most difficult times he faced were trying to overcome his own unexpected reactions to situations, usually late at night where he would awake from a noise, pulling his wife down from the bed onto the floor to take cover.  When he became calm, he was covered in sweat, visually stunned by recalling what had happened weeks before- and so embarrassed to be dragging his wife- literally- into the center of his problems. 

This is trauma.  This is the story of William’s PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  Hopefully his story can help bring understanding to struggles faced by those dealing with trauma and respect for our service men and women. 

It’s not very difficult to have some sense of empathy for William’s situation.  It’s often much harder to understand another very real and very overwhelming problem.  It is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  You may be curious why this article spends so much time talking about PTSD, only to discuss OCD....

Finish Reading on my Blog
16 Essential OCD Resources for 2020
Supplementing therapy with all sorts of supports is super beneficial for super-charging the recovery process (that's a mouthful)!  There are some quintessential minds/influencers/people that I love to glean from daily and weekly- I hope you will, too.  Here are some of the best I've found this year (some of these folks have multiple platforms- the ones listed are the formats I've especially connected with):

Shala Nicely

Websites (and social media)
Anxious Toddlers (Natasha Daniels)
Kimberly Quinlan

Obsessively Ever After (Alegra Kastens)
OCD Illustrated (Katie)
OCD Doodles (Laura)
OCD Baltimore (Jon Hershfield)
Not Alone Notes (Morgan & Molly)
A Penny for Your Intrusive Thoughts (C&D)

OCD & Anxiety Counseling (Nathan Peterson)
Reid Wilson

Peace of Mind Foundation

Is Fred in the Refrigerator? by Shala Nicely

ACC (Ted Witzig)

Annual International OCD Conference

(Some accounts are not professional accounts and must be taken as such; they may reflect the raw, day-to-day struggles of sufferers.  See my disclaimer* at the bottom.)

DFW Ambassador for OCD Texas!!!
I'm excited to recently be named the...

DFW Ambassador for OCD Texas!!  

It has been a joy and privilege to educate professionals and individuals about OCD and effective treatment- through both my online presence and in talks.  Now I will be integrating with the Regional affiliate of the IOCDF (International OCD Foundation) to synergize efforts!  
ACA Article on OCD in February 2020
An editor for the American Counseling Association reached out to me about OCD from a Specialists' perspective.  (I was so proud of them for doing their research with multiple specialists!!). The following are excellent questions (click the button below to see my answers) that may help inform their ACA magazine article in February 2020.  Whether they utilize any of these or not, I hope they are helpful for you as they cover important questions to consider with regard to treatment.  
  • What presenting issues might bring [clients with OCD] into counseling?
  • What are some “red flags” for counselors to listen for that might indicate OCD in a client who came in for something else (anxiety, ADHD, etc.)?
  • What counseling methods/techniques can be helpful when working with clients with obsessive behavior and/or OCD? Please explain how this/these method(s) work well for this client population. If possible, please talk about a case example (without identifying information) who worked with you and showed improvement. What were his/her presenting issues, what methods did you use and what issues did you focus on in counseling sessions?
  • People with an OCD diagnosis may be taking medication and seeing other professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists). How could a counselor work in tandem with these other professionals? Please include a case example, if possible.
  • How, particularly, are counselors a “good fit” for helping clients with obsessive behaviors? How can they help people with OCD differently than a psychologist would?
  • As a practitioner who specializes in working with OCD, is there anything else you would want counselors who don’t specialize in this area to know? 
  • Any main take-aways to share?
Brief context: since the ACA services "counselors," these are typically Master's level clinicians (sometimes doctoral level).  When "counselor" is referenced, this is what is meant, as opposed to Psychologists.
Read My Responses
Exposure-Friendly Mindfulness Exercise
In case you missed this mindfulness exercise sent out last week, check it out!  I'm now integrating it with clients regularly.  
FREE Worksheet
OCD Resources Page
Updated Regularly!
Take Me There!
Enough is Enough. Let's Schedule an Appointment.

The New & Improved 
(This post, "Help for OCD" is an OCD category post.)

There are 4 subscriptions to choose from:
General Mental Health
Christian Mental Health
Mental Health Professionals

Scroll to the bottom to "update your preferences" if you want to receive more or less.

*It is important to note that, though I've found these resources helpful, this is not an endorsement or guarantee in any way.  It is for educational purposes only.  Some accounts that are OCD Recovery oriented portray struggles that may not be recommended necessarily, but are often honest to the realities that exist for sufferers.  Content is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, treatment, or diagnosis.  Always seek the advice of your own personal health provider who is qualified to treat you, along with asking them any questions you may have regarding medical or other conditions. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have viewed here.  Links to external educational content are taken at your own risk. Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC is not responsible for the claims of external content.  
Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
Copyright © 2019 Dallas Counseling, PLLC, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp