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About Mind/Body Consultant Services & Protocols

Protocols: Processing, Closure and Containment Options

Between psychotherapy sessions people often have difficult memories, feelings and experiences come up. The following are some suggestions for working through and managing these experiences. They are listed in stepwise order as a suggested program for working through challenging psychological material with minimal or no therapist assistance. If these suggestions are not sufficient and you feel you are in an emergency situation contact your psychotherapist for further assistance.

  1. Get out your self-care list, emergency plan, meditation/affirmation materials, photographs and special items, pen and paper and any other items that you find are helpful and make you feel as comfortable as possible. Review the tools you may already have to deal with this situation such as:

    1. Creating and visiting safe/secure place internally

    2. Autogenics process

    3. Light stream technique

    4. Progressive relaxation (PMR, Tension Drain, Misogi Breathing, etc.)

    5. Meditation

    6. Being with safe significant other

    7. Attending support group meeting(s)

    8. Journaling

    9. Relaxation, or visualization tape

    10. Vertical EMDR eye movements

    11. Prayer

    12. Reading meditations

  2. Once you have your tools, find a safe spot to sit or lay down and give yourself permission to feel and experience what is going on inside you. The first step in working though something difficult is facing it. Be aware of how you generally "self-medicate" to avoid feelings (food, work, etc.) and try to not do those things for now. (You can always do them later if you need to.) Remember that whatever you are experiencing it is (1) temporary and will pass and (2) Remember that you are never without resources and backup - although sometimes you may feel like that and forget about the supports you do have. (If all else fails you can always call a crisis or prayer line!)

  3. Check your self-awareness for feelings of shame and guilt. Remind yourself to let go of feelings of shame as these are never appropriate or helpful. If you have a regret about your past behavior make a note about it and then let it go for now.

  4. As you are staying present and just gently being aware of the feelings you are having let it be ok with you to have the problem you are struggling with disappear. If you feel comfortable doing so, ask your higher power (God, The Universe, your Inner Child, etc.) to take this burden from you and then really have it be ok with you to let go of the problem. When we truly face an experience we often move through and beyond it and then it is really over.

  5. Ask yourself "Can I survive if the worst about this experience or problem is true." You will find that if you are honest the answer is always "Yes". Remind yourself that you have coped with many things in life and you will be able to cope with this also.

  6. Visualize yourself as a healthy parent to yourself Ask, "What would I do for my child if he, or she was having this experience?" and then do that for yourself.

  7. Finally, find some ways of soothing yourself. Here are some examples:

    1. Talk to support people

    2. Exercise: walk, bike, swim, other active sports

    3. Painting

    4. Art

    5. Play music

    6. Dance

    7. Deep Breathing

    8. Relaxation tapes

    9. Meditation

    10. Sleep

    11. Crying

    12. Set goals to deal with problems

    13. Engage in hobbies

    14. Activate your sense of humor

    15. Get a massage

    16. Use sauna or steam room

    17. Watch your favorite sitcom

    18. Watch your favorite soap opera

    19. Do something positive for someone else

    20. Divert your mind temporarily off your troubles

    21. Buy yourself something to "treat" yourself

    22. Go window shopping

    23. Soak in a warm bubble bath

    24. Do hair in a special way

    25. Hit a punching back or pillow

    26. Remove self from volatile situation

    27. Find someone to socialize with

    28. Cook something special

    29. Identify you own behaviors which add to the crisis

    30. Identify new and more productive behaviors you can experiment wit

    31. Seek professional counseling

    32. Scream

    33. Groom pet

    34. Go to a movie or show

    35. Put coping list in visible area

    36. Review options for dealing with crisis before crisis hits

    37. Make a list of unacceptable behaviors you will attempt to replace with productive behaviors

    38. Write in a journal

    39. Identify current level of satisfaction with current job. career

    40. Utilize medications as prescribed

    41. Identify positive, likable aspects of self

    42. Identify and write down pros and cons of a problem situation

    43. Be aware of your body's signals of stress

    44. Identify a plan to relieve symptoms of stress (physical and/or emotional)

    45. Review past accomplishments

    46. Get adequate amount of sleep

    47. Provide daily time for relaxation

    48. Identify stressors you can/can't change

    49. Exercise

    50. Nurturing activities (hot bath. massage. movie, reading, food, etc.)

Copyright 1999. Mind/Body Consultant Services.

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