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I’m in OCD celebrity heaven! Forget Ryan Gosling–I got to meet Lee Baer, author of Imp of the Mind. That book played such an important role in my triumph over intrusive taboo thoughts that I had to hold myself back from hugging the man and weeping in his arms. He was very gracious, and seemed happy to meet me as well!

I attended his session on sexual and violent intrusive thoughts, which reaffirmed how amazing he is, as well as how incredibly painful intrusive thoughts are for people with this type of OCD. He asked for volunteers to engage in an impromptu CBT session with him, and he sat at the front of the room with a young woman who fears that she’ll run someone over with her car without realizing it. So far she’s coped with her fear by avoiding it; she got an accommodation from work so she can take the bus instead of driving, and her husband drives her where she needs to go. Dr. Baer advised her to start with less intimidating exposures like writing down the worst “Stephen King” scenario that could happen and record herself reading it. He estimated that after about 10 hours of listening to the recording her anxiety will have subsided quite a bit and that by the end of the summer she’ll feel ready to drive again.

Now I’m off to an affiliate meeting, where I hope to learn a lot to apply to OCD Twin Cities, where I’m president. Tonight there’s a social, and IOCDF will present an award to comedian Maria Bamford, a fellow Minnesota native!

See you soon!

4 Comments

  • Melanie

    I too had a spectacular time at the conference so I came back to the conference website to try to make the experience linger. And am I ever glad I did! Your blog posts help capture the energy and comraderie of the experience.

    I was especially thrilled to find this particular post where you wrote about me-the volunteer! Dr. Baer has given me the courage and accountability to try out his exposure homework. And the audience members who approached me afterwards helped validate and magnify what an empowering experience it was.

    Is it time for Boston 2015 yet? 😉

    Reply
    • Alison Dotson

      Thanks for writing! You were so brave to get up there and share your fears with everyone. I loved watching Dr. Baer walk through it with you. I hope it helps you–I have confidence in you!

      Reply
      • Melanie

        Thank you so much for the validation! I’m glad to know it was a good experience for you as well. It sure was an exposure just by being up there in front of everyone and worrying that I was wasting people’s time. The positive response I received afterwards really proved otherwise which was a nice surprise. Take that, OCD! Thank you for the vote of confidence. 🙂

        Reply

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