I’ve just been rejected by a 7th – that’s right, seventh – therapist. No one seems to be taking on new clients now, which is really hard to navigate. I feel abandoned by a system that I’ve been using since I was a terrified little kid washing my hands raw and bloody.
I also know it can be hard to get and use resources outside of therapy, for a few reasons. (1) It can be hard to know what to look for or where to look; (2) resources often cost money – even some great apps cost a subscription fee; (3) if you’re struggling with executive function and/or motivation, not having another human being to help you navigate your own care can be difficult. I definitely can’t fix these issues, but I’d like to help by sharing – for free – a collection of exercises that I’ve used over the years.
These are from myriad sources, including books and my own mind. I want to point out that everyone’s mind is different and that not all or any of these might be useful to you. I specifically used them for health OCD/OCPD, panic attacks, and depression; sometimes I was guided by a counselor, other times not.
I also want to point out that these are NOT substitutes for professional healthcare, medicine, etcetera. These are things I’ve used to suplement my medicine and, when I had it, therapy. And, finally, I want to point out that I am not a mental health or healthcare professional – the highest certification I have in the area is a mental health first aid certification. Despite not being a pro, I’m a huge mental health and mental health care advocate.
I think those things are important to say in big, bold letters to protect both myself and yourselves. You deserve to know what you’re getting into! So with that, here are the worksheets – I hope they give you some support! Feel free to copy, share, modify, do whatever you need. Where possible or sensible, I’ve added where the inspiration for the worksheet came from.
Note: The worksheets are compiled into one workbook .pdf at the end of this post! It’s downloadable from there, if you wish.
I’ve found this useful for: OCD and depression
Inspired by: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks, by Dr. Seth J. Gillihan, PhD
I’ve found this useful for: making good habits, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, general anxiety
Inspired by: The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron
I’ve found this useful for: panic attacks, general anxiety, depression
I’ve found this helpful for: depression, OCD
I’ve found this useful for: depression, general anxiety, OCD, disordered eating, panic attacks
Other Mental Health Resources
- 7cupsoftea – free peer discussion and forums; offers chat counseling
- Robert James Coaching – fantastic podcast, free online resources and links to resources, offers a free coaching session
- The OCD and Anxiety Podcast – Robert James’s podcast; includes interviews, tips, stories, and resource information
- WoeBot – AI that helps you work through your thoughts using methods adapted from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Longwalks – mindful daily prompts and a mindful, respectful community; offers clubs based around specific topics with specific prompts
- My favorite meditation apps: My Life*, Insight Timer*
*Although these apps are free and are useful in their free versions, there are also paid options. The other two apps mentioned are fully free.
- Buddha’s Brain by Drs. Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius – discusses the neural benefits of meditation and mindfulness; includes guided meditations and practices; very inspiring
- Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth – while a touch philosophical, I found this book comforting and inspiring; a good companion to Buddha’s Brain
- CBT in 7 Weeks by Dr. Seth Gillihan – cognitive-behavioral therapy workbook
And, as promised, here’s the workbook with all the above worksheets compiled: