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Mindful : April 2017
director of the International Obsessive-Com- pulsive Disorder Foundation. The roots of compulsion lie in the brain circuit that detects threats, which is abnormally active in people with OCD and other compulsions. A compulsion, in short, differs from an addic- tion because the initial impetus is alleviating anxiety, not finding pleasure. A compulsive behavior is a form of self-reassurance—Every- thing ’s OK now that I’ve checked my phone 15 seconds after I checked the email on my desktop. Wait, maybe a new one has arrived.... From this point of view, Bianca and Suzanne are both ruled by compulsions. An Age of Anxiety Understanding that addictions are born out of joy and pleasure, and compulsions are born out of anxiety, is crucial to treating them. It also explains why compulsions like Bianca’s and Suzanne’s are so common. Ever since the 1947 publication of W. H. Auden’s The Age of Anxiety, ours has been an era defined by dreads both societal and personal. In any 12-month period, 18.1% of US adults suffer from anxiety intense enough to be a disorder, compared to 6.9% who suffer from major depression. It’s hardly surprising that our age of anxiety has given rise to so many people who are in the grip of a compulsion. We can’t force our ideal online date to find us in the digital sea of possibilities or stop bomb-toting fanatics from driving to Times Square. So we control what we can, compulsively cleaning or checking, hoarding or shopping or surfing the net in order to drain enough of our anxiety to function. Against tectonic social and economic forces that feel as uncontrollable and overwhelming as the waves on a rocky seashore, we seize on anything that restores a sense of agency. Compulsions are the psychological equivalent of steering into a skid. It’s the counterintuitive thing to do, but ultimately, for many, at least on their own terms, it’s effective. ● In any year, 18.1% of US adults suffer from anxiety intense enough to be a disorder, compared to 6.9% who suffer from major depression. The World Needs You! “In a world that reinvents itself on a daily basis, we empower students and credentialed coaches to adapt, integrate, and flourish from the inside out – for the betterment of all sentient beings.” – Founder & Director Ann-Marie McKelvey, LPCC, MCC ICF Master Certified Coach, Licensed Psychotherapist, Buddhist Chaplain www.MindfulnessCoachingSchool.com (505) 989-3374 ... and more! Becoming A Mindfulness & Wellness Coach: You and Your Clients April 10 – May 29, 2017 The Dynamic Trio: EMDR, Positive Psychology and Coaching April 11 – May 30, 2017 Skillful Means: The Coaching Skill Set April 10 – May 29, 2017 NOW ACCEPTING REGISTRATIONS FOR: Get certified from your home! Live classes are facilitated via Internet video and phone. ICF CCEs and optional counseling CEUs are available. Mindfulness Coaching School April 2017 mindful 21