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Dr. Russ Morfitt

Precautions can often be a big part of why we stay stuck.
Stress & Anxiety

Play it safe. You can’t be too careful.

How Learn to Live Delivers CBT: Part 10 Take a moment and think of the things you do to try to keep yourself from feeling unpleasant emotions. Consider the things you do so you don’t feel too scared, too upset, or too sad. You might think of all those unnecessary things we do to keep us from feeling too troubled as hacks for our emotions. Researchers often call them "safety seeking behaviors." I just call them “precautions.” It turns out those precautions can often be a big part of why we stay stuck. We may be stuck in our anxiety,…
Dr. Russ Morfitt
January 11, 2024
One of the best ways to find out if what we believe is really true is to find out for yourself.

Why not find out for yourself?

How Learn to Live Delivers CBT: Part 9 One of the best ways to find out if what we believe is really true is to check it out, right? Is the pizza place they bragged about really that great? Is that online recipe as tasty as they claim? You might want to find out for yourself. In our program for people with social anxiety, we help people who think this way: Everyone is looking at me. They don't think I should be here. They are all talking about me. Or they all think I'm dumb or boring. The program helps…
Dr. Russ Morfitt
December 4, 2023
The power of scheduling "worry time"
Stress & Anxiety

Islands of worry­­—better than huge continents of worry

How Learn to Live Delivers CBT: Part 8 If you tend to worry, you know just how sticky worry can be. Maybe people around you tell you to just let it go. They may tell you to move on. Or they might point out to you just how unnecessary all that worry is. But even though you try, letting go of that worry isn't easy. If that’s you, then the idea of Worry Time might be helpful for you. Here's the idea: even though it seems like worry is voluntary, it isn’t.  Worry doesn’t just show up. In reality, it…
Dr. Russ Morfitt
November 2, 2023
Mindfulness is based on this idea: We can let worrying thoughts and feelings come and go.
Mental Health

Catching the Third Wave

How Learn to Live Delivers CBT: Part 7  Should we teach mindfulness skills in our programs? We talked about this several years ago when I was writing the initial content for our first program for Social Anxiety. At that time, there was not enough research to support using mindfulness. But soon research on mindfulness began to emerge. Within a few years, there was enough research to show it helps. So we were happy to add it.  Nowadays, mindfulness is seen as the third wave of CBT. The first wave was behavioral strategies like facing fears. Then cognitive strategies were introduced…
Dr. Russ Morfitt
September 6, 2023
Thinking about what we fear can help us become unafraid.
Stress & Anxiety

Don’t Even Think About That 

How Learn to Live Delivers CBT: Part 6 Many times we hear "Don't even think about that!" This is to avoid a bad thing happening or feeling troubled. But we know thinking something does not make it happen. That is magical thinking.  In fact, the opposite is true. Thinking about what we fear can help us become unafraid. This is called imaginal exposure. With it, we think on purpose about things we worry about happening. Some people have used virtual reality to help imagine feared things. Research shows imagining bad outcomes can sometimes work as well as virtual reality.  We…
Dr. Russ Morfitt
August 9, 2023
There are few things as exciting as seeing someone stare their fears in the face until they no longer live with that fear.
Stress & Anxiety

Getting Back Up When You Fall Down

How Learn to Live Delivers CBT: Part 5 If you fall off the horse, you better get right back on that horse.  Why do they say that anyway? Have you ever actually fallen off a horse? I have many times. Sometimes it really hurts. But the reason to get back on that horse is because, once you start avoiding that horse, you risk a lifetime of continuing to fear the horse. I also like to say that if it's a little too scary to immediately get on that horse, you might want to at least try getting on a smaller…
Dr. Russ Morfitt
July 11, 2023