Dr. Lauren Callaghan has dedicated her life and career to helping people who suffer from anxiety and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) by opening her own practices and writing many informative books on the topics. The most recent of Dr. Callaghan’s books, ‘Pulling the Trigger: The Definitive Survival and Recovery Approach for OCD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Related Depression,’ takes you on a unique journey through the patients issues and the direction a physician recommends.
This story follows Adam, a man who has suffered from lifelong anxiety and the course of treatment Dr. Callaghan planned out for him. We spoke with Dr. Lauren Callaghan about the book, running her own practices and her future projects.
How did you get involved with Psychiatry?
I initially studied law with a view to becoming a solicitor, however, as I was also completing a psychology undergraduate degree I found that I was increasingly interested in the phenomena of human behavior and I wanted to not only understand people and how they work, but I wanted to be able to do something that I believed would benefit people, their families and communities. In essence, I wanted to make a positive impact on the world.
Where you always supported in this choice?
My family always supported this change in focus as they could see I was passionate about psychology.
Is there a reason you focus on Anxiety/OCD?
Anxiety is a human experience, and treatment is so effective. It affects everyone so you can work with a severely unwell clinical population, as well as people who are functioning well in every other way. I enjoy working with a variety of clients knowing they can and will get better.
You own your own practice, do you enjoy running your business?
Yes, it is hard work running a practice but it gives me the flexibility I desire in a job. However, I certainly work harder than in other jobs! I realized a few years ago I work better in a self-determining environment and consultancy roles. It is important to enjoy the nature of your work particularly as a therapist in order to effect positive change in others.
How did working on the book ‘Pulling the Trigger: The Definitive Survival and Recovery Approach for OCD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Related Depression’ come about?
Like a number of clients that I have treated and have overcome OCD, Adam wanted to give something back to the community. I usually direct clients towards OCD UK or Maternal OCD-two charities I work with, but Adam decided he wanted to do even more than support a charity – he wanted to start one! (the Shaw mind foundation. www.shawmindfoundation.org ). At the same time he approached me after treatment and suggested we write a book together and I agreed, knowing that he would dedicate himself to both the charity and the book. I believed they were worthwhile ventures aimed at improving the lives of those suffering from poor mental health.
The book is unique as it follows a journey on two paths, patient and Dr. -was it important to approach it this way?
Yes – so many people feel that they are told the right way to get better by professionals, and it can lose its meaning as they feel isolated on that journey. They worry that they will be the one person that won’t get better. It is very important for people to feel that they are not alone and that other people have experienced what they have been through, plus it gives them hope for recovery. This is what Adam’s story does, it shares his struggles and people can identify with them, but also offers hope and a path to recover. If I had a dollar for every client that said to me ‘has anyone else ever been through this?’ I would have a lot of extra dollars!
How would you describe this book to someone who hasn’t read it?
It is a unique combination of a true story plus a user friendly effective treatment approach for anxiety and OCD. If you just want to read Adam’s story for interest you can and it is moving and inspiring. If you want to understand anxiety and OCD, and how to overcome it or help others to recover, then we offer an effective treatment approach that is easy to read and apply.
What do you hope this book brings to the reader?
Hope, destigmatizing mental illness, and the ability to bring about positive change in their life if they suffer from anxiety or OCD or know someone who does. There’s something for everyone and people can find further information and help they need at our website www.pulling-the-trigger.com
What advice would you give to someone suffering with anxiety/OCD?
Buy our book, but also that there is good effective treatment out there and you can get better! Thanks to research there is so much we know now about how to help people with anxiety and OCD. Also, to remember everyone experiences anxiety and intrusions (as you find in OCD) it is not weird strange or abnormal. But if it is causing you problem, you can have an existence where it doesn’t interfere in your life and getting the right help is important – look for approaches based upon research such as CBT (which is the basis of our book)
Do you have any future projects in the works?
Yes we have a child and adolescent family version coming out of this book on November 30th. It is available for pre-order on Amazon.
We are also working on a number of self-help books for other problems, including body image problems, depression, post-natal (post-partum) anxiety and depression, and then some inspirational books in which people have overcome adversity in life.
Get your copy of ‘Pulling the Trigger: The Definitive Survival and Recovery Approach for OCD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Related Depression’ on Amazon today!