We have successfully treated many clients, below are testimonials to show how satisfied they are and how treatment has helped.
Sexually Intrusive Thoughts and Health Obsessions
I was a worrier for my whole life. Ever since I was seven years old, I knew that I was just naturally anxious. I thought it was a personality trait or a quirk of mine; I never thought that I had a sickness.
Then in February of 2018, I realized that things had escalated past any sort of personality trait. While on a business trip out of state, I broke. I was gone for two weeks and spent countless hours up at night in a panicked and paranoid state. It took everything in me to make it through the work day only to rush back to the hotel, lock the door and pace the rooms for hours. I remember calling my wife weeping and saying to her “I don’t feel like I have control of my brain anymore.” My wife and I did not know what to do. We were fearful I would not be able to keep my job in my current state of mind. Honestly, our marriage likely was not going to survive much longer in this state. We even looked into full-time institutions because my anxiety had become terminal to every aspect of my life.
It was during our research that I began to feel like my symptoms sounded like OCD. Now to this point in my life, I assumed OCD was what is portrayed by Hollywood; an obsession with cleanliness. That was never something I struggled with but my research showed that OCD was much more than that. However, the issue that we then faced was that there are very few outpatient options for OCD treatment in central Florida. One office that I called could not see me for four months; by which time I assumed I would no longer be alive. It was at this time that we found Natalie and Anxiety & OCD of Tampa Bay. I emailed Natalie to see if she had any availability (mainly because I was too ashamed to call and describe my broken mind to anyone). She saw me within a week and started me on my road to recovery.
Natalie very quickly confirmed my self-diagnosis of OCD. My two main obsessions were sexually intrusive thoughts and health related thoughts. I was convinced that I would be wrongly accused of some sexual crime/sin or that maybe I did some sort of inappropriate sexual act that I had blocked from my mind in the past. I also feared that I would die of some sudden disease (cancer, heart attack, colon rupture, brain tumor…literally anything). If I could quiet my mind of one obsession, the other would rage to the forefront of my thoughts with an unforgiving ferocity. My life was one awful game of ping-pong between my two obsessions and my brain was the ball being hit back and forth. I assumed I was a special case and Natalie would need to research how to treat me (that is if I was treatable at all). To my surprise, I am one of thousands who suffer from these same obsessions. Later in my treatment, Natalie invited me to a group therapy with other people who suffered from very similar sexually intrusive thoughts.
The treatment that I was prescribed was called ERP (exposure-response prevention). Essentially, Natalie helped me identify triggers in my life that would summon my obsessions. It sounds crazy. If I had some brief moment of no anxiety, I was now purposefully creating it for myself. It was an exhausting process. Early on I could barely make it 45 seconds without having to stop. When I forced myself to trigger my anxiety through ERP, I was not allowed to go and complete whatever my normal compulsion was to calm my fears and find relief. Instead, I would embrace and sit with my thoughts and my fears (response-prevention). I’m sure if you are considering treatment, this is a terribly scary idea (which is a reasonable response). However, getting rid of my thoughts was never the goal of the treatment. The goal of ERP is to get rid of the compulsions and to learn to be okay with your weird, uncomfortable and sometimes horrific thoughts. I was learning to embrace my thoughts, taunt my thoughts and in a real way, relish in my intrusive thoughts. I stopped trying to reason away the thoughts I was having and instead began reciting Natalie’s mantra, “Maybe, Maybe Not.” Maybe these sexual thoughts are really who I am. Maybe I am a monster. Maybe not. Maybe I will die of a heart attack at 27. Maybe I will leave my wife and two sons. Maybe not. This is where my life began to change.
I treated with Natalie for four months. During that time I saw her at least once a week. Often our sessions were an hour of me crying on her couch, wondering if I would ever be better. However, by the fourth month of treatment, our sessions felt less like therapy and were much more like two friends enjoying a conversation. I would tell her of my victories and failures through the week. I would recount of when I gave the proverbial middle finger to my OCD and when I caved and sought reassurance. However, in four short months, I went from contemplating swallowing an entire bottle of Xanax to shut off my thoughts, to a life of recovery. I am not healed of OCD, but I am equipped to handle any thought my mind can throw at me.
If you are contemplating treatment, all I can say is I wish I would have done it sooner. You are not alone. You are not unique. You do not have an incurable disease. You actually suffer from a disease that is in the top 10 reasons people in America are on disability. I am a normal guy, with a successful career, two kids and a wife. My closest friends had no idea of the internal battle I was going through each day. Likely many people around you are suffering from the things that you think no one would understand. There is help and there is a better life waiting for you.
Although I haven’t treated with Natalie in almost a year, I still keep in touch with her. We send Christmas cards, birth announcements and random e-mails to keep up with her. Any time I describe her, it is as the woman who saved my marriage, my job…my life. She will always have a special place in my family’s life.
Sexually Intrusive Thoughts
I came to Natalie for treatment of OCD in the form of sexually intrusive thoughts, hit and run OCD, and scrupulosity. At that time I was unable to work because of severe panic attacks brought on by my obsessions. I felt stuck in my own head. I tried several other therapists and wasted a lot of time going though psychotherapy and CBT with minimal results. That’s when I reached out to Natalie. She guided me through ERP therapy and helped me gain the confidence to eventually do exposures that I would have never been able to do on my own. Natalie gave me a safe place to talk about my obsessions. She offered empathy and kindness while also being firm and saying things that I really needed to hear. I was pushed out of my comfort zone but always felt supported and never alone in my treatment. I was very motivated to complete my assigned exposures and as a result I saw my symptoms improve within the first few weeks! After a few months of treatment I felt like I had control over my life again. After my symptoms decreased significantly I was able to space my sessions out and now I schedule as needed if symptoms start to flare up. My husband and family have noticed a huge change in my quality of life over the course of my treatment. I would encourage anyone who is struggling with OCD of any severity to begin ERP therapy right away and start taking control back! It was frightening at times to tell my darkest thoughts to another person but because Natalie is experienced and knowledgeable in OCD she was never surprised (not even once!) by any of the thoughts I had. I am so thankful that I found a therapist as caring and strong as Natalie. She has truly changed my life.
When I first came to see Natalie, I suffered from a severe case of contamination OCD. I was caught in a vicious cycle of compulsively washing my hands, using sanitizers and several other incredibly frustrating rituals that I believed were needed to cope with my unspecified fears of contamination. I was also obsessed with using anti-bacterial cleaning products to repeatedly wipe down various items in my home, office and car (to name just a few locations). My OCD had gotten so bad that I had essentially boxed myself into a very restrictive and painful existence. This affected each and every aspect of my life to include my career and relationships.
While I read about several treatment options, including Exposure Response Therapy, for several years, I remained skeptical and found one reason or the other not to try treatment. I tried utilizing some self-help options through books and online videos but was unsuccessful in these efforts.
To say that Natalie changed my life and rescued me from an incredibly painful existence would be an understatement! In a span of roughly six months, when I saw her approximately twice a week, Natalie worked tirelessly to equip me with the tools, strategies and knowledge needed to overcome my OCD. The results I experienced were nothing short of miraculous. With each passing week, I began to notice small but steady improvements that quickly gained momentum and allowed me to push back against my debilitating OCD.
The first day I came to see Natalie, simple everyday tasks like taking out the trash, touching door knobs, shaking hands, or even taking off my shoes were a painful experience. Due to compulsive hand washing and sanitizer use, my hands were cracked/raw and would frequently bleed. In stark contrast, today, less than a year after I first saw Natalie, I am living a relatively normal and OCD-free life. I can actually enjoy simple things again and I look forward to a variety of activities that I could previously not even imagine.
My journey to recovery with Natalie wasn’t easy – it was a lot of hard work and I really had to push myself to overcome certain hurdles, particularly in the early days. However, she was with me at every step; encouraging, advising and even pushing me when needed. I can’t adequately express my gratitude and appreciation for everything Natalie has done for me. Without her help, my condition would undoubtedly have continued to worsen.
For anyone suffering from OCD and reading this, I would like to say: Don’t hesitate, don’t procrastinate, and don’t let your obsessions control your life for another day. Exposure Response Prevention Treatment produces real results and in my experience, swift results. And without a doubt, Natalie is one of the best providers you can seek assistance from!
Note: Natalie has also helped the daughter of a close friend of mine overcome her OCD challenges. She recently described the help Natalie provided her as “nothing short of life changing”.
I worked with Natalie for about six months on general anxiety and social phobia. This was at a time in my life when a lot was changing (finishing graduate school, moving away from Tampa, etc.) so my anxiety was probably the worst it has ever been. I don’t know of another six month period in my life that I grew as much and as fast as I did with Natalie. We did A LOT of exposure therapy at local malls and the stories of what she had me do provide some great laughs now. She had me walk into Forever21 and ask if they only sold clothes to people 21 there since my anxiety was heightened when I was uncomfortable. Walking into Victoria’s Secret and shopping for my imaginary girlfriend was almost as bad as going to buy my imaginary girlfriend an engagement ring and WALK OUT MID SALES PITCH WITH NO APOLOGY! That was hard. Looking back, these exposures helped me more than I know and I refer to them almost everyday in my life now. It taught me that you can push past anxiety and you can control it instead of it controlling you. Natalie went out of her way to make me feel comfortable and even if we met at the mall, if I showed up anxious we just sat and talked which I really appreciated it. Natalie is fantastic at what she does and I would highly recommend her to anyone who needs help. Anxiety is something that you cannot tell someone has just by looking, and I learned that it is much more common than I thought. I always left Natalie’s office or the mall (for exposures) slightly uncomfortable which meant I was growing. I wholeheartedly would recommend Natalie and if I ever moved back to Tampa, she would be the first person I call to get back on her schedule! She has helped change my life and I am forever grateful for Natalie and all the help she has provided me.
Aggressive and Sexually Intrusive Thoughts
Being diagnosed with OCD was one of the best days of my life. Being diagnosed with OCD meant I was not alone, that there was treatment, that there was HOPE.
As an early twenties man, I had been diagnosed by other medical professionals as suffering from anxiety and symptoms of paranoia. I was told I “just needed to relax”, that I should “find a hobby”, and that I “had nothing to worry about!”. I moved across the country because of my OCD. I burned bridges, I destroyed relationships, I had thoughts of suicide frequently as I imagined the silence and finality of death to be a welcome change from the literal constant barrage of “crazy” thoughts and the physical toll they took on my well-being.
My “crazy” thoughts (OCD) took shape in a variety of forms. In one year I went to a barrage of doctors and specialists (over 30!) as I was absolutely convinced I had a slew of physical ailments, all of which had life-changing consequences. My health anxiety never went away, it simply morphed. For several years after that, I lived absolutely convinced I would be hauled off to jail any day, falsely accused of sexual assault. I thought to myself, “my family will turn away from me, my friends will disappear, no one will believe that my accuser is making it all up. It’s guilty until proven innocent when it comes to sexual assault!”. I’ve had my OCD rear its ugly head while driving as well; If I heard any strange noise, sudden bump or anything else felt out of the ordinary, I was convinced that I either ran someone over and would be hauled off to jail once the police found me, or that I had hit someone else’s vehicle/property and the resulting “hit and run” would be enough, criminally, to (again) send me to jail.
When you first start treatment, you will tell yourself, as I did, that there is no way that it will work. I would regularly ask Natalie when I started how what we were doing could POSSIBLY help the agony I endured at the hands of my unrestrained intrusive thoughts. I stayed the course, and it changed my life. During my treatment, we did a host of different exposures and exercises to rewire how my brain approached my OCD. “Maybe” became the most used word of my vocabulary (and still is).
Choosing to undergo treatment with Natalie Noel was one of the best decisions I have ever made, forever changing my life’s course. Wherever you are at this moment, reading this testimonial, know this – OCD is conquerable, no matter how insurmountable it may seem at this given moment. You can beat this. You are not alone.
My OCD is specific to two areas – my husband and food.
I’ve been married for 16 years convinced my husband had been cheating on me for the better part of those years. There was never any evidence or reason to support my fears, but I couldn’t stop thinking, suspecting, or accusing… I would go through his personal things, read his emails, texts, etc. I would obsess over girls – listen to every word he said to see if I would catch him in a lie … It was unbelievably destructive, not just to me, but to my marriage.
The first day I went to meet with Natalie I told her I wasn’t going to bring my husband with me, ever. He knew I didn’t trust him, but he didn’t know the extent. I ended up bringing him to my second appointment with Natalie. Having my husband involved in my therapy was more crucial than I knew. We are able to work together through my fear of infidelity. I have tools now that have helped me incredibly. My OCD hasn’t gone away, it’s manageable.
Food was also an area of great fear for me – contamination. What if someone put something in my food? What if I lose control and I’m sent to a basement in a hospital? What if … After eating I would watch the clock. I would say to myself, “If there was something in your food, you’d know it by now.” The food obsession started in 1989. YES … 1989 – No one talked about OCD… I thought this was how my life was going to be.
My therapist convinced me to see Natalie. I was skeptical, but went. Homework is a necessity – I never wanted to do it. Who wants to purposely put themselves exactly where they don’t want to be? And to fester in it… But the more I was “there” … slowly the less anxious I became. It was hard – It still is. I’m learning to put both feet in my marriage and I’m also eating the cookie.
Before my OCD treatment my thoughts were all consuming. Every moment of every day was filled with thoughts of fear and ‘what if’s’. I’d love to say, “I’ve been cured,” but again, there is no cure, but there’s Natalie Noel!
Postpartum OCD and Aggressive Intrusive Thoughts
When I met Natalie, I was about two and a half months postpartum. Through my sessions with her, I was diagnosed with perfectionism OCD; which morphed into harm intrusive thoughts. Through various exposures, which I learned quickly would reduce my anxiety, I was able to accept my thoughts and work towards major progress in 2-3 months. Now, with postpartum OCD, there are a lot of other factors at play. Sleepless nights (terrible for a perfectionist needing to perform at optimal capacity), a huge life change, and hormones. The combination of the three, definitely are major triggers for my OCD; and it does get better each day. Reassurance is something we all seek, however, with OCD it can be quite a crutch. Therefore, my words of encouragement are: It does get better each day, but you have to set realistic expectations for yourself and do the work. Some days will be great, and some days will be very tough. Please know, we all have intrusive thoughts; you will learn to recognize them, cope, and empower yourself to keep moving forward. Thank you, Natalie for all you do! You are amazing!
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
I have been working with Natalie since the summer of 2017, after being diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in the fall of 2015. Prior to my diagnosis I was throwing up about 3-5 times a week with overwhelming anxiety about my job, the tasks it required and the overall impression I was demanding of myself to make on my coworkers and on my friends. I struggled with meeting everyone’s expectations of me, some of which I imagined and some that were real. I expected myself to be flawless in my work and in my relationships with others. With this self-induced pressure I was having physical pains: throwing up, inability to eat food, stomach cramps, and headaches. While after my GAD diagnosis I was prescribed a low dosage of Lexapro, which helped ease off some of these physical manifestations, but I wasn’t doing much else to help understand my anxieties and take on strategies that would help me work through them.
In the fall of 2016 I moved to Tampa as a graduate student at USF, and while working on my degree I came across a book that described a women’s life being improved with Cognitive Behavior Therapy for her anxiety. That was it for me, I decided to do some research and find a CBT specialist in Tampa to help me, and that’s when I met Natalie. During our first few sessions she explained to me that part of my CBT treatment I would be participating in exposure therapy, putting myself in situations that cause me anxiety, in order to desensitize myself to the anxiety. My understanding of, and nickname for, this type of therapy I coined as “mini Fear Factor episodes”. Two anxieties, that I first revealed to Natalie, were dating: the expectations I put on myself to be perfect, and the fear of getting sick in public: which in doing so would ruin the day for those around me, and cause excessive attention to be put on me. Natalie, in turn, gave me instructions to make an online dating profile and go on first dates with a few people.
On my first first date in two years I went water biking in the Bay, and due to my anxiety I did not eat breakfast or drink enough water for an outdoor summer activity, and about 20 minutes into the date I was throwing up on the side of my water bike, about 5 feet away from my date, and while I was throwing up all I could think is “Oh my goodness this is so embarrassing, and man Natalie is gonna love this, I’m being exposed to two of my anxieties at once”. And yes while it was mortifying in the moment, through this exposure I was able to see that I don’t have to be perfect, I can be a human who can get sick on a first date and it not mark my dating future, and people’s opinion of who I am, and my values. This was a huge milestone for me, and a proud moment where I took ownership that yes I have anxieties, but I don’t have to let them control my life with fear, like I had allowed them to do for most of my life.
While I am still working on my anxieties regarding intimate male relationships, and my perfectionism tendencies I know I am in the best CBT hands with Natalie. I’ll be honest the first few months of exposure therapy were exhausting, and I left many sessions telling Natalie I hated her, due to the exposure activities she wanted me to go through, however I can now say after almost 2 years as her patient I feel I have more control over my anxieties, and in turn more joy in my relationships with coworkers, friends and family members. I told my close friends that I decided to seek therapy for my anxiety, and now when we catch up I don’t say “in therapy this week”, but instead say “Natalie and I are working on…”. My close friends know Natalie by name because while she is my therapist I regard her more as a close friend who is helping me with specific strategies and exposure to help reduce my anxieties, while also giving me back my life that’s meant for joy, growth through failure and belief that I am enough, regardless of what my anxieties tell me.
Depression and OCD
I am very grateful to have received treatment by Natalie Noel, LMHC. I was treated for OCD, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder. I came to Natalie with uncontrolled OCD and generalized anxiety disorder that developed into depression. I was paralyzed by my past and terrified of my future. I was so afraid of making a mistake in my career as a nurse practitioner that I was unable to maintain a job. I had no self-confidence and was unable to enjoy things I used to enjoy. I suffered with suicidal thoughts and extreme fatigue that interfered with completing my activities of daily living. I entered treatment with Natalie at the absolute lowest point of my life and thanks to her help and hard work I am currently living my best life. The techniques Natalie used in my treatment included exposure and response prevention therapy with specific focus on assertiveness, worry scripts, cognitive behavioral therapy and behavioral activation. Natalie held me accountable for my progress while reminding me to care for myself as we worked through my fears and emotions. I have been in some sort of therapy most of my life but working with Natalie was different. Natalie instilled confidence in me when I had none of my own to help me to reframe my thoughts and situation based on reality. Rather than just taking about my problems I was challenged to face my fears and emotions head-on. Treatment was challenging and I learned more about myself than I ever had before. I learned that my past doesn’t have to define me and that OCD doesn’t have to limit my career aspirations. Treatment wasn’t an overnight success; rather it was a battle won by small victories. Natalie help me re-build my own foundation and I am now stronger than I have ever been. I still have my struggles but when they come I try to apply the techniques I learned with Natalie and thus far I have managed to prevent returning to my old habits and thoughts. I am forever grateful for the treatment I received from Natalie. My only wish is that I could have started treatment earlier. The skills Natalie teaches you are unique and the treatment is tailored specifically to you. Take the time and invest and yourself and get the help you deserve.
OCPD and OCD
I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 13 years old. I am now in my mid-forties with a stable job and a family of my own. Mental health is similar to other medical conditions, such as diabetes, in that it must always be managed via treatment – but it can be successfully managed. Part of my current treatment plan consists of regularly attending counseling with Natalie at Anxiety & OCD Treatment of Tampa Bay. While my OCD symptoms are minimal (via previous exposure response treatment earlier in life), I do still deal with anxiety and OCPD (a personality disorder that presents in me as rigidity). The counseling (i.e. – talk therapy) I receive at Anxiety & OCD Treatment of Tampa Bay help me stay focused on my goals – remaining gainfully employed and spending quality time with my wife and child. While my diagnosis and symptoms (these days) deal less with what the majority of Natalie’s clients seek treatment for, it is imperative to me that my therapist be rooted in a solid foundation of OCD theory and clinical practice. OCD is how my mental health journey started years ago – it will always be a part of me. My therapist, therefore, needs to have that perspective first (in my opinion), to treat the additional layers (of stress, anxiety, and the day-to-day problems working adults face) that make me who I am today. In summary, I am very satisfied with Natalie’s approach, knowledge, and commitment to my success. I recommend Anxiety & OCD Treatment of Tampa Bay for anyone in need of effective mental health treatment.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
I want to mention my experience with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and my recovery process. For years and years (almost half a century) I has symptoms of BDD. I was very sensitive about my physical appearance and avoided many people and events. I was afraid to look at myself in the mirror and was afraid to go into a barber shop to get a hair cut because I would see myself in the mirror. I avoided going to a barber shop for 40 years and would cut my own hair in very dull lighting at home. All these years I knew something was not right, but I did not know what it was. Everyone has issues, but when those issues get in the way of life, then it’s time to seek help. I found help with Natalie Noel at Anxiety & OCD Treatment of Tampa Bay. With her help I had to learn to gradually face my fears. I engage in many gradual exposures that involved looking in the mirror. In my case, it took a while for the anxiety levels to go down, but now I can go to social outings, go in public without wearing a hat, and even get a hair cut at the barber! I initially saw Natalie once per week and now see her once per month. I still have a little ways to go, but remember, I have been this way for almost half a century. Remember there is help out there and millions of people have image issues. I drive about 100 miles one way for treatment sessions with Natalie. It is worth the drive.
Through my sessions with Natalie I learned a healthier outlook on life and effective ways to cope with my anxiety. Natalie is an extremely talented professional who displays clinical acumen, compassion, and empathy. Our sessions felt collaborative and I’m grateful to Natalie for how much she has transformed the way I approach anxiety inducing situations and perfectionism. I’m overall much kinder to myself now, enjoy setting boundaries and find myself saying, “maybe, maybe not” when an outcome is uncertain. I would highly recommend Anxiety & OCD Treatment of Tampa Bay.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Hello. If you are reading this I commend you on your bravery for getting help. I didn’t see myself as brave before I started healing. I was diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), Depression and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Behavior). My symptoms of GAD were having Anxiety attacks what seemed like out of nowhere, self doubt and not sleeping due to intrusive thoughts. In the mornings I would hate to get out of bed because I was afraid of what the new day would bring. I avoided friends and family because I was afraid I was going to say something that would offend them and they would hate me. I was afraid of the Unknown. I felt like I was going crazy and had thoughts of wanting to die. I didn’t really want to die I just felt hopeless. I stopped traveling and Scuba Diving because I had a major episode on vacation. Although I had my symptoms before the incident, I began to blame the travel and scuba which are my absolute passions! Afterwards, I would have constant “what if” thoughts. What if they hate me? What if I plan this vacation and its horrible? What if I say this? Will it offend people and make someone not like me? I am a Realtor and worried about my clients and customers constantly. What if I do something wrong, say something wrong, miss a tiny detail?? I had thoughts that I was terrible at my job. I had catastrophizing thoughts, making mountains out of ant piles. My life became almost paralyzed. I didn’t think I could be “fixed”. I cried. A lot. My husband and I had booked another vacation and right after booking until the day we were going to leave, I had horrible anxiety, night sweats, intrusive thoughts, panic, anger at myself for not being able to decide if I could go and jerking my husband around about it. I dropped him of at the airport. I didn’t go with him and it devastated me. I knew at that point I couldn’t keep living that way. I went to several therapists before but their treatments were not the right fit for me. I found Natalie and my life changed. Natalie used Exposure Response Prevention Therapy with me. She had me do exercises that would mimic Anxiety and Panic symptoms like feeling dizzy, shortness of breath, trembling and muscles tightening. I had to track some of my detrimental behaviors in a book and try to stop doing them. Natalie also gave me exposures that would induce my Anxiety. I would have to pack a suitcase, sit with my anxiety until it abated, unpack the suitcase and repeat. I had to look at Scuba diving pictures and videos where accidents had happened. I had to go on travel sites and look at places to go. These actions would give me terrible anxiety but I believed in her and had to believe in myself to get my life back. The exposures increased in severity. I had to lock my phone up or leave it at home so I couldn’t check it constantly. My anxiety would spike! My clients are going to hate me and fire me because I’m not there for them RIGHT NOW and I’m going to be jobless! I cried, I panicked, I had meltdowns, set backs, I pushed forward. Next step, book a getaway without doing too much research, just enough. I used to over analyze every detail and aspect. We went, I panicked, I lived! Next, scuba. My husband and I are both avid divers. Feeding part of my anxiety was that I had thoughts if I couldn’t travel and dive, my husband would leave me for someone who could. He was going on a dive weekend without me so I booked a dive to do in a controlled environment. Epcot. I could dive in the tank. It was only 45 minutes. If I did this it was huge! With the support of my mom and sister, we went to Epcot. My dive was scheduled at 8pm. When it approached the time for me to split with them I panicked. Massive anxiety hit me. I cried and shook. But, I didn’t back down. I went. My mom and sister were up in the window cheering me on and I cried! I was doing it!! I swam up to the window and the dive leader took a picture of me with my mom and sister cheering in the window. We were all ecstatic! My husband was with a buddy driving home from his dive weekend and I sent him the picture. He called me and told me how proud he was and cried too! I was getting my confidence back. Natalie had helped me build my mental tool kit to handle my anxiety. I still have bad days but now I know how to get myself through them. I love Natalie and can’t ask for a better fit therapist for me. I continue to see her not because I feel I need her but because I LOVE my sessions with her.
Natalie provided extensive treatment to me as I grappled with an almost debilitating relapse of OCD. I was severely triggered a few days after Christmas which led me back to the chains of anxiety provoking obsessions and recurring compulsions. I quickly found the majority of my every day centered on distressing sexual and relational themed thoughts that could not be proven wrong. Natalie was a Godsend for both myself and my family. She quickly addressed the beast head-on by outlining a tailored treatment program and equipping me with the tools to fight back. It took dedication, discomfort and a lot of hard work, that in the beginning felt futile. In the end, 90 days to be specific, I had the monster pushed back to its tiny corner of my brain and was back to controlling my response to irrational thoughts. My OCD will never be gone, but I feel in control of how I respond to triggering events and seasons of stress. I also find relief that Natalie Noel is only a phone call away. For those finding themselves in the chains of OCD – you can fight back by receiving the correct treatment, support and education. Do not suffer in silence.
13 Year Old with Contamination
Natalie treated my 13 year old son for OCD. His obsession with contamination literally halted his life for a few months. This behavior affected every aspect of his normal routine – family relations, school performance, and ultimately causing him to withdraw from his sport. He started treatment with Natalie and in just 6 weeks showed amazing improvement. I wasn’t sure he would be compliant with the extreme exposures, but he confidently conquered them to a level that surprised us all! His life is back to normal as he knew it and is so aware and prepared if and when OCD arises again. Thanks Natalie!
After having my third child, my OCD resurfaced again. The perfectionism and harm intrusive thoughts coupled with relentless mental compulsions interfered with my functioning and stole my joy and peace as a mother. Even with a considerable understanding of OCD and ERP prior to treatment with Natalie, I struggled greatly trying to effectively manage my postpartum OCD. Natalie’s extensive knowledge of OCD, combined with her caring spirit and encouraging yet firm accountability, helped me get my OCD back under control. OCD can be a beast to battle, and I’m so grateful for Natalie’s expertise and the ERP treatment I received. ERP works!
Health Related OCD
I started treatment because of my OCD which I have had since I was a kid. My intrusive thoughts and physical impulses I had were all related to an injury I sustained two years ago. It was a debilitating experience, and I was stuck in a bad place not only mentally but physically as well. With Natalie’s help, I was able to fight back against my own mind and body by performing exposures related to my injury. I can honestly say that it was the best help I have ever received, and am now over my fears. If anyone has the same issues or any issues at all for that matter, Natalie at Anxiety and OCD Treatment of Tampa Bay is the best choice you can make.
10 year old with Emetophobia
My son is 10 years old and has been diagnosed with OCD, Tourette’s, ADHD and General Anxiety Disorder. His treatment with Natalie Noel was specifically to address his anxiety through behavioral therapy. In the year prior to treatment, my son’s anxiety became increasingly evident and was beginning to impact his engagement in social situations that would have typically excited and interested him. He was always very social and loved to hang out with friends at sporting events, amusement parks and sleep overs however that all started to change shortly after an incident where a child sitting next to him on a carnival ride vomited. My son became hesitant to do anything outside of our home and on several occasions when he did go somewhere with friends, the other child’s parents would call us to tell us he didn’t feel well and wanted to come home. In all instances, there was either another child that vomited or my son said his stomach hurt and he thought he was going to vomit.
After speaking with Natalie. Noel we learned our son has emetophobia, a phobia that causes overwhelming, intense anxiety pertaining to vomiting. After learning this, things became so much clearer and we began behavior therapy related to vomit. Through this therapy my son confronted his fear and was challenged to complete exposures such as reading about, listening to and watching others vomit. We talked more about vomit during that time than I have in my entire life. With each behavioral therapy session, I observed continued progress and growth in my son’s ability to manage his anxiety. As parents, we also learned how to help manage our son’s behavior when his anxiety was high and reinforce the skills he had learned. After a few months my son was doing incredibly well and openly discussing vomit without a problem; he would talk through when he wasn’t feeling well, push himself to manage the anxiety and move on. He even started riding roller coasters when previously he wouldn’t even watch others ride them for fear someone might get sick.
We found behavioral therapy to treat my son’s anxiety to be very effective however I credit Natalie Noel’s approach and ability to connect with my son as the major factor behind his success. From our very first therapy session, my son, husband and I felt very comfortable working with Ms. Noel. She showed immense care and interest in our son which calmed his anxiety and resulted in him looking forward to his therapy sessions.
14 year old with Misophonia and OCD
Our fourteen year old daughter was suffering from OCD which caused several mental rituals requiring constant reassurance, along with a debilitating misophonia component. Even though we lived near a major metropolitan area we had a difficult time finding a local therapist who could effectively treat OCD with ERP therapy. Due to Natalie Noel’s background and qualifications we took a chance on long distance therapy via computer teleconference.
Natalie Noel was incredibly effective. She was able to quickly establish a level of trust and rapport with our daughter. She explained in detail what our daughter and we as a family would be facing as ERP therapy can be extremely anxiety provoking.
Natalie Noel did not waste anytime and quickly assessed our daughter’s ability and thresholds for carrying out various exposures. I found her to be extremely skilled and experienced. She was able to provide multiple strategies and exposures along with instruction on how our daughter should document her experiences and feelings.
Within weeks our daughter’s anxiety and OCD behaviors started to wane, with the most startling result being able to tolerate and handle her misophonia. Our daughter is now able to eat with us as a family! Ms. Noel not only provided our daughter with extensive relief but also an arsenal of tools and strategies to assist her in the future with her OCD. We are very happy with our daughter’s progress and highly recommend Natalie Noel!
Pedophilia OCD and Postpartum OCD
Eight visits! Eight! After countless tears, endless worrying, the fear of losing everything I have and everyone I love, sleepless nights, tarnished relationships, avoidance from once loved activities, constant reassurance seeking, almost two years of seeing a therapist to do CBT, self medicating with prescriptions/alcohol, and a lot of money spent, it only took eight visits. Natalie R. Noel gave my life a purpose again. She helped me take control and cope with my terrifying inappropriate intrusive thoughts and feeling like a monster who did not deserve happiness anymore. OCD and postpartum depression is debilitating, Pedophilia OCD is worse. ERP will help. By my eighth visit I felt more confidence, happiness, joy, and relief than I had felt in years. There’s no cure for OCD, but there is treatment. Get your life back. Seek help without fear and judgement. Seek Natalie.
OCD fear about Suicide and Insomnia
I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and OCD. I had been suffering with this for a few years and had tried coping the best I could. Things finally took a turn for the worst and it started impacting my sleep. I felt I hit rock bottom and even missed work at a company and job I love. I began having intrusive thoughts, constantly felt anxious. I was afraid to go on medication due to side effects and not wanting to accept or feel abnormal. I reached out to Natalie and trusted the process at this point. Nothing could get worse and it was worth a try. At the beginning of all this I had a thought that I wanted to die and that spiraled into my OCD wondering if I was actually suicidal even though I did not want to die. The thought made me sick and caused my insomnia. I was not sleeping at all most nights and, if I did sleep, I would only sleep 3-4 hours. No matter how tired I was, I could not sleep due to the intrusive thoughts. Natalie worked with me with exposure therapy and even though sometimes the exercises were uncomfortable, I always felt slightly better after a couple of days. As the weeks went on, we ended up tackling my insomnia. It was there we discovered the insomnia was fueled by a fear of not being able to sleep and the ‘what if’s’ that came with it. I finally started sleeping regularly and began sleeping for about 5-6 hours at first. Now I am sleeping 6-7 hours a night. I can’t believe how life changing this has been. Even though I still have tough days and struggle sometimes I remember all the tools I was taught. Whoever is struggling I would highly recommend reaching out to Natalie.
Since I was young, I have struggled with intrusive thoughts and feelings that would take over my entire life. They would last for long periods of time, and I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. Once one thought was gone, another would pop into my head and start the cycle all over again. When I became pregnant, those feelings intensified and I am sad to say that it was the worst time of my life, even after the birth, which should have been nothing short of wonderful. Fast forward a few years, and the thoughts and compulsions returned in rare form soon after I found out I was pregnant with my second child. I knew I needed help, but discussing things that made me already feel crazy with a stranger was just something I didn’t feel brave enough to do. However, with a push from my family and husband, I reached out to Natalie. I had taken her card awhile back and I am so grateful I did. From day one, Natalie made me feel comfortable enough to share things I hadn’t even shared with my husband. I was diagnosed with OCD and felt a sense of relief. Though difficult at times, Natalie guided me through ERP therapy with compassion while still “telling it like it is”. In a short period of time, I have started enjoying my life more and more and have gained the tools to keep the intrusive thoughts at bay. I cannot recommend Natalie enough.
OCD, Trauma, and Self-Esteem
After three months of therapy with Natalie, I feel better equipped to manage my anxiety than ever. I worked through OCD symptoms, trauma from a past relationship, and social anxiety with Natalie, and I am so glad that I did. Before I started therapy, I felt stuck with the problems I was facing and stuck in many areas of my life. One of the first things we worked on was assertiveness training, which carried well into the other areas I was addressing. As a result, I respect myself more than I have in a long time. I have a better awareness now that loving others doesn’t mean trying to make them happy at my own expense. I feel less like I have to be “perfect” to deserve a good life now, and I am very grateful to Natalie.
I started working with Natalie right when I turned 18. I’m now going on 19. In that short period of time, I’ve regained joy in my life. I had crippling OCD symptoms from the age of 14 without any effective therapy. I struggled with homosexual OCD and many others. Homosexual OCD was a very difficult one to get past. It affected me hanging out with my guy friends or just being around men in general. I grew distant from some of my best friends. I tried so many “methods” to help with my OCD but none of them worked. I finally stumbled across Natalie and her style of therapy and decided to give it a go (reluctantly). That was the best decision I’ve made for myself. I no longer have crippling OCD or homosexual OCD and have many tools to help me if I feel something coming on. I’ve found freedom in my life again. I’m learning who I am as a person without my OCD telling me who I am. I would be in a very dark place if I didn’t decide to work with Natalie. This is the most effective therapy you can receive for your OCD and will bring joy and freedom into your life.