The Pocket Therapist: Mental Health To Go!Imagine a GPS navigational system that said something like this: “In approximately 30 minutes, you will run into your old boss, who will want to make you feel like a worthless pile of feces. Erect personal boundaries immediately…. I said, Get in your bubble, Woman … Are you listening? She’s approaching you on your left. Lock up all childhood tapes now (the ones that convinced you that were weak, ugly, and pathetic) and DO NOT, I said DO NOT play them for her. Remember, their messages are no longer valid. Proceed carefully. You will speak to her in approximately 3, no 2, no 1 second.”

Me? I would like one of those.

So I made one. In book form.

You see, I am an obsessive-compulsive woman who has recorded, in her journals, 12 years of therapy sessions, 21 years of twelve-step support-group jargon, nice get-a-hold-of-yourself tips from hospital inpatient psych programs, and oodles of insights from her wise friends and mentors. I then asked readers on a few different websites — The Huffington, and Psych Central — to tell me the most significant lesson or mental health tool that they learned in therapy. I plucked the gems and added those to my pile of darlings. Then I stared at them. I dreamed about them. I obsessed about them. And ultimately I organized them into a handsome, compact volume of pointers that I could carry around without drawing too much attention to myself.

Of course there was also the hope of getting a little return on my mental-health investment of $40,000. Therapy is not free, you know. And those hospital inpatient psych programs really empty your wallet.

But aside from being able to pay for more therapy, my sincere intention with The Pocket Therapist is merely to pass along what I’ve learned in my sessions. Because, who knows, some of the cognitive exercises and calming techniques, could help you too. At the very least, after reviewing a few of my therapy breakthroughs, you will know that your distorted thoughts are hardly unique and that you have a friendly companion on the sometimes frustrating and tiring road to wellness.