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In Conversation With Laurie Singer Author of You're Not Crazy: Living with Anxiety, Obsessions and Fetishes
Norm Goldman --  bookpleasures.com Norm Goldman -- bookpleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Monday, April 19, 2021

Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest Laurie Singer author of  You're Not Crazy:Living with Anxiety, Obsessions and Fetishes.

Laurie is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. She earned her post-graduatecertification in Applied Behavioral Analysis from KaplanUniversity. 

She began her collegestudies at Oxnard College and at UCLA, and completed herundergraduate degree at UCSB, graduate degree from CaliforniaState University of Northridge. 

Laurie has been apracticing Behavioral Specialist since 1995 and in privatepractice since 2004. 

Norm: Good day Laurieand thanks for taking part in our interview.

What has been yourgreatest challenge (professionally) that you’ve overcome in gettingto where you’re at today?

Laurie: Well, I would haveto say my greatest challenge professionally has been believing inmyself, academically.  I was undiagnosed with ADHD as a child.My grades in elementary school up through high school were barelypassing.

I thought of myself as“not a smart person.”

When I was asked to runcross country for Oxnard City College, I was terrified because Iwould have to take “real” classes to be on the team. I appliedthe same principles in training for a race to my college classes.

It paid off and Igraduated valedictorian. I continue to apply the same principles tomy practice.

I believe in people. If Icould get an education, licensed and board certified, then I feelcertain, that others can achieve their goals, as well.

I had to come to therealization that some people are not ready to move forward, forwhatever reason. It is difficult for me to accept, but I have learnedthrough the years not everyone is ready for change. They come to meto help them, but the challenge is getting them to believe inthemselves. 

Norm: What is abehavior analyst and what made you become interested in becoming one?

Laurie: Behavior Analysisis the scientific study of the principles of learning andbehavior.This field of science is concerned with describing,understanding, predicting, and changing behavior.

They seek answers bylooking at the biological and environmental factors, although theyare primarily interested in the role of environment in behaviorchange.

Applied Behavior Analysisis focused on the application of the principles of behavior to theneeds of individuals to promote behavior change and improve qualityof life. 

I became interested inobtaining my Board Certification in Applied Behavior Analysis becauseI was already using the principles of behavior therapy while workingwith clients under my licenses as a marriage family therapist butwanted more education/knowledge and credibility in the field of ABA.

Norm: What Do You EnjoyMost About Being A Therapist? 

Laurie: This may soundcorny, but what I enjoy most about being a therapist is changingpeople’s lives for the better.

When people come to seeme, they are at a loss. Most of the time they have no self-worth, nodirection and are stuck.

I help them regainsomething they never thought possible. It is amazing to watch thetransformation. Not only within the individuals themselves but theentire family has newfound hope.

Norm: Can you tell ourreaders a most remarkable progress you have witnessed in using yourhybrid method of two therapy techniques, Behavioral Therapy andCognitive Behavioral Therapy in dealing with a patient?


Laurie: There are so manystories…most recently an 11-year-old boy came in to see me. His momhad contacted me because her son drew a picture.

The picture showed aheadstone with his initials, under his headstone it read: Is thiswhat I want? Is this peace? Can I find my way out? This poor kid wasexperiencing so much anxiety.

The isolation from COVIDhad taken its toll on him. He was feeling anxious while on Zoomschool sessions, the thoughts of death and dying were consuming him.He wanted help; his parents were at a loss.

I had the entire familytake data. On the third session, I implemented the behavior plan. Imet with the family 10 days later.

The young man had madesignificant gains. He was no longer stuck, the frequency of hisanxiety and thoughts of dread had decreased, significantly.

The duration of hisanxious episodes had decreased as well. Both mom and dad werefollowing the behavior plan. The young man was given hope back intohis life, he began believing in himself.

This is the reason I dowhat I do!

Norm: What kind ofpatient-therapist relationship do you avoid when treating patients? 

Laurie: What I try toavoid when establishing a patient-therapist relationship, is taking acase personally if therapy does not work.

I have gotten much betterat not personalizing the lack of success when it comes toclients/patients. The fact is not everyone is ready for change and/orwilling to do the work.

CBT and Behavior therapyis work. A client must take data and run the treatment plan I preparefor them. When people change their behavior, it effects the entirefamily. Some families do not want the “identified” patient to getbetter because then they must focus on their own issues. 

I do not have a magic wandbut I know these two modalities of therapy work, so it is a bitfrustrating when there is lack of follow through.

If therapy is not working,I tell the client I do not want them to waste their money coming tosee me. I ask them to please come back when they are ready to work.

Norm: Before applyingyour therapy technique, what is the basic information you collectwhile compiling initial case history? 

Laurie: Before we beginany treatment plan and/or any gathering of data taken outside theoffice, I look for some type of connection or clue to when thebehavior first started. Individuals are often surprised that theythemselves can pinpoint the first time the maladaptive behaviorstarted.

From that point inhistory, we retrace the beginnings of the behavior, how it increasedover time and where they are now with the behavior they want tochange. For example, the frequency, duration, and intensity typicallystarted off low and has increased over time. 

Norm: How has thepandemic affected your practice? 

Laurie: I cannot tell youhow many people of all ages are suffering from anxiety and depressiondue to the pandemic. Individuals with OCD are engaging more often intheir ritualistic behavior, as well. It is really overwhelming attimes.

People reach out to mebecause they are in desperate need of changing their behavior. 

It is difficult for me toturn them away because I know my therapy works. I am working way, waytoo much, but when I get a phone call from someone who I believewould be a good fit and they have lost all hope, what can I do?  

Norm: When did the ideafor You're Not Crazy: Living with Anxiety, Obsessions and Fetishesfirst emerge?  As a follow up, what motivated you to writeYou’re Not Crazy: Living with Anxiety, Obsessions and Fetishes?

Laurie: The idea ofwriting a book came to me about 10 years ago. I work with a fewphysicians in the area, they refer clients to me and they wereincredibly happy with the results they had seen after receivingtherapy from me.

The physicians recommendedI write a book on the modalities of therapy I use in my practice.Unfortunately, my mother was just diagnosed with cancer, so the bookwas put on hold. Then my father became ill, and I cared for him.

My practice was growing atan extremely fast rate and my time was limited. When I turned 60years old, I decided it was now or never. I turned 60 in January of2020, started writing my book right away and then the pandemic hit afew months later.

Norm: What were yourgoals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel youachieved them?  As a follow up, what purpose do you believe yourbook serves and what matters to you about the book?  

Laurie: My intentions withwriting this book are to let people know there is hope. I wanteveryone to have the opportunity to utilize the methods I use in mypractice.

I put case studies in mybook to show readers they are not alone. Most people who come to seeme do not realize many others are experiencing similar difficulties.The readers can identify with some parts of the cases themselves. Inthe middle of the book, it shows what the outcomes of the cases wereoffering the reader hope.

There is a workbook in theback of the book. People can use the methods for themselves.

I am extremely happy withthe outcome of the book.

The book was written as aself-help book, for the individuals or family members in distress,not for academia. 

What matters to me isletting people know they have a chance. There are concrete tools inthe book to help them get through a difficult time in their life.Getting the reader to believe in themselves. 

Norm: What was the mostdifficult part in writing the book?

Laurie: Oh my gosh, themost difficult part of the book was how to get started. I often tellmy support team, remember, “this is my first rodeo.”

There is something to besaid about having ADHD, people like myself do not give things toomuch thought we go full steam ahead. 

I did not know the amountof work I was getting into with writing the book. On top of writingthe book, I had to focus on keeping all my employees working duringthe pandemic and making sure our clients were getting their needsmet.

My company has a case loadof serving over 100 clients with developmental disabilities, duringthe pandemic it took a lot of endurance and strength to keep thingsgoing. 

Norm: What was one ofthe most surprising things you learned in writing your book?

Laurie: I think one of themost surprising things I learned from writing this book was theoutcome. The book came together just the way I had intended.

I was able to share someof my own life experiences and stories of my clients whose liveschanged dramatically. It has been a wonderful process. 

Norm: Many people havethe skills and drive to write a book, but failure to market and sellthe book the right way is probably what keep a lot of people fromfinding success. Can you give us 2-3 strategies that have beeneffective for you in promoting your book? 

Laurie: Marketing the bookis the next step after the completion of writing it. This has been alearning process for me and continues to be one.

What I did was reach outto anyone I knew who I thought could give me resources. I interviewedso many people. I would tell people who just finished writing a book,it is not over…. there is more work to be done. I contacted peopleI had not talked with in a few years.

What I found was thatmost everyone was more than happy to help me. I lined up interviews.Sometimes it was difficult to decide who to use, so I would set upanother interview and when I had a gut feeling this was the rightperson, I went with it.

A person writing,publishing, and marketing their book must trust their team. The teamthey build is one which has the individual and book in their bestinterest. I feel fortunate I picked the right team. 

Norm: Where can ourreaders find out more about you and You're Not Crazy: Living withAnxiety, Obsessions and Fetishes?

Laurie: If people want tofind out more about my book You’re Not Crazy: Living withAnxiety, Obsessions and Fetishes please look up my WEBSITE 

Norm: What is next forLaurie Singer?

Laurie: The next step forme, make everyone aware of the book so they can utilize the methods.I truly feel we could all benefit from this book.

We are living in uncertaintimes; this book was written so anyone who picks it up will gainknowledge and insight to living a healthier life. 

Norm: As this interviewcomes to an end, if you could go back ten years and give yourself onepiece of advice what would that advice be? 

Laurie: If I could go back10 years in time one piece of advice, I would give myself would be toslow down but I do not think I can slow down it is not who I am!! 

Follow Here To Read Norm's Review of You're Not Crazy: Living withAnxiety, Obsessions and Fetishes

 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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Name: Norm Goldman
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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