This is Angela (name changed), the ballroom dancer. I took your
workshop three weeks ago at Integral Yoga. I wanted to let you know
that I religiously did all the exercises you gave us and for the first
two weeks, I felt so much calmer and relaxed and happier. I learned
how to breathe properly, and my husband was been amazed at the
difference it made. I think my daughter felt it, too. We get along so
much better since I don’t get so irritable anymore. And some days I
don’t feel perfect but still much better than before I started doing
this routine. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom and
experience with me...
I attended your workshop at Yogaville a couple weekends ago and very
much enjoyed it. I appreciated the humor and light-heartedness you
brought to the subject matter, of which you were also very
knowledgable and experienced.
I wanted to ask for your recommendations of literature to read to
delve deeper into this idea of "non-duality" and the concept of Maya.
For several days after the workshop (well into my stressful work week
mind you), I had the greatest feeling of lightness! An unbearable
lightness of being, if you will, because of this idea of Maya and how
nothing actually mattered! Well, everything you explained about
non-duality mostly. So where would I go to learn more about these
Thanks Boris for the work you are doing. It's so necessary. I hope
to walk down a similar therapeutic path myself soon.
I wanted to tell you -- in light of our conversation today -- how helpful my coming to you has been. That this week was so hard, and that it was so much less than a year ago -- what I'm trying to say is that I've been through so many nightmares in my life, inside, because of OCD, and it's gotten so much better since I've come to see you. The perspective THAT it is OCD was the seminal change, but your good humor and thoughtfulness have helped so much. I truly was lost before I came there, and if I must take credit for my own change, still, it was only with the information and insightfulness that you provided that I was able to make that change.
Hi Mr. Pisman,
I was in your workshop in February and I wanted to let you know how profound the experience was for me. After years of therapy, medicine, and trying to meditate on my own, the meditation and relaxation techniques that you taught have made a significant impact on my life. My anxiety just melted away. I don't know how else to describe it, but it's just not there any more.
During the workshop, you introduced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy as well. I was one of your case studies during the class -- the young girl who was afraid to date because of a prior abusive marriage. Two months after attending the retreat, I followed up with a therapist who specialized in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. After only two sessions he advised me that he saw very little evidence of anxious behavior. He told me that during our discussions, I was quite rational and displayed normal and healthy associations for my emotions.
In addition, my psychiatrist noted significant signs of improvement over the past 5 months. I've successfully and significantly reduced my dosages of anti-anxiety and depression medicine and I'm working with my doctor to eliminate them completely.
I feel so wonderful! My emotions are beginning to re-emerge but they're tamed and I'm able to channel them into productive ways of expression, such as writing poetry.
On a personal note, I signed up for match.com and faced my fears about dating. I must have gone on 20 dates over the past 6 months and while I still haven't found that someone special, it's okay. Finding my soulmate will happen whenever it's meant to. In the meantime, I'm enjoying my life just the way it is. I'm comfortably single and am leaving in 3 weeks to travel to Australia by myself. That was a dream that I always had, but I never thought I would do it because I was too anxious. I finally feel like I'm living and not hiding.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your time and expertise at the retreat. I would wholeheartedly reccommend your course to anyone struggling with anxiety. The techniques you taught have changed my life. I'm genuinely happy for the first time in a VERY long time...and to me, that's simply priceless.
To your success,
Thanks for all your help and concern. I truly appreciate all of the advice and therapeutic techniques you've taught me. Thank you! I will certainly be in touch. Take good care, Boris! You've helped me grow into a stronger person. Until next time,
Greetings S R (President of Integral Yoga Institute),
I have enrolled in the one day workshop this passed Saturday on Yoga Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy of Anxiety with Boris Pisman. Having taken many various and wonderful yoga and meditation workshops over the years at IYI and elsewhere, the quality of this workshop has far exceeded any that I have ever attended. Mr. Pisman was able to combine both CBT and Yoga techniques while also being honest about their limitations. He provided the class with concrete, realistic tools that we could take home to help us deal with anxiety. His approach was unique. He spoke at the level of the class, combined exercises, class interaction and lectures into his style. He, in his soft spoken manner, captured the attention of every student. He challenged us, and we all gained spending the entire day with him. I spoke with Chandra this past Monday and she told me that Mr. Pisman provides this workshop at IYI every season. It is my hope and recommendation that IYI will also create a follow up workshop. Over the years, when I had a business in New York, I have attended many workshops and Yoga classes at IYI . Having moved to Florida three years ago, I always "catch" a yoga class during my frequent visits home. I feel fortunate that this workshop coincided with my last visit. Again, I commend you on offering this fantastic program, and urge you to consider an advanced or follow up seminar.
Hi Boris --
Two things. First, I was in NY visiting John (name changed) this weekend and was
amazed at the progress he has made. Typically he has little rituals
he does -- looking at his hands, glancing in a certain direction,
breathing a certain way. I saw none of this. He seemed relaxed and
easy -- for the first time in perhaps years. I didn't make a deal of
it with him, but wanted to give you a heartfelt thank-you for helping
to guide him in this direction...
Hi I am emailing you from the subway. Just wanted to let you know all is well. Hope you are too.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
(woman who was having panic attacks in the Subway)
Thank you, Boris, for helping me process and overcome the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I suffered after being attacked by a stranger outside my home. The process you took me through and the techniques you taught me made me capable of functioning and feeling like a person again. I will take the lessons I learned from you with me for the rest of my life. Again, I cannot thank you enough.
Dear Boris – I wanted to drop you a line and thank you for helping me so much with my anxiety. Before I started working with you, I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for years. I literally tried everything and was growing more and more pessimistic … except cognitive behavior therapy. I was stunned at how quickly my anxiety improved when we started working together. I can not say that I will never have another panic attack again but I can say that I have been panic free for months now. More importantly – I don't fear panic or anxiety the way I once did. I now have the confidence to know I can handle any thoughts – however irrational they may be! I hope I stay panic-free forever but, even if anxiety does creep up again, I now have the confidence to know I can handle it. I can't thank you enough – I will be forever grateful as I feel like I finally have my life back.
Emily J .
I just wanted to write and send a picture of my new boss (baby)! She is now 7 1/2 months old and time is moving fast. Life is actually pretty wonderful and I have you to thank for alot of it. I am living on W. 31st street now but I go to the IY store pretty often, I hope to run into you one day. I wish you the best and hope you are doing well.
I just wanted to thank you so much for the workshop. I'm feeling the profound effects of your session only
a few hours later. I feel an awareness I haven't felt
for a really long time, a clarity. (i'm the girl with
the friend who died). I was just wondering if you had
any more workshops coming up/where your practice was. thank you so much for your help, it really was life
altering. i can't even seem to worry right now even
though im trying.
I take great pleasure in writing this letter to recommend Mr. Boris Pisman and the Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy for the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Mr. Pisman, or Boris as we call him, can be credited with saving my son from the necessity of hospitalization.
My family met Boris Pisman over one year ago when we were in the throes of desperation. My oldest son has been diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and a co morbid ADHD. He was extremely anxious, involved in a number of rituals and we were in a crisis state. Although my son was being treated by both a psychologist and a child psychiatrist, he was in need of more help. After researching which treatments were best for OCD, I tried to find a program that would accept my son into E&RP (Exposure and Response Prevention). Most programs admit adolescents 17 years and older. Fortunately, through networking within and without my school district, I was given Boris’s name.
Since the very first meeting, Boris exuded an air of calm into our chaotic atmosphere and began treatment with my son. Nothing that my son was ritualizing or experiencing was shocking to Boris. He was totally non-judgmental and always extremely kind. His quiet and soothing way of speaking, coupled with his firm guidance in exposing my son to his OCD triggers, created a situation in which my son began to learn to resist his urges to complete rituals like excessive hand-washing. When I became frantic, Boris was able to guide me through my own ignorance of OCD and taught me ways in which to help my son. He helped the entire family cope with a very stressful situation. Boris administered recognized OCD scales (Yale-Brown Scale for example) in order to monitor my son’s progress. The scales helped determine the level of anxiety and define which obsessions were more pronounced than others. Boris worked with my son to tackle each obsession, one by one. As Boris gained my son’s trust, he was able to prod him to attempt more difficult challenges, all the while teaching him strategies to “boss back” the OCD. Boris willingly worked in tandem with the psychologist that had already been seeing my son, graciously conferring with her on his own time.
While my family sadly learned that OCD is a life-long disorder, my son has been able to control many of his rituals and is doing well in high school. I am absolutely convinced, beyond a shadow of doubt that this is due to the intervention and treatment provided by Boris Pisman. His expertise in working with OCD sufferers is extensive and this ERT method is recognized as the most beneficial of all treatments. My entire family has come to depend upon Boris’s guidance and he has taught us all strategies to help each other understand the impact of OCD upon the sufferer and upon the family dynamics.
He brings a wealth of experience to his treatment, and is the consummate professional. It is my belief that working with Boris has negated the need for increased OCD medication and for any type of hospitalization. It is with utter sincerity that I recommend Boris Pisman to any family or individual learning to live with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Boris lead the OCD group that I attended for a year [?? forgot duration], and I couldn't recommend him enough to anyone with OCD.
When I first joined I was shocked and encouraged to learn that many of the group members who had been in his group were practically cured of their OCD. I thought it would just be a place to share my misery and get some understanding - I didn't expect to be able to get rid of it. I never imagined that I wouldn't be cursed with my OCD affliction for my entire life, I'd had it for as long as I could remember , and thought I'd die with it. My mother had it, and I'd always had it. I'd read some books and seen some shows about OCD but they never gave me much hope. There was a tip or two in them, but OCD was after all a life-long lifestyle with me, it was part of my identity - how was I ever going to be rid of the curse?
I had even seen another OCD therapist who had been recommended to me to help my problems (I have hoarding and recording type OCDs). He was quite educated on the subject and followed the recommended exposure treatments for OCD ... but it was more "book knowledge" and only helped a little. He didn't understand how I thought about the OCD to approach it from the OCD's point of view....just suggested doing this and that, which didn't attack the way I thought about it. He was like an outsider - seeing your behavior as odd, and trying to help you stop it, but not truly understanding the problem.
Boris' personal knowledge of OCD makes all the difference between him and other OCD therapists. Boris knows what works and what doesn't work when it comes to this insidious disease of OCD. People really don't have to be saddled with this torture for the rest of their lives....Boris can help you reclaim your life and stop these crazy behaviors and time-wasting thought processes.
Boris is soft-spoken, extremely caring, and has a very gentle approach. And he has a first-hand understanding of how to beat this disorder. You never have to be afraid of judgment to tell him anything, no matter how crazy you think you might appear if you say it out loud to another person. Boris is not some therapist with just book knowledge and no real understanding of the problem - Boris is intimately aware of the struggles one has with OCD, and you never feel judged by him, no matter how bizarre your symptoms. You feel safe to share with him. Sometimes I would be afraid that therapists might recount my strange symptoms to others at a cocktail party and have a laugh at my expense, but somehow you just know that Boris is completely trustworthy, and is so understanding and sympathetic. He "speaks the same language" that sufferers of OCD speak, he really "gets it", and he knows exactly how to help you escape the jail called OCD.
As I and the other group members came to see, Boris has the unique ability to come up with techniques that really work to cure OCD. In our group, many of the members stopped 95% of their OCD behaviors in a relatively short time - Boris truly works wonders. I am not completely cured yet as I had to leave the group to go overseas, but with Boris' help over the past period of time, I am well on the way to recovery.
Boris is the OCD therapist of OCD therapy - he has a fresh, novel approach - and his way works! Boris showed me that I was an acceptable, lovable person even with my OCD, but even more, that I could choose to be all that and more as a person without OCD; that you can get rid of it for good.
So if you are a person with OCD, or you know someone who suffers from it, you should seek help from Boris, because he will show you how to take your life back. If anyone can do it, he can.
Judy Chessa, CSW
Anxiety & Phobia Center at WPHC
Davis Avenue, White Plains, NY.
Re: OCD Group – Boris Pisman
Dear Ms. Chessa,
I am writing to advise you of my progress in the OCD Group. When I first started, I had my work cut out for me. Further compounded by my bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder, my OCD was a real problem. I checked things numerous times. My shower time was long due to repetitive tasks and too much attention to detail. I had fears of getting gasoline and kerosene on my hands. I constantly check my clothes. I washed my hands numerous times. I constantly check my clothes and surroundings for food that may have dropped while eating. I would be afraid to work on my car because I would get dirty. I had a fear of getting feces on my hands when going to the bathroom.
Boris challenged me to face these fears, lower checking, cease repetitive behaviors, lessen concerns about details which did not matter, washing hands and getting dirty. As time passed and I would concentrate on improving these behaviors, coupled with anxiety and depression symptoms calming down, I was able to check less, lower my shower time, cease repetitive behaviors and unnecessary attention to details; overcome gasoline and kerosene fears; lower amount I washed my hands; lower times I was checking for dropped food; and overcome fears of getting dirty. I faced my tasks and tried my best.
Sometimes I had problems, some times I did not. At times I was improved as much as 85%. I currently still struggle at times with some behaviors, but overall I am doing quite well some days. I recommend the OCD group to anyone struggling with OCD
Ms. Judy Lake Chessa, Coordinator
The Anxiety & Phobia Treatment Center
White Plains Hospital Center
Davis Avenue at East Post Road
White Plains, NY. 10601
This letter will confirm the message I left you regarding my decision to withdraw from the OCD weekly sessions I was attending under the leadership of Boris Pisman.
First of all, I want to say that I think the group sessions were great. I learned a lot about OCD and me from Boris and the other participants. Boris does a really good job at managing the group and adding some humor when it can help.
My decision to withdraw at this time is positive. Tuesdays are not the best day with my schedule and I have a sense of having reached a point when I want to try it on my own. Attending the sessions first helped me to identify that my general anxiety problem might be part of a larger one, i.e., having obsessive thoughts. Then I learned how best to distract my obsessive thoughts. No, I don’t think I have all the answers and yes, I know it will never really go away, but I am comfortable in handling it.
Again, thanks for all of your help and by copy of this to Boris, I want to also thank him for his direction and attitude and demeanor.
Very truly yours,
Hello Boris....I'm sure you will recall me- the only male, and the "OCD one" at last weekends retreat at the IYI. I've been meaning to write you to thank you so much for that weekend. I was actually starting to feel a little bit better the days leading up to the retreat. However, since the retreat last weekend I really do fell almost like myself, the self that I feared was lost for the past four months. I've described the workshop to various friends as the most beneficial workshop I have attended. It was your huimanity- your ability and willingness to openly and honestly share your story and your path- that was, for me, the beginning of the wonderful experience that last weekend was. The use of humor, the ability to laugh at ourselves, and your kind and gentle presence moved me during the entire experience. Though I am certain that I will continue to need to use "expect, allow and accept" for years to come.....I feel confident, for this moment, that I am on the path to a saner life and that I have not, somehow, been pre-ordained to live a life of torment. I am again enjoying most activities that I previously did, and, hopefully, if things continue as they are, will attempt to get off the small dose of Zoloft that I am on. I have added the yoga routines and the cognitive interventions you spoke about to my toolchest of interventions to attempt to do things a little differently. Anyhow, I had to drop this short note to you....though we only spent two short days together, I felt a very strong bond with you during that period and I am so grateful that this retreat happened at this exact time that it did. I have a deep well of gratitude towards you and look forward, I hope, to taking other workshops with you in the future.
I just wanted to say how great it made me feel to take part in you Yoga for Anxiety session this past Saturday. The breathing exercises and the yoga postures will help immensely, but what I think made me feel the best was the realization that I am not alone with this masochistic thinking of mine! I have definitely found it difficult, especially when I am in the throes of it, to explain to someone what's going on in my head when they have never been there; it makes me feel like a complete nutter. I thus isolate and become even more self-involved! In any event, thank you and I hope to have the chance to work with you again.
Your workshop was life-changing for me. It was so powerful and helpful. I have known that I have an anxiety disorder for a long time, but I didn't factor in the ocd. Sometimes I am completely normal/everything is fine, and sometimes I can't handle going to dinner with my friends. last year I had a major anxiety attack around this time, sending myself and my fiancée to the emergency room...everything is worse during the holidays - stress, emotion, etc. and now my husband and I are buying a
house! Sometimes I think about the house, etc, and I have trouble sleeping, which leads to all kinds of worries that just get out of control...
M usual obsession is making sure the stove is off, but the other day I about the knives that we received as a wedding present and had these horrible thoughts that I would hurt myself or my husband. I remembered you talking about a similar situation with a patient of yours. I know that they are irrational thoughts. But after I had them, the guilt was so overwhelming. I have talked to my husband about them; I cried and let him know all my fears. He is so understanding. He was saying that I have a tendency to focus on things that scare me the most and can't let them get out of my head. It's true! I am always scared that someone will push me in front of the subway, or that I will jump - when down deep in my heart I know that I never ever would hurt myself! I would never hurt anyone! Stress seems to make it all worse...I try to say "this is not my thought" and let it go - but it's so hard! I am scared to tell anyone else because I am afraid they will think I am crazy and put me away. (he also plays this really violent video game and when I watch him play I have nightmares - I wonder if that's part of it - silly as it sounds)
I am really interested in cbt/yoga/meditation to treat my disorders. I've only given you a short idea of what I go through with my ocd, but if you know anyone in the city that specializes in this therapy, I would love to know about it. I realize that I need to be on top of this even when I feel ok, so that in the stressful times I am
prepared to deal with it.
Thanks so much Boris, for any info you can provide. And thank you for offering the workshop at integral. it was lucky that I saw it on the website that day. I probably go there twice a year!
My name is Miki. I don't know you remember me or not. Maybe not. I took your class last Saturday at Integral Yoga. It was wonderful. My friend and I really want to learn how to use Yoga for old people or mental illness. I think I had several hints from your class. I really appreciate. Currently I am in OM Yoga's teacher's training class. But in the future I would like to help people who really are struggling with depression or mental disorder. Your approach was really unique.
Thank you so much.
Your workshop was very helpful and helped me listen to my voice and take the leap to San Francisco. Hope all is well.
Hi, Boris, Remember me? I'm the lawyer. ;)
I hope you are doing well. You really helped me tremendously in just those 2 sessions, and for that you have my sincere gratitude.
Boris. just want to thank you for helping Rob. We can see a difference. It's a relief to us; we didn't know how to help him.
I participated in your workshop at IYI last Saturday (I discussed my travel anxiety with you and the class). I shook your hand when the class ended, and as I left, I literally shed a tear of relief. I felt as though a tremendous weight was lifted from me.
I'm so glad I was part of the workshop. As I mentioned, I've been in analysis most of my life, and have been trying to manage anxiety and panic for the past 3 years. Spending last Saturday with you showed that there are alternate treatment methods.
This is Kayleigh, the red haird yoga instructor in your workshop yesterday.
I just wanted to send a quick thank you for everything you shared. I learned so much about my own anxiousness and many practical tools to help my students and clients. I am a wellness coach as well as a yoga instructor. Should I ever come across any clients with OCD I will absolutely refer them to you. I think integrating information from Western psychology and Eastern wisdom is the most effective approach. Thank you!