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on 24 October 2011
Before I start this review, I should point out for reasons of clarity that I am the Chief Executive of the national charity OCD-UK, but more than that, I am someone with OCD myself. So when reading the book, I read it from a personal perspective, as someone with OCD.

The press release for the book describes this as a practical guide written by three leading Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) experts which enables you to make sense of your symptoms, and gives a clear plan to help you conquer OCD. The book does not fail to offer just that!

If you believe that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is primarily a psychological illness and that Cognitive Behavioural Treatment (CBT) holds the key to restoring good health then this is the book for you.

Unlike most other OCD books, this book spends a significant amount of time discussing the cognitive aspect of CBT, and helping the reader to understand the mechanisms which drive our obsessive thinking. By doing this, the behavioural exercises which are required to help us overcome this insidious illness make all the more sense, that is what marks this book out from others.

Throughout the book the authors write in a gentle, kind, supportive and most importantly, a positive manner, which like any good therapist helps us relax and feel at ease with the authors and what they write.

It's written in such an easy to understand style, that is neither too simplistic nor too scientific, which means that this book will be helpful for anyone affected by OCD, from late teens, through to older people, it is written in a style that will benefit people of all ages.

I would also go as far as suggesting that every therapist involved in treating people with OCD must read this book, because if the therapists treating us with OCD understand the principles written in this book, then ultimately, we as sufferers, will benefit from their increased understanding of the illness.
The books back cover promotion correctly says that whether your condition is mild or severe, this definitive resource will help you reclaim your life and keep OCD away for good. I certainly would agree with that, it's one of the best OCD self-help guides focusing on CBT I have read for many years.

Perhaps one criticism is that it does not really offer any extended advice for those whose OCD is severe and entrenched, when OCD is so severe it is hard to see the wood for the trees, where the power of the OCD becomes all-consuming and taking that first step seems impossible. In such circumstances self-help materials like this book will perhaps not be enough to break the shackles of OCD anyway and professional help and guidance will be needed, but, this book still remains a must read because it contains the core principles which ultimately will help them unlock the door to a life free of OCD. It also contains lots of helpful and practical information to help people access professional support, both through the NHS and privately.

Throughout the book it uses four primary case studies to help illustrate the theories being discussed, those are:
* Checking
* Contamination
* Rumination (Pure-O)
* Religious Blasphemous OCD (scrupulosity)

Each case study will demonstrate that the cognitive principles in challenging our OCD thought processes are primarily the same, regardless of the form of OCD, so this book really is suitable for anyone, with any form of OCD. This also illustrates that importance of the cognitive aspect of treating OCD, which is often overlooked for the behavioural part (ERP).

The book does not just confine itself to those four categories of OCD, it also discusses those who think they may have compulsions but no obsessions, and vice-versa, those with obsessions but not compulsions. It also offers informative information for Family, friends and carers (FFC), including practical advice for FFC to help you approach the subject of OCD with a sufferer that will not accept they have OCD.

The book also contains helpful worksheets which are designed to get you thinking more closely about how your OCD impacts on your life, and from my own experience this is actually a fantastic thought provoking exercise to get you understanding your own OCD in ways you had not previously realised, It can be an emotional exercise, but incredibly valuable non-the-less.

Similarly the goal setting exercise to set short term, medium term and long term goals is a positive exercise which is equally invaluable during therapy, and allows you to guide yourself during the therapeutic process.

To summarise, I would highly recommend this book to anyone showing mild symptoms through to those struggling and suffering with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, including family members. This book allows you to make sense of your OCD in ways which allows you to see what's going on, and understand how our obsessional worries that keep us locked in a life of OCD can be changed, allowing us to Break free from OCD.
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on 29 September 2013
A quick brief about me, I'm a sufferer of Intrusive Thoughts or Harm OCD (I really just prefer to use the term OCD however!) and recently found out I was pregnant (which sent my anxiety in overdrive) It was the worst thing that could of happened to me with my thoughts, or is it? "I am not my thoughts, OCD is just a big fat liar, a bully of the mental world" It would be easy to give into what OCD makes me feel/think, but that has got me nowhere so I'm fighting back! I deserve happiness, bullies didn't stop me getting where I am today so neither is this one!

I have read many books regarding OCD, this is one with a difference! It has a person-centred approach basis - giving clear examples of what the OCD sufferer thinks/predicts/feels. This without all the other jargon that other books seem to portray - books that are really directed at the already professional in the field, for a sufferer which only adds more unnecessary information to ponder on an already tired mind. This book enables you to work it out yourself, the resemblances that the authors (Dr. and Professor) give you to really make something "click"... It is important to note when I say "work it out yourself" I don't mean your brain working in overload, merely seeing the disorder through different eyes. For instance "Someone with OCD is on the lookout for danger, through sensitive emotions, sees danger immediately (naturally) as a pose to observing, before concluding the worst case scenario" I feel this book is the only one that confidently lets the sufferer practice Exposure and Response technique, without putting in much effort and in a non scary increased anxiety state, thus a neutralizing way. Books I have read previously, have made me question "What is worse? The OCD or the tools and techniques I'm doing to get better" For any sufferer OCD is already a full time job and runs on pretty much an overtired, overstressed fatigued mind. This is why I like this book, it enables me to see where OCD is taking control, through reading it I've already seen patterns of "Compulsions" that keeps the problem going, and I was originally diagnosed with "Pure-O" (Intrusive thoughts without the Compulsions) All in all this book will enable YOU to identify the monster and liar that is OCD and what it is that keeps that monster and liar alive!
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on 30 November 2011
I have OCD (intrusive thoughts), it manifested in a way that became a problem in February this year, I went straight to a CBT professional and that certainly helped me deal with about 70% of my anxiety because I think we need someone else to actually talk to about this stuff. However, this book is an excellent resource and you can trust what it tells you. Thank you for writing it!
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on 20 July 2015
Really excellent book by leading expert practitioners. A friend with a typically late diagnosis of OCD considers this by far the most helpful book he's read, and as a friend wanting to understand and be as constructively supportive as possible I found the insights incredibly helpful. There are some really useful tables (which were often not legible on the Kindle version as the formatting prevented scaling the font size within tables up) and exercises. I highly recommend this, though probably hard copy is more useful in order to read the tables.
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on 24 July 2012
I have had OCD to do with checking and contamination to a level which made me feel a sense of distance from enjoying life for at least 7 years. I recently undertook Cbt via a referral by my doctor. Please do this if you haven't already. You know your problem and make them listen. The Cbt was six sessions and has really helped. You learn that OCD is a problem that can be managed. The ideas in this book follow what I learnt from a professional clinical psychologist. And you learn that exposure is needed but there are things to learn on top of this to allow you to see the sense in doing it. Exposure is only one part of the jigsaw. I think this book succeeds in getting this across where every other OCD book I have read has disappointed and left me feeling hopeless. So please 1) go see a doctor. Talk about referral to a mental health service that offers Cbt. Cbt comes in different forms for different problems .2) take some medication advice from a doctor- this doesn't have to be a life long thing. 3) buy this book. This review comes from someone that knows the misery and hopelessness and us further along the path to recovery or management of OCD than I ever thought possible. There is a better life waiting. Take action get help!!!:-)
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on 17 April 2015
wow this book just about covers eveything :) if this doesnt fix me then a brain transplant is my next option...
. but i think this cud be the next best thing to that.
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on 21 March 2014
A good resource for anyone new to OCD. It gave me a new way of thinking about my condition. It's easy to follow too. I'd recommend it.
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on 22 February 2015
A truly excellent and helpful book. The idea of living according to Theory B (the problem is one of worry about danger) instead of the faulty thinking of Theory A (the problem is danger) is very liberating, together with helpful worked examples about how to approach this. Highly recommended.
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on 18 December 2014
So far I am enjoying this book. It's a good read. Not finished it yet but one of the better books I have read.
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on 7 February 2012
This is a good buy for anyone suffering from OCD. It is clear and well laid out, giving examples that those of us who suffer from this condition can relate to. It gives good practical advice.
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