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on October 19, 2007
This book was so frustrating. There were some good ideas here and there, but they were few and far between. As another reviewer mentioned, the program is convoluted and hard to follow. It was often difficult to understand exactly what the point of each step was and what the "homework" entailed. There were useful "summary sheets" for each chapter, but they were hidden in the back of the book. This kind of thing happened a lot--things seemed to be out of order. Several times, I had a question about something I read, and would only find the answer to it in a much later chapter. Other times, something would be mentioned seemingly in passing, only to have it turn out to be of great importance. It seemed to me that this program would be very hard to follow from beginning to end.

Another thing that bothered me was that, while the book is purportedly for kids and teens, most of the content seemed written for very young children. The most annoying thing was the way the authors constantly referred to obsessions as "brain hiccups" (It was not uncommon to find the word "hiccup" four times in one paragraph), but there was also a seemingly endless stream of "kid-friendly" analogies that felt patronizing. "Your 'brainpower techniques' should roll off your tongue as smoothly as your explanations for why your chores aren't done or what happened to that homework that was supposed to be turned in today," reads one irritating passage. Weirdly enough, the same chapter contained sample "task lists" that seemed copied from a program for adults; one sample task for a person with "moral scrupulosity" OCD was described as "looking at porn sites online without praying". I'll admit that, after four chapters of "hiccups" and lame sports metaphors, this was pretty jarring for me.

Finally, as a warning to people who are considering buying this, I should mention that there is an excessive number of testimonials and stories from other kids who have gone through the program. These are obviously intended to inspire camaraderie, but for kids who are triggered by reading about other people's rituals, they can be a disaster. Sure, there are some instances where a concept can't be explained without an example, but I really don't see the need for the book to contain detailed "example lists" of rituals, or a descriptive passage about how one girl had to wash her hands ("one finger at a time, starting with her right thumb"). My daughter became hysterically anxious reading about all these other people's symptoms and was very afraid for a while that she would develop some of them.

Overall, I would obviously not recommend this book. If the basic ideas (which are solid) could be put in a more readable format, it would have been much better. If you're reading this, you were probably hoping for a program that your child could do herself, but between the distracting examples and metaphors and the confusing layout (not to mention the odd reference to porn sites), this isn't it.
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I have watched a child endure OCD for 6 years, trying medication, nutrients and formal cognitive behaviorial therapy with various improvements and exacerbations. With no disrespect to the author, this book is does not give any "new look" to OCD as the Part I is titled.

The author indicates that the child can assume responsibility for the "homework" to enage in CBT. That won't happen from reading this book. The content to kids is buried. Even my 16 year old honor student found it convoluted, repetitive and not engaging. And, he has had formal CBT therapy and tried to use the book as a refresher.

The hype on this book makes it sound "child-centered". That's a lure. It is definitely an adult read. In fact each chapter has extensive sections called "Instructions for Parents."

If you are looking for a book geared to a child or young adult with OCD to help them help themselves, this is not the one.
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on September 10, 2013
I agree with other reviewers that the book is convoluted and not user friendly, especially for non-adults. My biggest objection, however, is a very small section on religious scrupulosity. If my child is having OCD symptoms revolving around sexuality, I am to encourage him/her to "look at a porn site on the internet" and "look at a Playboy magazine" whenever he/she has an intrusive sexual thought. This section is part of a "toolbox" written for the young person following the program. I am really shocked at the lack of judgment from the author, and it causes me to call into question the entire body of work. It renders the book useless, since I cannot give this to my child to read.
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on September 9, 2007
When we first realized our son was showing signs of OCD, we began to research any information that would somehow help us. We needed material that was practical and would give answers and guidance to enable us to get our son back.
We found this book and began working through the steps with our son. The explainations were clear. The quotes from other kids with OCD were encouraging. The layout was reader friendly. My son gave OCD a nickname as Dr. March suggests in his approach. He hated OCD as much as we all did for stealing so much of his time and causing such frustration. The blame was on "OCD" not my son as a person and this was a huge step forward.
I can hardly believe the progress we saw as we worked through this book. Slowly and steadily my son began to chip away at each obssesion/compulsion. He mapped them out and graphed the progress. It was a difficult task, but this book was like having Dr. March give my son and the whole family personal therapy at every turn.
We had looked at other material on OCD and even tried a therapist, but NOTHING compared to the information and tactics explained in this book. We have our son back! He's free again - free from the OCD! What more can I say?
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VINE VOICEon May 15, 2010
I'm a therapist, and purchased this to use with a teenage client struggling with OCD. It's helpful to use this in conjunction with March's "OCD in Children and Adolescents: A Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Manual," which is geared towad professionals and presents a framework for treatment. "Talking Back to OCD" indicates that it can be used outside of the therapeutic context; however, I found it helpful to use in treatment. The book's format covers education about OCD, how to externalize OCD (seeing OCD, not the child, as the problem) and then step by step ways to strengthen coping skills and prepare the child for exposure and response prevention tasks. Teenage clients like the concept of "talking back" to OCD and identifying the ways in which OCD has tried to "trick" them. The approach of this book allows parents and children (along with therapists) to "team up" against OCD. I've seen this process of externalizing the problem bring much relief to clients who have personalized their OCD symptoms and believe there is something "wrong" with them. The chapters for parents are helpful in bringing caregivers onto the treatment team; I discovered that teens also benefit from reading the parent chapters.

The tools in the book help clients to become more aware of their own thought processes when compulsive behavior kicks in, so that they can begin to modify and challenge "OCD thoughts." The use of homework assignments is empowering for clients. My one complaint with the book is that I would have liked to see much more information on coping with obsessions-- repetitive bad thoughts. There was terrific, detailed information on reducing compulsive behavior such as hand washing, but I found myself wanting more on how to address the obsessive bad thoughts that often accompany OCD. I would highly recommend this book for families wanting to know more about helping their child with OCD, as well as for therapists seeking new tools to use with young clients.
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on October 25, 2012
We bought this book for our 7 year old daughter who suffers from intrusive thoughts (OCD) and anxiety about being late, among other things. This is a great book for OCD and anxiety. It uses behavioral therapy that really works and helps kids/parents feel empowered to fight OCD thoughts/controls. It also helps your child (adults too) feel like they are not alone and you can deal with even the scariest thoughts or repeative behavior. The exercises are easy to follow and clear. It includes suggestions and support for family members. It is good for any age. Fighting anxiety/OCD is time consuming, but worth every effort.
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on February 28, 2015
This book was recommended to me by my son's therapist. It is an accessible approach to dealing with OCD using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.. My son and I are only on step 1 right now, so I can't speak to the program's ultimate efficacy for us, but my son liked the sound of the program and feels hopeful that it can help him manage or eliminate OCD. I do wish the book came with some companion online resources, like the OCD maps and charts featured in the book. My son, who is 10, particularly liked the case studies and testimonials by other kids. I think they helped him feel more normal. I was initially taken aback by the recommended personification of OCD, and I am still not crazy about the suggestion to give it a nickname. The point is to externalize it, and this does seem effective for my son.
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on January 7, 2016
Got this for my 8 year old daughter who we recently discovered was battling OCD. Her psychologist recommended it and it has some good techniques and exercises for her and us to work through together. As a parent can tell you, sometimes the silly things or the seemingly insignificant things can become a breakthrough, so where some parts of the book didn't seem to "work" others did and that is what matters.
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on December 27, 2014
This was an excellent resource, although the reading level is geared towards older teens and adults. Young teens will definitely need guidance while reading it.

Here is what I liked about it:

1. It very practically and accurately explained what it was like to live with OCD. The explanations and examples will help readers understand the condition.
2. OCD is portrayed in a manner that does NOT make you feel as though you are strange or weird.
3. The book explained how there are times when stressors can exacerbate OCD, and times when it is easier to deal with it. It also shows how to identify what is OCD and what isn't.
4. If you have ever felt as though you are controlled by OCD, this book shows you how to take back the power it has had over your life. Obviously OCD doesn't go away, but there are many practical solutions offered that help you develop coping skills.
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on May 20, 2015
I just began reading this book. I tried a few tips and they work!!!! Clearly written. First half aimed at parents, doctors, therapists, etc. Second half consists of eight exercises for children and teens. If it's written for kids I figured even I would understand it. Helps reader understand OCD, what it is, how it works and the ways to reduce/eliminate the condition. This book is touted as the definitive treatment for OCD. I'm so glad my therapist recommended it. It is the only book you'll need to read on the subject.
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