Top critical review
70 people found this helpful
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.