Most helpful positive review
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Book, Broad Coverage of the Topic
on June 6, 2011
This is a great book for OCD sufferes and their families. The book is comprised of several different approaches that all work together to build a helpful overall viewpoint of OCD and to also offer a way through the problems that this illness causes. There are case studies, questionaires, snippets of advice for family members, and exposure-response prevention cognitive behaviour therapy (ERP CBT) exercises proven to help people to get past the fears associated with their OCD. The book is very accessible and the writing style is compassionate and easy to read--I have read far drier OCD books! One of the main advantages of this book is the variety of the information and the diversity with which it is presented. Quite often people are not diagnosed with OCD for many years after it begins to trouble them. I think that this is because so many normal people (if there is truly such a creature) also have the same sorts of thoughts that the people with OCD have. Therefore, many people who do have OCD spend years wondering why life seems to be so much harder for them than for other people, since "everyone has thoughts they don't want, so what's wrong with me?". By reading through the case studies you have a chance to perhaps see your own problems; and the questionaires also give you a range of issues that OCD patients suffer with. Being able to identify with the cases and symptoms presented at a glance is great for people who might not be sure whether or not they are OCD. The vast relief you can find from simply being able to realise that, "Those thoughts don't mean I am bad; they're just OCD" is hard to over-value.
I have two issues with this book. One is that the author is, in my opinion, too quick to dismiss the potential of natural therapies. Really only one paragraph is devoted to this topic and he is brief and almost disparaging in his dismissal, stating that there are no studies showing any benefits from natural therapies. Perhaps he has not seen any, but there are actually quite a number of natural treatments that offer at least as much success as the standard presciption medication treatment that he is--again, in my opinion--a little overly fond of. This is a widely contested topic and the chances are good that you will already fall into the pro-natural therapies camp or not, but in any case, I suggest that you look elsewhere for solid information on this area. The OCD Workbook does not have any to offer.
My second niggle is with the ERP exercise itself--in some applications. In short, the basic premise is to repeat something you have an obseeive fear towards until you are bored of it. That's rather simplified, but I don't want to go into too much detail! Anyhow, I agree that this reduces the fear associated with not carrying out the related compulsion. (I can hardly disagree; studies have proven it to be so). However, many other psychological studies have shown far greater benefits for people who, instead of concentrating on their fears, move towards a vision of freedom. But there are no books I know of that teach this specifically for OCD, yet. Perhaps I will write one. :)