Book Review: ‘The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD: A Guide to Overcoming Obsessions and Compulsions Using Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’

If you, or someone you love suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), you already know that the obsessions, compulsions and overwhelming anxiety can be tormenting, interfering with the ability to function normally and destroying any possible potential for tranquility. According to the International OCD Foundation, OCD disorders affect more than one in 100 people worldwide, a staggering number. Knowing you’re not alone in the struggle against this psychological disorder may supply some small comfort, but won’t be enough, if traditional treatments have not worked. A new book, The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD: A Guide to Overcoming Obsessions and Compulsions Using Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy by Jon Hershfield, M.F.T. and Tom Corboy, M.F.T., provides a powerful new treatment model and for many OCD sufferers, new hope.

Adding Mindfulness to the Mix

People with OCD experience cognitive distortions which may cause them to confuse powerful, negative thoughts they have or have had with actual occurrences. These debilitating thoughts can be about almost anything, from making awful mistakes to causing themselves or someone else grave harm. The mental loop formed by the need to constantly check up on past thoughts and actions as well as potential thoughts and actions leads to astronomical stress and compulsive behavior. These are often repetitive in nature, such as counting until you get to the “right” number again and again, or unending bouts of hand washing. Repetitive behaviors cause added distress, plus use up hours on end, reducing or eliminating the ability to maintain or enjoy everyday activities or hold a job.

Typical treatment for OCD centers upon medications, such as Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or a combination of medication therapy and a specific kind of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). This treatment works for many sufferers, but others find themselves still struggling for relief. For them, practicing mindfulness in addition to ERP, either with or without medication, has often proven to be the answer they were looking for.

Has OCD Met its Match?

The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD is an easy-to-use interactive tool, which is both empowering and uplifting for OCD sufferers and their families.  For many, the practice of mindfulness is a powerful antidote to OCD’s symptoms, particularly when coupled with CBT. Through mindfulness, individuals learn to concentrate on the now, supporting relief from obsessive thoughts about what was or what will be. Mindfulness also enables people to remove judgement from the mix, making it possible to diminish feelings of self-blame. “The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD” provides practical tips for managing obsessions, unwanted thoughts and compulsive urges. Readers can acquire strategies to support present-moment awareness, banish distorted thinking, and eradicate the practice of perceiving thoughts as actions or threats and feelings as facts.

Written with warmth by an OCD sufferer, this easy to comprehend workbook has been heralded by therapists and patients alike for its effectiveness, ease of use and purposeful content.