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Books

11 Best Books on OCD in 2022 (Explained Why!)

Jamey Muller
Updated: January 19, 2022
7 min read

1 out of 40 Americans suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

If you are dealing with OCD or know an individual suffering from this condition, these self-help books will answer all your questions about the psychological disorder, its causes, how to cope, and more.

At A Glance: The TOP 5 Books on OCD

1. Top pick: Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts
2. Runner up: Everyday Mindfulness for OCD
3. Best for Parents: Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD
4. Best for Family Members: When a Family Member Has OCD
5. Best Workbook: OCD Workbook

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Top pick
Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts
Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

“Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts” by Martin N. Self and Sally M. Winston is an outstanding self-help book in treating chronic anxiety.

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Written by two highly respected experts in the field, it provides a clear and readable guide in overcoming mental health difficulties consistent with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) principles. 

The book can be used alone or in conjunction with psychotherapy.

Engaging and accessible, it provides specific, long-term steps on how to deal with unwanted and intrusive thoughts. There are also plenty of examples accurately describing the struggles that OCD patients have to go through.

Using a clear and distinctive voice, the authors discuss OCD in all aspects, incorporating proper scientific research and systematic strategies to conquer the disorder. 

It is a powerful tool that anyone who struggles with persistent disturbing thoughts needs to read. 

If you are a CBT clinician, you should include “Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts” in your mandatory reading.

Runner up
Everyday Mindfulness for OCD: Tips, Tricks, and Skills for Living Joyfully
Everyday Mindfulness for OCD

Skillfully blending compassion with standard therapy, Jon Hershfield and Shala Nicely’s “Everyday Mindfulness for OCD: Tips, Tricks, and Skills for Living Joyfully” is a lifeline for anyone who suffers from OCD.

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This self-help book provides a comprehensive road map for overcoming the disorder using CBT, combined with a healthy dose of self-compassion and humor. 

It includes step-by-step counseling on managing obsessive thoughts, helping you create a game plan for long-term wellness. The book follows an approach that is both structured and comprehensive. You will master your OCD and rediscover joy in no time.

Rather than trying to fix yourself, the procedure will teach you how to be kind and befriend yourself, allowing you to heal from within. 

You can also do daily games and meditations, and exercises as you learn how to manage compulsions and ease your suffering.

“Everyday Mindfulness for OCD” does not only impart knowledge about OCD. It also gives you the courage to fight against it.

Best for Parents
Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD: A Scientifically Proven Program for Parents
Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD

“Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD: A Scientifically Proven Program for Parents” by Eli R. Lebowitz is an indispensable guide for parents of kids who deal with OCD.

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The book provides an entirely parent-based program for treating child and adolescent anxiety. 

Well-organized and relatable, it is packed with detailed and practical advice on responding to your kid’s symptoms and avoiding common pitfalls and traps. 

Instead of teaching you how to change your child’s behavior, the book will demonstrate how to accept their difficulties by using supportive responses that build confidence in both parties.

Lebowitz’s program is easy to follow and execute. He also uses clear language and a compassionate tone to address the readers – qualities that any concerned parent will appreciate in an OCD book.

Worksheets are also included to help you convert the book’s suggestions into action and get tangible results.

A gift to parents, “Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD” is also a valuable resource for therapists and providers.

Best for Family Members
When a Family Member Has OCD: Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Skills to Help Families Affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
When a Family Member Has OCD

“When a Family Member Has OCD: Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Skills to Help Families Affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder” by Jon Hershfield and Jeff Bell is a must-read for family and friends involved with someone diagnosed with OCD. 

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The book is designed to successfully guide family members to cope with their loved one’s compulsive behaviors with tried-and-tested CBT and mindfulness techniques. 

You will learn to better understand the illness and recognize its symptoms, teaching you how to respond to your OCD patient and express your concerns compassionately and efficiently.

The book also provides sound advice on critical issues, detailing what to say and do for each family member. You will know exactly what your role is during the entire treatment.

The authors wrote in a way that is easy to understand, straightforwardly explaining complex constructs.

If you are looking for a reader-friendly, informative resource that addresses the whole family, “When a Family Member Has OCD” is the best choice for you.

Best Workbook
OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)
OCD Workbook

Part of the Harbinger series of self-help workbooks, “OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder” is an excellent resource of modern treatment of OCD.

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The book contains the latest updates on mental disorders and effective step-by-step strategies on treatment and meditation. It is also reader-friendly, written in such a way that constructs are explained clearly, but methodically.

In this Harbinger self-help book, you will find one of the most comprehensive surveys of CBT for the illness. It also includes advice for family members who seek to support their loved ones suffering from OCD.

There are day-to-day coping strategies you can start using right away, alongside self-help techniques that keep track of your progress.

The “OCD Workbook” will also guide you in using self-assessment tools to recognize the severity of your symptoms, helping you create a recovery strategy that works for you. 

By providing the much-needed support for your recovery, the book is essential in maintaining your progress and preventing possible relapse in the future. 

#6
Brain Lock, Twentieth Anniversary Edition: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior
Brain Lock

Used by academic treatment centers worldwide, Jeffrey M. Schwartz’s “Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior” is the go-to book for those who want to master OCD and take charge of their lives.

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Used by academic treatment centers worldwide, Jeffrey M. Schwartz’s “Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior” is the go-to book for those who want to master OCD and take charge of their lives.

It offers a unique but practical approach to OCD using a four-step method called Relabeling, Reattributing, Refocusing, and Revaluing. In the book, Schwartz details how this revolutionary method has helped thousands of people overcome the illness.

Using imaging tests, the Four-Step method has been proven to alter the chemistry of the brain. 

Instead of relying on psychopharmaceuticals, it uses cognitive self-therapy and behavior modification, allowing you to develop new response patterns to their compulsions.

“Brain Lock” also includes real-life testimonies from actual patients who extensively talk about their issues. This helps you understand how OCD is affecting not only you but the people around you. 

Whether you suffer from OCD or other spectrum disorders, this book is your definitive guide to recovery.

#7
Needing to Know for Sure: A CBT-Based Guide to Overcoming Compulsive Checking and Reassurance Seeking
Needing to Know for Sure

“Needing to Know for Sure: A CBT-Based Guide to Overcoming Compulsive Checking and Reassurance Seeking” by Martin N. Seif and Sally M. Winston is a unique guide that contains proven-effective tips on how to manage your OCD.

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Anchored on CBT principles, the book provides easy-to-implement series of interventions that will help you deal with uncertainties, break the exhausting pattern and build self-confidence. 

Seif and Winston are two of the foremost experts in the OCD field. 

Their approach includes step-by-step guidance on how to disentangle yourself from constantly seeking reassurance and back to taking charge of your life.

Throughout the book, there are many valuable facts, including common types of reassurance traps and clarifications on compulsive checking and unhelpful self-talk.

The examples in “Needing to Know for Sure” also make the concepts easy to apply in real life. You will be coached to face specific distressing scenarios, deal with those “doubt” attacks, and trust your own judgment.

#8
Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Personalized Recovery Program for Living with Uncertainty, Updated Edition
Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Jonathan Grayson’s “Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Personalized Recovery Program for Living with Uncertainty” is the self-help book you need to get well and stay well.

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Aimed to break the cycle of fears in an OCD sufferer, the book is an actual course about interactive therapy. 

Grayson’s approach is uniquely empathetic, giving you the motivation to recover. 

As you start with the program, you are provided with self-assessment tests that will guide you in identifying your specific type of OCD. These will also help in keeping track of your progress during the treatment.

There are “trigger sheets” for recognizing and planning for possible setbacks,  therapy scripts that you can use for self-motivation, and how-to information on building a support group.

You will also read up on case studies from Grayson’s successful treatment programs, blueprints of programs modified to particular OCD manifestations, and the latest therapies in adjunct with well-tried exposure techniques. 

If you are plagued with chronic doubt and anxiety, you need to read “Freedom from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.”

#9
The OCD Travel Guide: Finding Your Way in a World Full of Risk, Discomfort, and Uncertainty
The OCD Travel Guide

In-depth and comprehensive, “The OCD Travel Guide: Finding Your Way in a World Full of Risk, Discomfort, and Uncertainty” by Michael Parker LCSW is your complete guide to understanding OCD.

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It is an easy-to-comprehend, self-help book that teaches how to identify and work on your illness, with many expert techniques included.

Parker makes use of a roadmap to show your progress while undergoing treatment. You will learn the nature of OCD and its symptoms, and ultimately, how to live a full and meaningful life while dealing with your disorder.

There are diagrams and tables interspersed throughout the book, helping you organize your thoughts and realizations. Parker also included relevant examples from real individuals who suffer from OCD and how they deal with it.  

Engaging and reader-friendly, “The OCD Travel Guide” uses an encouraging tone, offering hope to anyone struggling to find their way in a world fraught with anxiety and uncertainties.

#10
Obsessed: A Memoir of My Life with OCD
Obsessed: A Memoir of My Life with OCD

“Obsessed: A Memoir of My Life with OCD” by Allison Britz is a powerful book chronicling a teen’s brave fight against the debilitating illness that is OCD.

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It is genuine and honest. It contains accounts of her experience as a teen, dealing with a troubling, all-consuming disorder and her slow recovery in the succeeding years.

The memoir contains a lot of dialogue and reads like a novel. You will find Britz’s account very relatable, and you will empathize with the intensity of her experiences. 

She discusses the complexities of OCD in detail and provides a hopeful ending, emphasizing the need for diagnosis and early treatment to succeed in overcoming the illness.

There is also a list of resources provided that anyone dealing with a mental disorder can use. 

You will especially appreciate how Britz discusses her progress, keeping it realistic and not skirting her experience with therapy and the need for medication. 

An essential voice in the discussion of chronic anxiety, “Obsessed: A Memoir of My Life with OCD” deserves a spot on your bookshelf.

#11
OCD: A Workbook for Clinicians, Children and Teens: Actions to Beat, Control & Defeat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
OCD: A Workbook for Clinicians, Children and Teens

Christina J. Taylor’s “OCD: A Workbook for Clinicians, Children and Teens: Actions to Beat, Control & Defeat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” is a well-written, interactive book designed to help young people with OCD.

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Thorough in her approach to guiding OCD sufferers, Taylor organizes her content using specific chapters for the different types of the disorder. Each section contains cognitive-behavioral strategies on how to overcome obsessions and compulsions. 

There are step-by-step worksheets that children and teens can easily follow, as well as and relaxation and thinking exercises on how to manage anxiety.

The book explains in detail the vast and varied signs of OCD, describing how it affects a youngster’s daily life. It also provides a framework for families to best control and conquers the illness, no matter how overwhelming the task could be.

Taylor provides vivid descriptions of what to expect from a child with OCD, the basics of dealing with the struggles, and ways to create effective response prevention plans.

A timely resource for parents and caregivers, “OCD: A Workbook for Clinicians, Children and Teens” is an essential tool to help young people recover from OCD.

Sources:

Reddit

Psychology today

Mind

Written by
Jamey Muller
I'm the head-writer @ Knowledge Eager (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing the majority of the content here). Addicted to the stock market, football, sushi and tacos.
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Jamey Muller
I'm the head-writer @ Knowledge Eager (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing the majority of the content here). Addicted to the stock market, football, sushi and tacos.