The Unwanted Thoughts and Intense Emotions Workbook
CBT and DBT Skills to Break the Cycle of Intrusive Thoughts and Emotional Overwhelm
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: New Harbinger Publications
176 Pages, 8.00 x 10.00 in
- Published: June 2023
Manage unwanted, intrusive thoughts—and the intense emotions these thoughts can trigger.
Do you have obsessive, negative, intrusive thoughts that keep you up at night and miserable during the day? Do these thoughts make you feel sad, angry, anxious, or ashamed? Whether you have a formal diagnosis such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or borderline personality disorder (BPD)—or simply struggle with unwanted thoughts and the emotions they cause—this workbook can help you find the relief you desperately seek.
Written by two pioneers in the field of mental health, this workbook combines two powerfully effective treatments to address relentless, intrusive, and unwanted thoughts—as well as the painful and intense emotions these thoughts can trigger. In this evidence-based workbook, you’ll find an innovative blend of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills to manage obsessive, self-blaming, judgmental, and catastrophic thoughts—and find lasting emotional balance.
You’ll learn essential CBT skills to help you tolerate distressing thoughts and stay calm when thoughts feel overpowering; as well as DBT skills like distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and mindfulness to find reliable relief.
If you’re ready to take charge of unwanted thoughts and find lasting emotional balance, the two-pronged approach in this innovative workbook can help.
“Hershfield and Aguirre have filled a notable gap in the field. Chapters walk the reader through how to understand intrusive thoughts and extreme emotions, and develop and implement effective tools for their management. The book is artfully crafted, engaging, and effectively conveys difficult-to-grasp concepts. This evidence-based text deserves to be on the shelves of affected individuals, as well as those who work to support them.”
—Eric A. Storch, PhD, McIngvale presidential endowed chair and professor, and vice chair and head of psychology of the Menninger department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Baylor College of Medicine ~Eric A. Storch, PhD
“While many self-help books oversimplify concepts at the expense of honoring human complexity, Hershfield and Aguirre have written one that will appeal to people across diagnostic categories while providing valuable tools for skillful living. This book is the embodiment of the dialectical concepts it teaches, deftly exploring themes like tolerance and self-soothing, distraction and engagement, and, ultimately, acceptance and change. Even better, it’s written with compassion and humor that make it a joy to read.”
—Amy Mariaskin, PhD, founding director of the Nashville OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center, and author of Thriving in Relationships When You Have OCD ~Amy Mariaskin, PhD
“Hershfield and Aguirre have masterfully merged their clinical knowledge (and humor) in this workbook to provide a practical, engaging, and evidenced-based guide for the many individuals I have seen who desperately need tools for BOTH facing their fears and coping effectively with emotions. Combining exposure and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in this manner is the first of its kind, and will be a reference I give my own clients for years to come.”
—Adam M. Reid, PhD, co-owner and director of child and adolescent services at CBTeam ~Adam M. Reid, PhD
“Two best-in-class clinician educators have provided a clear, concise road map to gaining mastery over distressing thoughts and the intense emotions triggered by these thoughts. The concepts and practice of exposure and response prevention (ERP) and DBT are explained in a straightforward and practical way, making the integration of these powerful therapy tools accessible to all readers. I will be recommending this workbook enthusiastically to my patients and colleagues in clinical practice.”
—Michael Young, MD, medical director of The Retreat at Sheppard Pratt, and associate program director of the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt psychiatry residency program ~Michael Young, MD
“Jon Hershfield and Blaise Aguirre are a dynamic duo. Their combined expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and DBT fills this workbook with clear explanations, practical tips, and numerous exercises to help one navigate the hard work of managing unwanted thoughts and intense emotions. The concepts and skills discussed are applicable to a wide audience, no matter where you are on your journey.”
—Maria Fraire, PhD, program director of the OCD Institute for Children and Adolescents at McLean Hospital, and instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School ~Maria Fraire, PhD
“Starting exposure therapy to ride through unwanted thoughts is a tremendously difficult task. When we face what we avoid, we often experience strong waves of emotions. In this book, the authors did an excellent job incorporating two core therapy modalities—ERP and DBT, showing readers that big emotions can be understood and coped with (DBT), and intrusive thoughts are best managed when observed and experienced (ERP).”
—P. Esra Guvenek-Cokol, MD, medical director of McLean Hospital Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI Jr); McLean Hospital Support, Treatment, and Resilience Program (STAR) ~P. Esra Guvenek-Cokol, MD
“It is refreshing to see something finally addressed in this book that has bugged a lot of therapists in the last —can we get ERP and DBT to be able to work together for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)? Focusing on the common goal that they both have—to end the suffering caused by intense emotional experiences—Jon and Blaise walk us through the synergy that is made utilizing principles from both camps to show us how treatment can be effectively rendered.”
—Patrick B. McGrath, PhD, chief clinical officer of NOCD, and fellow of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies IOCDF Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board ~Patrick B. McGrath, PhD