Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts
About the Book
You are not your thoughts! In this powerful book, two anxiety experts offer proven-effective cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) skills to help you get unstuck from disturbing thoughts, overcome the shame these thoughts can bring, and reduce your anxiety.
If you suffer from unwanted, intrusive, frightening, or even disturbing thoughts, you might worry about what these thoughts mean about you. Thoughts can seem like messages—are they trying to tell you something? But the truth is that they are just thoughts, and don’t necessarily mean anything. Sane and good people have them. If you are someone who is plagued by thoughts you don’t want—thoughts that scare you, or thoughts you can’t tell anyone about—this book may change your life.
In this compassionate guide, you’ll discover the different kinds of disturbing thoughts, myths that surround your thoughts, and how your brain has a tendency to get “stuck” in a cycle of unwanted rumination. You’ll also learn why common techniques to get rid of these thoughts can backfire. And finally, you’ll learn powerful cognitive behavioral skills to help you cope with and move beyond your thoughts, so you can focus on living the life you want. Your thoughts will still occur, but you will be better able to cope with them—without dread, guilt, or shame.
If you have unwanted thoughts, you should remember that you aren’t alone. In fact, there are millions of people just like you—good people who have awful thoughts, gentle people with violent thoughts, and sane people with “crazy” thoughts. This book will show you how to move past your thoughts so you can reclaim your life!
Books by Sally M. Winston
Books by Martin N. Seif
—Joseph A. Adams, MD, medical director at Baltimore Health Systems and Step By Step of Maryland, LLC, and past president at Smoke Free Maryland
—Kimberly J. Morrow, LCSW, maintains a private practice in Erie, PA; specializes in the treatment of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); provides training and case consultation for clinicians through www.anxietytraining.com; and is author of Face It and Feel It
—Reid Wilson, PhD, author of Stopping the Noise in Your Head
—Ronald M. Doctor, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology at California State University, Northridge; author; active researcher; and practicing behavior therapist
—David A. Clark, PhD, professor emeritus in the department of psychology at the University of New Brunswick, and coauthor of The Anxiety and Worry Workbook and Cognitive Therapy of Anxiety Disorders with Aaron T. Beck
—David H. Barlow, PhD, ABPP, emeritus professor of psychology and psychiatry, founder, and director emeritus at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University
—Lee Baer, PhD, professor of psychology in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and author of Getting Control and The Imp of the Mind
—Fredric Neuman, MD, director of The Anxiety and Phobia Treatment Center, and author of Caring, Fighting Fear, and Worried Sick?
—David Carbonell, PhD, is a Chicago-based psychologist specializing in treating chronic anxiety for over thirty years, author of Panic Attacks Workbook and The Worry Trick, and “coach” at www.anxietycoach.com
—Bruce Shapiro, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
—Joan Davidson, PhD, codirector of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, and assistant clinical professor in the clinical science program at the University of California, Berkeley
“As humans, we often pride ourselves on our ability to think ourselves out of the distress and difficulties that we encounter. But these authors help us recognize that we aren’t in complete control of our thoughts, and help us to approach our thought processes from a more realistic and healthy perspective. They assist us in identifying common myths about our thoughts, and teach us that fighting thoughts is not the answer—it is part of the problem! With the strategies in this book, we learn how to reduce the stress and distress thoughts can trigger, and this takes away the power of those thoughts. The authors present clear explanations of the brain processes underlying intrusive thoughts, but even more importantly, explain why our typical efforts to overcome these thoughts fail. Finally, they provide a detailed guide of what we can do to reduce distress about unwanted thoughts, and to develop a more accepting relationship with the mind.”
—Catherine M. Pittman, PhD, HSPP, licensed clinical psychologist, associate professor of psychology at Saint Mary’s College Notre Dame, and coauthor of Rewire Your Anxious Brain
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