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When a Family Member Has OCD
Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Skills to Help Families Affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Average: 4.3 (57 votes)
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When someone has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), it can affect the entire family. This book is an essential guide to help family members cope with their loved one's compulsive behaviors, obsessions, and constant need for reassurance.

If your loved one has OCD, you may be unsure of how to express your concerns in a compassionate, effective way. In When a Family Member Has OCD, you and your family will learn ways to better understand and communicate with each other when OCD becomes a major part of your household. In addition to proven-effective cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness techniques, you'll find comprehensive information on OCD and its symptoms, as well as advice for each affected family member.

OCD affects millions of people worldwide. Though significant advances have been made in medication and therapeutic treatments of the disorder, there are few resources available to help families deal with the impact of a loved one's symptoms. This book provides a helpful guide for your family.

Publisher Reviews
  • “I truly appreciate the way Hershfield conveys complex constructs in the simplest terms. He humanizes the disorder with just enough humor to take the edge off, but not too much to negate the pain for all those affected. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) hijacks the brain and robs a giving, selfless human being of their humanity, rendering them to a seemingly selfish and entitled individual. OCD is the diagnosis given to an individual; however, it affects those in close emotional proximity to the person diagnosed. Hershfield is able to ‘cut to the chase’ and not engage in endless psychobabble leaving the reader confused. Quite honestly, I find it a must-read for family and friends involved with someone diagnosed with OCD.”
    Shana Doronn, LCSW, PsyD, doctor of psychology in the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Intensive Treatment Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, and featured therapist on A&E’s Obsessed
  • “Every day at work I meet with individuals who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I talk with their families and I try to educate them on what to do to help their family members. The families come to family sessions and I even invite them to attend an introductory talk that I give to new patients in our clinic. But those several hours of dialogue merely scratch the surface. When a Family Member Has OCD just made my job easier, because now there is a fantastic resource available to individuals with OCD and their families that I can recommend. I only wish I had written it. Congrats, Jon, on a major accomplishment!”
    Patrick B. McGrath, PhD, clinical director of the Center for Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital
  • “Families of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) suffer, too. Reassuring doesn’t help, but not reassuring can bring on rage and even destruction. Hershfield offers sound advice on this and other crucial issues, offering specifics for family members to say and do, and not to say or do. This is an excellent book for families and OCD therapists.”
    Bruce Mansbridge, PhD, founder of the Austin Center for the Treatment of OCD in Austin, TX
  • “With When a Family Member Has OCD, Jon Hershfield has produced the bible for family members to understand and better cope with their loved one’s obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms! I will be recommending this easily understandable and compassionate book to all my patients’ family members!”
    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
  • “Within the pages of this book, Jon Hershfield offers the gift of empathic insight to families, clinicians, and researchers dealing with the complexities of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He presents both clearly researched and novel practical advice that will be accessible to a broad readership in search of wisdom on this topic. This is not a workbook, reference encyclopedia, or superficial 12-step ‘solution’ to the familial challenges of OCD. Rather, it brings the reader on a journey to better understand specific OCD symptoms within the family system, offering both pearls of wisdom and mountains of hope.”
    S. Evelyn Stewart, MD, director of the pediatric OCD program and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, senior clinician scientist at the Child and Family Research Institute, lecturer on psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and nonclinical consultant in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital
  • When a Family Member Has OCD is a fantastic resource for any loved one of an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) sufferer. Often the forgotten victims of OCD, families can find in this book a wealth of information not only about the illness itself, but more importantly how they can help and support their loved one in the best possible ways. This practical guide can only serve to reduce suffering for the entire family.”
    Diane Davey, RN, MBA, program director of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate
  • “I communicate with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) sufferers and family members of OCD sufferers all over the world who are looking for advice about what to do as the monster we know as OCD turns households upside down and rips families apart. Simply put, this book is the answer. It’s informative, comprehensive, easily understandable, and—best of all—helpful. It should be in the hands of all those affected by this debilitating disorder, including the mental health professional community.”
    Shannon Shy, author and OCD advocate
  • “A welcome and useful addition to the all-too-sparse literature available to family members of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) sufferers. It is informative, compassionate, and practical, and I will certainly recommend it to my patients’ families.”
    Fred Penzel, PhD, licensed psychologist specializing in the treatment of OCD, executive director of Western Suffolk Psychological Services in Huntington, NY, and author of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
  • “One of the most common questions I get from the family members of my patients is, ‘What am I supposed to do to help out?’ I think that Jon Hershfield’s book is an excellent answer to that question. He explains obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in a way that is accessible to anyone, and then lays out in a very readable manner how family members should react to their loved one’s illness and what role they should play during treatment. He has a unique perspective on these issues as an OCD specialist and sufferer himself, which makes the information particularly valuable to family and patients alike. I will be recommending this book to the patients in our clinic.”
    Robert Hudak, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and medical director of the OCD Intensive Outpatient Program at the University of Pittsburgh
  • “Jon Hershfield brings an understanding of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) based on living with the disorder combined with the knowledge and skills of a gifted therapist. The book is a great resource for family members and therapists. Family members will find an understandable, sensible approach to interacting with the person with OCD. They can learn to be helpful and supportive while not getting caught up in accommodating the OCD. I will be recommending it to family members of my patients and applying new ideas I have learned.”
    James M. Claiborn, PhD, ABPP, psychologist in private practice in Maine, diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology in Counseling Psychology, diplomate and founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, and member of the Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation
  • “Jon Hershfield masterfully balances three challenging and crucial tasks: guiding family members to greater understanding of and compassion for their loved one, educating families about how to effectively reduce/eliminate accommodation, and increasing family members’ own personal mindfulness and self-care. His warmth and acceptance are apparent as he repeatedly encourages readers to invite their loved ones to collaborate in developing treatment support at home. The section on Mental Rituals paints a vivid picture of the suffering caused by unseen thought compulsions, often the hardest aspects for families to recognize and understand. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) impacts each and every family member, and Hershfield addresses this by speaking to different relationships (including parent of an adult child, sibling, spouse, or child of someone with OCD) and providing the context for the family member’s experience. Families who’ve been thirsty for help will find this to be like a glass of cold water on a blazing day. I look forward to including this book in the orientation package for our Family Support Group members.”
    Robin Taylor Kirk, LMFT, executive director of Sage Anxiety Treatment Program

    “For too long, there have not been enough informative resources for the family members of a person diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Hershfield’s When a Family Member Has OCD is sensitive and practical, and he speaks from his own experience. I have devoted thirty years of my career to working with families coping with the demands of OCD on how to effectively collaborate to manage the symptoms. This book is a must-read for anyone in this situation; the guidance is sound and will bring much relief to thousands of people!”
    Barbara Van Noppen, PhD, LCSW, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

    “Jon Hershfield provides a life map for families affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In his new book, When a Family Member Has OCD, [he] helps clarify the struggles families endure with their loved one diagnosed with this often debilitating illness called obsessive-compulsive disorder. Frequently, it is the family that is looking for direction and solace, and Jon Hershfield’s book provides just that. Jon speaks eloquently, not only from the heart and soul of personal experience, but also from a professional perspective. A good read—clear, concise, and effective. Every family affected by OCD and every clinician helping families who are tortured by this illness should read this book!”
    Carla Kenney, LMHC, specialist in the treatment of OCD and other related disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital, and vice president of OCD Massachusetts, an affiliate of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF)

    “Hershfield provides a wonderful resource for clinicians and families alike. Practical, user friendly, and attuned to the needs of patients and families, the guide offers valuable advice on how to respond to some of the most common challenges posed by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).”
    Tara Peris, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Semel Institute, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and program director of the UCLA ABC Partial Hospitalization Program

    “Hershfield gives a rich insight into understanding what obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is and how it is possible to help a loved one with OCD. By synthesizing years of clinical practice with empirical research and personal experiences, this book makes the experience of OCD relatable and the treatments accessible. When a Family Member Has OCD is now a staple in my library and a must-read for my clients’ families.”
    Elspeth N. Bell, PhD, licensed psychologist specializing in the treatment of OCD and hoarding disorder, in private practice in Columbia, MD

    “A helpful guide in developing a collaborative, consistent, and compassionate approach in helping your family member with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), while also taking care of yourself. When a Family Member Has OCD addresses symptoms, thoughts, and struggles common to this disorder. Practical tips are provided on how to create an atmosphere of healing in different types of family relationships. A great resource to share with my clients.”
    Renae M. Reinardy, PsyD, director of the Lakeside Center for Behavioral Change, and inventor of Courage Critters

    When a Family Member Has OCD is a must-read for anyone who has a loved one suffering from the disorder. It offers an insider’s tour of the world of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as practical, collaborative strategies that will empower everyone in the family. Hershfield’s guidance is an insightful mix of compassion, candor, and humor, and will give families the knowledge they need to provide appropriate support and assistance as their loved ones work to take back their lives from OCD.”
    Shala Nicely, cofounder of Beyond the Doubt

    “‘What about us?’ ‘How can we help?’ Those are common questions I hear from families living with someone who has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In When a Family Member Has OCD, Jon Hershfield eloquently and compassionately addresses the concerns of families as he takes the reader from the early stages of identifying for the presence of OCD to diagnosis and treatment, all with a keen eye on ways to best help the family. Sensitive topics such as coping with reassurance seeking, guilt, and anger are all explored with gentleness and a subtle sense of humor which I believe readers will find both refreshing and respectful. Clearly, this book accomplishes what it sets out to do early on: it provides ‘a map for navigating the key challenges of supporting and living with an OCD sufferer.’ In so doing, I especially like the author’s use of the ‘Four I’s,’ as these ‘steps’ provide straightforward guidance in being able to put the concepts addressed into practical use. I do, however, have a suggestion for a fifth ‘I’—as in, this book is an Invaluable resource for both families and professionals looking to add to their toolbox of effective coping strategies.”
    Scott M. Granet, LCSW, director of The OCD-BDD Clinic of Northern California

    “This is a great resource for family members, loved ones, and friends of people who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Using his knowledge as both an OCD sufferer and a therapist, Jon Hershfield provides a detailed road map to help support the OCD sufferer with compassion and useful tools.”
    Michelle Massi, LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in the treatment of OCD, OC-spectrum disorders, and anxiety disorders; and a clinical therapist at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Adult OCD Intensive Treatment Program at the University of California, Los Angeles

    “Jon Hershfield has given a gift to the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) community by writing When a Family Member Has OCD. The book is wonderfully user friendly and is written with a warmth that is evident from page one. It is clear that the author knows OCD, and knows how to beat it. At least as important, Hershfield understands family systems and emphasizes that nothing is stronger than a family’s love. This is the book I’ve always wanted to give to the dedicated men and women who faithfully fight alongside their loved ones with OCD.”
    Seth J. Gillihan, PhD, clinical psychologist in Haverford, PA, and coauthor of Overcoming OCD

    “Jon is emerging as one of the very best writers for breaking down and explaining key aspects of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He has a lucid style in conceptualizing and describing very complex issues in OCD. Jon nails certain vitally important concepts for families to understand: Did they do something to cause OCD? Is OCD curable? How do they compassionately do their part to help their family member while also keeping their family healthy and intact? He explains answers to these questions in a clear, conversational style. Jon’s book has given me new ways to think about and communicate about OCD with my own patients and their family members. His book will be required reading for my undergraduate and graduate students.”
    Sarosh J. Motivala, PhD, director of training in the OCD Adult Treatment Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, and executive director of Spectrum CBT Specialty Outpatient Clinic for OCD

    “Jon Hershfield’s book is an important tool in helping families understand obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and, most importantly, empowering families with the knowledge and information that will help their loved ones lead a successful life with OCD.”
    Margaret Riley Sisson, educator, advocate, Montessori School owner, board member of the Georgia affiliate of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), and founder of Riley’s Wish Foundation, named after the son she lost to a battle with dual diagnoses of OCD and addiction

    When a Family Member Has OCD is a compassion-building resource that places family in the shoes of the sufferer, and hands over the key to support and understanding. Hershfield has provided an avenue for family members and sufferers to join forces against obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A must-read guidebook for families and OCD sufferers alike.”
    Stacey Kuhl Wochner, LCSW, LPCC, psychotherapist who specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for the treatment of OCD and other anxiety disorders, and founder of OCD Specialists in Los Angeles, CA

    “More than just a prescriptive how-to guide, this book also provides compassionate insight into the internal experience of parents, children, siblings, and others whose loved ones have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Families will learn to shift from conflict and helplessness to collaboration and hope. I am glad to add this resource to my professional library.”
    Amy Mariaskin, PhD, clinical director of child and adolescent services at Rogers Behavioral Health in Nashville, TN

    “I highly recommend this concise yet comprehensive guide for families who struggle to understand and live with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Written in an engaging conversational style, with examples and metaphors that bring each point home, this insightful book delivers the practical strategies that families need, along with caring and compassion for OCD sufferers and their families.”
    Aureen Pinto Wagner, PhD, adjunct associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of Up and Down the Worry Hill, What to Do When Your Child has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Worried No More

    “Whether obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been an unwanted houseguest in your family’s life for days or decades, Jon Hershfield’s When a Family Member Has OCD should be a mandatory addition to your cognitive behavioral toolkit. It represents the very best of our current knowledge about OCD and is a much-needed and essential primer for any family system touched by OCD (or any therapist working to treat it effectively). Whether OCD afflicts your child, teen, adult child, parent, sibling, or friend, this book provides essential guidance on how to better understand your loved one’s OCD, as well as your own efforts to cope with this complex (and often confusing) condition. Jon’s writing is at its best, and his expertise, compassion, and humor blend together effortlessly with specific, practical recommendations on how to unite your family in its efforts to overcome OCD and reclaim your household.”
    Steven J. Seay, PhD, director of the Center for Psychological and Behavioral Science in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

    When a Family Member Has OCD is a valuable and much-needed resource educating family members and sufferers themselves on the nature of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It provides a unique and extremely accurate depiction of how it feels to live with OCD and is conveyed with honesty, compassion, and humor. It is a must-have for any family struggling with such adversities and will be certain to help each member respond to their loved one’s difficulties in ways that are most conducive for the entire family system.”
    Andrea G. Batton, LCPC, director of The Maryland Anxiety Center

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