The Family Guide to Getting Over OCD

Reclaim Your Life and Help Your Loved One

Jonathan S. Abramowitz

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
April 9, 2021
ISBN 9781462546015
Price: $57.00 $42.75
241 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
April 9, 2021
ISBN 9781462541362
Price: $16.95 $12.71
241 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
April 9, 2021
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $16.95 $12.71
241 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $33.90 $18.64
241 Pages
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When a loved one is trapped in an endless cycle of obsessions and compulsions, it's a constant struggle for the whole family. It's only natural to try to accommodate the sufferer's behavior or help with rituals, even if that means turning everyone's lives upside down. Throwing a lifeline to spouses, parents, and others, renowned psychologist Jonathan Abramowitz reveals that, all too often, these well-meaning attempts make OCD worse—and strain relationships to the breaking point. But there is another way. By gently but firmly encouraging OCD sufferers to face their fears, family members can stop being controlled by the disorder, disentangle themselves from unhealthy patterns, and lay the foundations for change. Grounded in state-of-the-art knowledge about OCD treatment, the book includes step-by-step strategies for getting family life back on track, practical examples, sample dialogues, and downloadable practical tools.

“By far the most comprehensive family-focused OCD resource. Dr. Abramowitz, one of the premier leaders in the field, includes everything a loved one needs to know in one easy-to-read book. He guides you through each step needed to help someone with OCD.”

—Bradley C. Riemann, PhD, Chief Clinical Officer, Rogers Behavioral Health

“Reading this book is basically like having Dr. Abramowitz as your family’s therapist. There are many explanations and examples that helped us understand what our daughter was going through and connect with her in a healthier way. The real game changer was when we successfully stopped participating in her compulsions. Following this book’s advice was not always easy, but it definitely improved our child’s self-confidence and reduced the level of frustration in our family.”

—Len G., Wake Forest, North Carolina

“If you have a family member suffering from OCD, this masterful book offers guidance and hope. Dr. Abramowitz helps you understand what your loved one is going through, what treatment entails, and how you can provide the best support. This is an impressive work that fills a significant gap in the field, and that will be helpful to everyone who cares about someone with OCD.”

—Eric Storch, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair of Psychology, Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine

Table of Contents


I. Understanding OCD

1. What Is OCD?

2. How Does OCD Set Its Trap?

3. How Do Families Get Entangled in OCD?

4. Treatment That Can Help Your Relative—and Your Family

II. Preparing to Untangle Yourself from OCD

5. Laying a Foundation for Change

6. Learning the Facts About Anxiety, Obsessions, and Uncertainty

7. Learning to Communicate Effectively

III. Reducing OCD’s Influence Step by Step

8. Taking Stock of Your Situation

9. Preparing Your Loved One

10. Setting and Maintaining Expectations

11. Reducing Accommodation

12. Responding to Arguments, Threats, and Extreme Behavior

13. Staying on Track

IV. When Your Loved One Is Ready for Help

14. Finding the Right Treatment Program and Provider

15. Becoming an Effective Exposure Therapy Coach



About the Author

Jonathan S. Abramowitz, PhD, ABPP, is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Research Professor of Psychiatry, and Director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Abramowitz conducts research on anxiety disorders and has published over 250 articles, book chapters, and books. He serves as Editor of the Journal of Obsessive–Compulsive and Related Disorders and is on the editorial boards of several other scientific journals. He is past president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and serves on the scientific and clinical advisory board of the International OCD Foundation. Dr. Abramowitz is a recipient of the Outstanding Contributions to Research Award from the Mayo Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology and the David Shakow Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Clinical Psychology from Division 12 of the American Psychological Association. His books include The Family Guide to Getting Over OCD; Getting Over OCD, Second Edition; and The Stress Less Workbook (for general readers), and Exposure Therapy for Anxiety, Second Edition (for mental health professionals).


Spouses, parents, adult children, and others facing OCD in a loved one; also of interest to mental health professionals.