Book Review: OCD, A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed

Although OCD is commonly used to describe someone who is overly tidy, this stereotype doesn’t capture the common struggles of someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Perhaps as a consequence of stereotypes such as this, many people with OCD suffer for years — knowing that something is wrong but being uncertain how to even describe what they’re going through.

A new book came out this year that offers guidance for those with OCD. The book is called OCD: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. It’s written by psychologist Michael Tompkins, PhD, who works at the San Francisco Bay Area for Cognitive Therapy and is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

The book is not a self-help book in the sense that it offers strategies for managing OCD. Instead it’s an information guide that covers a range of helpful topics such as effective treatments (e.g., exposure with response prevention, medications), how to interview potential providers, and even how and when to request work or school accommodations.

What impressed me most about this book was its concise readability. The book is about the size of a short paperback novel, and I easily read through it within a few hours across a couple evenings. It’s clear the author cares deeply about helping people with OCD, and he’s able to convey his compassion in a writing style that’s precise, yet warm and empathic.

If you or anyone you know struggle with OCD, I highly recommend you pick OCD: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. It’s also a great resource for therapists, packed with up-to-date information.

Author: Brian Thompson Ph.D.

Brian is a licensed psychologist and Director of the Portland Psychotherapy Anxiety Clinic. His specialties include generalized anxiety, OCD, hair pulling, and skin picking.


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