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When a Family Member Has OCD


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About the Author

Jon Hershfield, MFT, is a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders using mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy (MBCBT). He is also associate director of the UCLA Pediatric OCD Intensive Outpatient Program at Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, moderator of a popular online discussion board devoted to fostering a better understanding of OCD with primarily mental rituals, a professional contributor to multiple online OCD forums, and a frequent presenter at the International OCD Foundation's annual conference.Foreword writer Jeff Bell is an author, health advocate, and radio news anchor. His two books, Rewind, Replay, Repeat and When in Doubt, Make Belief, have established Bell as a leading voice for mental health awareness and "Greater Good" motivation. Bell serves as a national spokesperson for the International OCD Foundation; and in 2011, he co-founded the nonprofit A2A Alliance (www.A2Aalliance.org), aiming to showcase and foster the power of turning adversity into advocacy. Bell is a 20-year veteran of broadcast news and currently co-anchors the KCBS Afternoon News, winner of the 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast in America.


"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

"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

"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
"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

"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
"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

"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

"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

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