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Summary

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! 

This book has been selected as an Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Book Recommendation - an honor bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools listeners can use to jump-start changes in their lives.

©2017 Sally M. Winston, PsyD and Martin N. Seif, PhD (P)2020 New Harbinger Publications

Critic reviews

“This important book is essential and mandatory reading for anyone affected by unwanted and intrusive thoughts, and their health providers. The authors crystallize decades of experience into a perfectly clear and readable guide. The solution to this misunderstood problem is in this book.” (Joseph A. Adams, MD, medical director at Baltimore Health Systems and Step By Step of Maryland, LLC, and past president at Smoke Free Maryland)

“I wish I would have had access to this book twenty years ago! Sally Winston and Martin Seif have put all the pieces of the puzzle together to help people understand and overcome unwanted intrusive thoughts. This is a must-read book, packed with information to help people suffering with anxiety-provoking intrusive thoughts, as well as clinicians who are trying to help them.” (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)

“It turns out that commonsense approaches to stopping our worries, such as pushing thoughts away, arguing with them, or seeking reassurance, actually feed these worries and help them grow. Sally Winston and Martin Seif—two of the brightest minds in our field - deliver a simple yet powerful two-step process for change.” (Reid Wilson, PhD, author of Stopping the Noise in Your Head)

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What listeners say about Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

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Good to understand Intrusive thoughts

Great at dispelling myths. Things you think would help, only seem to make intrusive thoughts worse. Narration not bad.

5 people found this helpful

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Really helpful

Im 44 and I red a lot about addiction,mental health,in my case OCD intrusive thoughts and this book was the best ever.I really aprecciated.

4 people found this helpful

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Really helpful

Been struggling with intrusive thoughts for a few weeks, and alongside CBT therapy this audiobook really helps. It explains that what you are feeling is not uncommon, and provides techniques to help you move on. Really useful.

4 people found this helpful

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  • MR
  • 11-09-20

A must read/listen

This helped me understand that my thoughts are nothing but thoughts. The author does a great job at helping you observe your thoughts in a non-judgemental way. Offers some practical and humorous applications too.

4 people found this helpful

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life changing.

stuggle daily with intrusive thoughts for past 15 years.this book has given me hope for future.thank you so much

4 people found this helpful

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Eased my mind

Some really hard hitting bits in this book but handles well, soft approach with no nonsense where approrpiate.

The narrator became very monotonous though so had to listen in many parts and I feel this would limit me wanting to listen again. I do however think I would revisit but with the hard copy of the book as the content is good.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

The most helpful book I have read on the subject

I highly recommend this book, even if you have ready many other self help books on topics such as anxiety and CBT. Helpful explanations and practical advice.

2 people found this helpful

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very useful

very useful to understand intrusive thoughts. worked very well reading this and having therapy

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not for Me

found the narrator really irritating and was not able to focus or take information in.

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Game Changer

Ironically, if control of thoughts is what you are looking for - this is it, look no further.

1 person found this helpful

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  • danielle
  • 29-09-20

It does help

When I first started reading this book, I have been already talking to a counselor but I wanted more. I have gone through unwanted thoughts 4 years ago but never knew what they were until now. This book has given me a different outlook that my counselor could not touch on. I recommend it to people who think they are alone with their thoughts. You are not.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Tyler C Thornton
  • 12-03-21

Don’t pass it up. If you have intrusive thoughts you must listen.

I don’t even know where to begin. I suffer with violent intrusive and harmful thoughts about myself and others. All from OCD. This book changed my life. She gives real examples. The author was literally saying what was in my head. I felt so encouraged. You will receive good methods to re wire the brain. It’s work though. You have to do it. You’ve waited this long. Listen to this book if you want help managing your intrusive thoughts. The stigma can be undone.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kyle Keifman
  • 18-01-21

Life changing

I have struggled with disturbing thoughts since I was a child. Vivid painful thoughts that would overwhelm me to the point where I would react physically. This book is the first thing that actually gets it and gives real steps to take to make them stop. I also realized how much of my thoughts, not just the disturbing/painful ones, were 'intrusive'. Thoughts I would get stuck on and let loop in my brain. This book helped a lot.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sloane Petersen
  • 16-12-20

Best OCD book on the market.

Love it. it explained intrusive thoughts and how to overcome them very well. The narrator was amazing. if you have OCD, or you are struggling with intrusive thoughts, this is a must read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Juliana
  • 01-11-20

helps immensely

helped me so much with my PTSD-induced intrusive thoughts. though the examples provided are based in OCD intrusions and might not necessarily relate to your personally stuck thought, the steps to change the way you relate to your thoughts and create different neural pathways to ensure a different bodily response are just as potent all the same.

if you’re on the fence, just buy it, or use your credit. worth every penny if you’re suffering by the hand of your own mind.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christine G.
  • 23-10-20

Amazing!

I absolutely loved this book. The narrator is soothing and empathetic, and makes things very relatable. I start ERP with an OCD specialist next month but this was amazing to read to begin to understand why things happen and to have practical steps to help keep me on track in every day use, even when I don’t have therapy that day. To anyone struggling, I highly suggest listening to this book. You are never ever alone!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonomys Reader
  • 24-01-21

corrupted audio file

This book sounds like it is being read from a scratched cd. It is bad.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Peace2012
  • 24-09-20

Very very very very ..............helpful. Thanks. Please read/listen to this if you’re struggling with thoughts.

Very very very very ..............helpful. Thanks. Please read/listen to this if you’re struggling with thoughts.

1 person found this helpful

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  • lolo610
  • 28-07-20

Very helpful

It’s very helpful, good narration and will make you rethink how you handle Anxiety. One of the best books I have read on mental health.

1 person found this helpful

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  • lexie
  • 02-08-21

Extremely helpful.

This book quite literally saved me from myself. I am so grateful that this book was available in the way that it was. Listening to it while I was trying to move through my day gave me the energy I needed to keep going.