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  • Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

  • A CBT-Based Guide to Getting over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts
  • Written by: Sally M. Winston PsyD, Martin N. Seif PhD
  • Narrated by: Senn Annis
  • Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

Written by: Sally M. Winston PsyD,Martin N. Seif PhD
Narrated by: Senn Annis
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Publisher's 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

What the critics say

“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)

What listeners say about Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing book anyone could benefit from!

The way the author explains the physiology behind intrusive thoughts; using analogies and examples to make it simple for the reader to understand the complexities of intrusive thoughts. highly recommend

3 people found this helpful

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  • DM
  • 2021-07-14

very good info

I am listening to this so I can understand someone I love better and how to help if I can. I think by using these strategies I will be able to help guide her through problems that are simply so overwhelming.

1 person found this helpful

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Horribly Written

This book is awful and was extremely boring and repetitive. The same thing is being said throughout the entire book and I couldn't even bare reading any of the indirect anti-religion petty comments. I can't stand how triggering it was without any warning. There are numerous topics I would never agree with as someone who's studied psychology all my life. There is a lot of bull sh-t in this book don't bother reading.

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Question

I have a quick question. So what if I’m no longer anxious or uneasy with a certain unwanted thought- does that mean that I’m getting better or it means that I might be okay to act on those thoughts ?

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This book saved my life

I don't have any other words that could describe it better than the title.
Thank you. I am so grateful that there are people out there working to help others.

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perfect guide for dealing with intrusive thoughts

the advice in this book works so well. I suggest you check it out immediately if you suffer from intrusive thoughts. oh and senn annis does a Great job narrating.

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WORKS!

This method really works! Would recommend to anyone who has unwanted intrusive thoughts. I've been struggling for two years and thought there was no hope, but now I know recovery is more than possible!

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  • danielle
  • 2020-09-29

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Tyler C Thornton
  • 2021-03-12

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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Juliana
  • 2020-11-01

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Sloane Petersen
  • 2020-12-16

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Christine G.
  • 2020-10-23

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!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kyle Keifman
  • 2021-01-18

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Peace2012
  • 2020-09-24

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2022-09-26

Creepy examples

Very disappointed. Reviews made it seem like a good resource for dealing with anxiety. It had potential and the overall premise is great but the examples were weird and creepy mostly dealing with violent thoughts and sexual thoughts rather than self doubt and fear of failing self and others. May be a great resource for others with dark and disturbing thoughts of violence and sex but not for me as one that is overwhelmed with self defeating thoughts.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Scott J. Moses
  • 2021-09-26

This book changed my life.

I’m currently dealing with a B12 deficiency and one of the symptoms that comes with that is OCD. I’d never experienced it before, these intrusive thoughts that used to really take hold of me and send me spiraling, but this book changed all that.

I’m looking forward to getting my vitamin level up and putting all this behind me, but I don’t dread the thoughts anymore, because, they’re just that, powerless thoughts that will eventually fade away into the ether.

1 person found this helpful

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  • TJ
  • 2021-04-22

A game changer

The woman’s voice is very calming and an excellent narrator.

Fantastic content.

Only complaint is the book closing on what NOT to do. It leaves you with what you’d best forget! Would prefer to leave off on the correct response to intrusive thought.

Otherwise, great book!

1 person found this helpful