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Self-help Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (ocd)

The Anxious Thoughts Workbook

Skills to Overcome the Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts that Drive Anxiety, Obsessions, and Depression

by (author) David A. Clark

foreword by Judith S. Beck

New Harbinger Publications
Initial publish date
Mar 2018
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2018
    List Price

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Are your thoughts getting in the way of living your life? Based in cutting-edge neuroscience and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), this important workbook will help you regain control from unwanted thoughts and get back to the things that matter.

Do you have unwanted, disturbing, upsetting, or weird thoughts that you just can’t seem to shake? Violent or sexual thoughts that cause you to feel ashamed, anxious, or depressed? Maybe you think they mean something about you—andthat thought scares you even more. While you may not be able to shut your thoughts off permanently, you can gain distance from them and improve your life. This step-by-step guide will show you how.

InThe Anxious Thoughts Workbook, renowned psychologist David A. Clark presents a targeted, transdiagnostic approach to help you move past unwanted mental intrusions. You’ll learn how to change the destructive patterns responsible for the persistence of anxious and depressive thinking, and strip these upsetting thoughts of their meaning—a process Clark refers to as “detoxing.” Finally, you’ll learn to manage the feelings of shame that can accompany these thoughts.

Are you ready to move past your thoughts and start focusing on more important things? If so, the proven-effective techniques in this workbook will help you get started.

About the authors


  • Unknown, ABCT Self-Help Book Recommendation

Contributor Notes

David A. Clark, PhD, is a practicing clinical psychologist and professor emeritus at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. He is author or coauthor of numerous scientific articles and nine books on depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), including The Mood Repair Toolkit,The Anxiety and Worry Workbook(with Aaron T. Beck), andOvercoming Obsessive Thoughts(with Christine Purdon). A founding fellow and trainer consultant with the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, and fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, Clark resides in Canada.

Foreword writerJudith Beck, PhD, is director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy, clinical associate professor of psychology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, and past president of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. The daughter of influential founder of cognitive therapy, Aaron T. Beck, Beck resides in Bala Cynwyd, PA. She is author ofThe Beck Diet Solution.

Editorial Reviews

“At long last, we have a groundbreaking workbook compiled specifically for those grappling with distressing, unwanted, and intrusive thoughts. David A. Clark has produced a scholarly yet practical self-help manual that takes the reader systematically through a series of highly practical skills drawn from the latest research and evidence-based interventions. The book is well structured and is filled with information, self-assessments, exercises, and skills development that are immensely useful and easy to follow. It is a must-read for those inflicted with unwanted, intrusive thoughts, as well as clinicians attempting to haul patients from their obsessional quagmire.”
Chee-Wing WONG, PsychD, associate professor in the department of psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

“From a world-leading expert on intrusive thoughts, this book will guide you through a series of exercises that will help you to understand your anxious thoughts, and importantly it will help you to use new strategies to better respond to them. The book is based in the latest cognitive and behavioral science as it applies to anxiety and mental intrusions, and promises to be useful, whether you’re a mental health professional who helps people with anxiety-related problems, or someone who struggles with unwanted intrusions yourself.”
Adam S. Radomsky, PhD,professor of psychology, and director of the Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Laboratory at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

“This book provides a detailed account of the nature and causes of unwanted intrusive thoughts, images, memories, and feelings that produce fear, pain, and suffering. ... This book provides effective tools for dealing with intrusive cognitions, and it explains how to practice these tools and why they are useful. At the same time, it provides examples of non-useful strategies and describes why they are not effective. ... David A. Clark is a clinician and researcher with extensive experience and acknowledged prestige in the realm of emotional disorders.The Anxious Thoughts Workbook is the result of a perfect combination of clinical experience and excellence in research.”
Amparo Belloch, PhD, professor of psychopathology, and head of the Unit for Research and Treatment of Obsessions and Compulsions at the University of Valencia, Spain

“I first became aware of David A. Clark’s work on intrusive thoughts as a master’s student back in 1989 through his own groundbreaking studies in the early eighties. This book brings together all the clinical experience, theoretical work, and research Clark has conducted during his career to understand and develop effective strategies for different types of upsetting intrusive thoughts. ... A very welcome addition to the literature for those who suffer from unwanted intrusive thoughts.”
Mark Freeston, PhD, research director and doctorate in clinical psychology at Newcastle University, United Kingdom

“David A. Clark shares effective, step-by-step approaches for combatting upsetting intrusive thoughts that contribute to anxiety, depression, and related problems. The book is filled with rich examples, practical exercises, and evidence-based tools—making it easy to learn the strategies. For anyone who struggles with anxiety, depression, or other problems associated with unwanted mental intrusions, I highly recommend this book!”
Martin M. Antony, PhD, professor of psychology at Ryerson University and coauthor ofThe Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbookand The Anti-Anxiety Workbook

“David A. Clark, an internationally renowned and respected researcher and clinician provides therapists and clients a state-of-the-art self-help guide to overcome unwanted distressing thoughts that may catch therapists as well as clients. It helps the reader to develop a better understanding of anxious thoughts regardless of the diagnosis, and then provides them an excellent guide for effective self-coping skills based on scientifically proven procedures and principles. It aims to make one his or her own therapist and reclaim their freedom from being prisoners of their intrusive thoughts. Trust this workbook instead of trusting your self-defeating anxious and intrusive thoughts.”
Mehmet Sungur, professor of psychiatry at the University of Marmara, and president of the International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy

“If you have bothersome, repetitive, anxiety-producing thoughts,The Anxious Thoughts Workbook is the solution. David A. Clark offers a proven, systematic solution to easing the distress associated with intrusive and unwanted thoughts.The Anxious Thoughts Workbook is based on the most recent and sophisticated scientific understanding of how we think, and offers true hope and help. The book teaches practical strategies that can enable you to lessen the self-critical, catastrophic, and negative thoughts that you may currently have. Clark is one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between how we think and how we feel.The Anxious Thoughts Workbook is for you if you want to feel less anxious and distressed, and want to feel a greater sense of confidence and joy.”
Dennis Greenberger, PhD, coauthor ofMind Over Mood

The Anxious Thoughts Workbook by David A. Clark is an excellent step-by-step guide to overcoming the feeling that you are trapped by unwanted intrusive thoughts. Based on the best research, Clark takes us on a journey into the troubled mind and leads us out to setting aside the thoughts that often limit our daily lives. Filled with helpful forms and powerful techniques, this book will give you the tools to free you from your anxiety. Highly recommended.”
Robert L. Leahy PhD, author ofThe Jealousy Cure

“This timely self-help workbook will be valuable for people struggling to deal with intrusive and anxious thoughts. It contains important information, a great deal of practical advice, illustrative case reports, exercises, worksheets, and troubleshooting techniques. It will benefit many readers and provide a useful resource for professionals. I strongly recommend it.”
S.J. Rachman, emeritus professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London; and at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Other titles by David A. Clark