OCD Book Club

Book Club
Focusing on Memoirs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder for Individuals with OCD

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A book club for individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder, focusing on memoirs about the struggle with OCD. Decreasing a sense of isolation and providing a source of inspiration is one benefit of reading memoirs. But in this book club, we consider not only how the authors deal with OCD in their own lives but how they find a way to write about it. OCD is a condition characterized by chronic doubt, which can take a variety of forms and typically causes behavioral rituals intended to alleviate the anxiety. One might say, in fact, that OCD imposes a certain narrative on the individual, and that freeing oneself from OCD involves creating an alternative narrative. We will consider the different ways in which the writers are able to free themselves from the “OCD narrative” and create an alternative. Although this is not a therapy group, it may be that reading and discussing these books will be of some benefit to the participants. Obviously that would be a hope.

The group will be led by Edward Plimpton, PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in OCD and anxiety disorders. He has presented at the International OCD Foundation annual meeting and published in this area. In addition he has a popular blog on ITunes: “Your Anxious Child: 5 Minute Solutions”. He will be assisted by a Smith College student who has a particular interest in OCD.

Since it is well known that OCD is “allergic” to humor, and in this book group we will endeavor to have fun in a very supportive context. The focus will be very much on the memoirs.

While OCD may demand that participants understand the books perfectly, we will strive for an imperfect understanding. A combination of essays and books will be used. The group will meet once a month for 6 months. There will be a $100.00 fee to participate in the group.   Some of the books for the book group are:

Emily Colas Just Checking: scenes from the life of an obsessive-compulsive
Fletcher Wortman Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Amy Wilensky Passing for Normal: a memoir of compulsion
Jeff Bell Rewind, Replay, Repeat: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Traci Foust Nowhere Near Normal: A Memoir of OCD
Terry Weible Murphy with Edward E. Zine and Michael Jenike Life in Rewind: The Story of a Young, Courageous Man Who Persevered Over OCD and the Harvard Doctor Who Broke All the Rules to Help Him

Interested individuals may contact Edward Plimpton, PhD at 413-253-1482 or helpforworries@gmail.com . As noted participants must have OCD in order to participate in the group. The starting date for the group is to be determined but tentatively planning on February 2015 and it will take place in Northampton.

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