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Needing to Know for Sure

 MSRP: $16.95  Format: Paperback  Author: Martin Seif , Sally Winston  Category: Anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder / Panic / Phobias / Worry / etc.), Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)  Publisher: New Harbinger Publications, Inc  Published: 2019  ISBN: 1684033705  ISBN-13: 978-1684033706  Book Site

Powerful skills based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help you break free from the fear of uncertainty and put a stop to compulsive checking and reassurance seeking.

“How do I know I made the right decision?” “What if I’m wrong?” “I need to know for sure.”

Do you have thoughts like these—thoughts that cause you to second-guess yourself, and lead to anxiety, stress, and worry? Do you find yourself repeatedly checking your email for no reason, asking others for their opinions about something again and again, or lying awake at night overanalyzing and planning ahead in an attempt to feel less anxious? If so, you probably have a problem with compulsive reassurance seeking. The good news is that you can break free from this “reassurance trap”—this book will show you how.

In this unique guide, you’ll find proven-effective tips and tools using CBT to help you tolerate uncertainty, face specific worrying scenarios, and gradually reduce the compulsion to incessantly seek reassurance. Most importantly, you’ll learn to deal with those pesky “doubt attacks” and trust your own judgment.

Asking for reassurance is a self-reinforcing behavior—if you do it, you’re less likely to handle stressful situations without needing further reassurance. And so the cycle continues. The CBT skills in this book will help you break this exhausting and painful pattern, so you can build self-confidence and improve your life.

Editorial Reviews

“I was blown away when I read this book. It perfectly describes my anxiety-reddened patients who are so consumed with doubt and uncertainty, that they need constant reassurance to live their life. If you are filled with doubt; can’t make a decision without input from others; are constantly checking and rechecking; or lie awake dwelling, planning, and reviewing—rest assured, this is the perfect book for you.”

—Ken Goodman, LCSW, board member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and president of

“Repeated checking or asking for reassurance even when know that you locked the door, turned off the stove, or prepared adequately for that meeting or test—often accompanied by feelings that something bad will happen if you don’t—is incredibly common. But at its most severe, in the form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), it can be crippling. Now, Martin Seif and Sally Winston, two of the foremost experts in the world working in this area, provide a very helpful and easy to implement set of interventions to overcome these annoying and sometimes life-interfering problems. I would recommend this book to my patients and to some of my friends.”

—David H. Barlow, PhD, ABPP, professor emeritus in the departments of psychological and brain sciences, and psychiatry; and founder and director emeritus for the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University

“Many times, the damage our own immune system does in response to a bodily signal is more destructive than the injury or antigen itself. So it is with the torment of doubt and uncertainty, and the rush to relief and reassurance. Seif and Winston have laid out the challenge and the solution to the self-inflicted torment of anxiety and distress about uncertain future threats. This volume will help people live.”

—Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, MD, chief of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Stanley Cobb Professor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

About the Author(s)

Martin Seif

Martin N. Seif, PhD, cofounded the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and was a member of its board of directors from 1977 through 1991. Seif is associate director of The Anxiety and Phobia Treatment Center at White Plains Hospital,...

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Sally Winston

Sally M. Winston, PsyD, founded and codirects the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland in Towson, MD. She served as the first chair of the Clinical Advisory Board of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), and received...

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