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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effective (and portable) OCD therapy
This audiocassette saved my life! Well, sort of. Three years ago I experienced an especially painful & stressful bout with Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder (OCD). A loved one gave me the "Brain Lock" audio book, and helped put me on the road to recovery.
The authors have developed a simple yet ingenious "four step" routine to perform when obsessions or...
Published on Jan. 26 2004 by Eddie Konczal

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very bad
Basically, for all practical purposes this book is worthless. But for inspiration and stories, it's not too bad. I have OCD (checking), and I've already tried the same suggestions the book offers before I even bought it. And as you might have guessed, they don't work. It tells you, in four steps, to simply tell yourself it's just OCD when you feel a obsession coming...
Published on March 16 2004 by Colvin


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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very bad, March 16 2004
This review is from: Brain Lock (Paperback)
Basically, for all practical purposes this book is worthless. But for inspiration and stories, it's not too bad. I have OCD (checking), and I've already tried the same suggestions the book offers before I even bought it. And as you might have guessed, they don't work. It tells you, in four steps, to simply tell yourself it's just OCD when you feel a obsession coming on, to think about how OCD works, distract yourself with another task and then go over in your head how stupid OCD is.
If you have OCD and are reading this, you've probably already come to the conclusion that this these steps won't work. We've tried telling ourselves hundreds of times -- as we've done them -- that our obsessiveness and compulsions are just medical conditions. We've tried to understand how OCD works, and we've tried to distract ourselves. What the author doesn't understand is that you can't just STOP giving into these obsessions and in turn performing a compulsion. It doesn't work that way. It NEVER works that way. In any case, doing what the author instructs will only make it worse. All you'd be doing is what you've been doing all along, and if that hasn't been working, this won't. But don't fret: If you have OCD, and are reading this, there is a way out. Basically, you fight fire with fire. Like any personality disorder or addiction, OCD was something that gradually got worse and worse until it was at the state that it's in. Therefore, you have to gradually act on your obsessions less and less. Telling yourself to only check or clean a few times is pretty easy and only takes a little bit of willpower compared to the seemingly impossible task of not doing it at all, which takes the bravery of a knight in shining armor, gleaming sword and all. And it works, too. It's amazing! I figured this out a couple of days ago and it's working already. I check something a few times, and then just walk away. I can tell my disorder is going away, too, because it's trying to take the form of another form of OCD: fear of hurting other people. But anyone who's had OCD and ocassionaly defeats a compulsion knows that another takes its place and with just a little willpower they can resist it.
In conclusion, buy this book only if you want some inspiration or are doing research on OCD for a class or something. If not, and you just want to plain old get rid of it, just take my advice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effective (and portable) OCD therapy, Jan. 26 2004
This review is from: Brain Lock (Audio Cassette)
This audiocassette saved my life! Well, sort of. Three years ago I experienced an especially painful & stressful bout with Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder (OCD). A loved one gave me the "Brain Lock" audio book, and helped put me on the road to recovery.
The authors have developed a simple yet ingenious "four step" routine to perform when obsessions or compulsions strike. First, recognize that the thoughts are OCD; second, re-attribute the thoughts to false impulses generated by the brain; third, refocus your behavior on any mildly productive activity; fourth, revalue OCD thoughts as "waste product" of the mind. Each of the four steps is discussed in detail, with just enough scientific background given to educate (without confusing) the listener. The routine sounds simple, but does take a while to master; it helps to listen to the tape two or three times through to reinforce the method.
Dr. Schwartz reads the book with a compassionate tone, and delivers the content in a personal and effective manner. (I also recommend the original book, which expands upon the content presented in the audio book).
OCD is serious business; I wouldn't recommend this tape as an alternative to professional treatment. But as a supplement to therapy, "Brain Lock" is invaluable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brain Lock - a truly remarkable treatment plan for OCD, Aug. 27 2001
By 
John R. Petz (Alpharetta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brain Lock (Paperback)
I read Dr. Schwartz' book over 2 years ago while in the throes of a debilitating panic disorder fueled by OCD-like intrusive thoughts. Once the panic was under control (via meds) I started to search for a cognitive-behavioral treatment plan to control the obsessive thoughts. For years I tried to self-analyze the thoughts which amounted to pulling on one of those ropes which would further constrict the more you struggled. The panic disorder finally led me to a specialist who diagnosed both the panic and a mild form of OCD. I say mild since there are clearly OCD patients whose lives are extremely curtailed by the disorder such as incessant hand washing, fear of contamination, leaving the house, and so on. I'm fortunate not to suffer from this form of OCD, although I have experienced some agoraphobia, not uncommon with panic/OCD patients. As a result, I now understood that OCD (and panic) is nothing to be ashamed of and in fact is highly treatable due to recent, breakthrough advances in treating mental illness, medication being at the top of the list. Knowledge is power so no longer stigmatized, I was able to approach the problem as any other by looking for further research on treating the disorder and lucky for me, I came across the book "Brain Lock". "Brain Lock" demystifies OCD by attempting to explain the physiology behind the disorder. I am not medically trained but found the explanations plausible enough to continue on into the treatment phase. The most memorable, constantly reinforced phrase I recall from the book is that whenever you find yourself obsessing about an undesired thought, simply say to yourself "its not me its my OCD". Once that realization hits home, you shift ALL your focus to something else such as work, a good book, playing with your child, or anything activity that removes you from the obsessive "stuck in gear" pattern. It sounds simple but it DOES work. But you must work at it and the more acute the disorder the more difficult it is to shift control. That is where medication can be helpful as Dr. Schwartz points out. He doesn't really push meds put acknowledges it as a crutch to get the ball moving in the right direction. He claims that most, if not all his past patients at time of writing are off meds, using his 4-step, cognitive-behavioral process alone. That is remarkable! I have been on meds to control the panic but would probably go off it should the mild OCD be my only problem. Despite meds, I still run into occasional bouts with OCD but using Dr. Scwhartz's 4-step method, I am able to shift gears and move away from it quickly. As a result, I don't build up guilt and discomfort at having the thoughts in the first place since I don't give them time to fester as I had done in the past. "Its not me its my OCD". Again, Brain Lock is a great read for someone aware of having OCD and looking for a self-help method of controlling it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help your OCD in less than a week of commuting in your car, May 28 2001
By 
This review is from: Brain Lock (Audio Cassette)
This text, written by a psychiatrist experienced in treatment and research on OCD, presents a fairly simple but effective approach to dealing with troubling symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He demystifies the nature and symptoms of the disorder and explains the interaction of the biological and behavioral elements of OCD.
His program focuses on empowering the individual with OCD so that he or she can take an active role in decreasing or eliminating obsessions and compulsions. I often recommend the book to adults and adolescents who have OCD. When a person with OCD is engaged in cognitive-behavioral therapy, treatment is more successful if the individual feels empowered and does "homework" outside of the therapy session. This book reinforces this process.
I find that many people just do not have the time or patience to read an entire book, even one as good as this one. I have recommended the abridged audiocassette to a number of people who otherwise might never have been exposed to these concepts. Most of us commute enough to finish this cassette in less than a week.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reader from North Carolina, June 5 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Brain Lock (Paperback)
This book is wonderful. I seriously doubted that a book could help me with my OCD, but this one helped & I continue to make progress in my OCD. I have pure obsessions and panic. These four steps get your mind of the symptoms & help you realize that its just OCD, nothing else. My panic & worry began to lift after reading the first few chapters of this book. Great book!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written and Easy to Follow - Cures more than OCD !, Oct. 17 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Brain Lock (Paperback)
"Brain Lock" was recommended to me from my sister and I found it very helpful too. In the Intro, the author says that his 4 step method is useful for other bad habits too, such as nail biting and over-eating - you name it. Dr Schwartz gives several interesting real-life examples that help you to visualize how you can actually help yourself. It was very readable and easy to follow. So even if you are not suffering from the more extreme types of OCD, you can help yourself relabel the problem and refocus on other better things, and bring more happiness and peace into your life. I highly recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Study in Overcoming O.C.D., Feb. 21 2002
This review is from: Brain Lock (Paperback)
As a sufferer of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, I found "Brain Lock" to be extremely helpful in finding new ways to break the habits of OC behavior. My counselor Mark introduced me to the book. Not only is it a comfort to read (including some witty comic strips), but it doesn't stick to the standard and sometimes ineffective methods of curing OCD (i.e...just stop it). The book gives us examples of the many different kinds of these symptoms and in turn, shows us many ways to help ourselves. This workbook also has a subtle touch that challenges all those who claim OCD to be the "common cold" of psychiatry. I recommend "Brain Lock" to anyone with OCD, but also for those who are learning to become psychiatrists, counselors, etcetera.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Simple steps and distraction, June 12 2001
This review is from: Brain Lock (Paperback)
This is a book about OCD. I suffered from OCD in the frame of other psychological problems, but it's straightforward Four-Step Self-Treatment always helps when you have an obsessive thought, being it a simple hassle or a more serious disease. I didn't read the whole book but it was enough to help me understand that compulsion is not the right answer to obsessive thought. And when an obsessive thought sometimes shows up again, I've got only to remember what I read in this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - 10 stars, April 29 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Brain Lock (Paperback)
It's a cure. It works. It really works. Dr.Schwartz's technics lessen intrusive thoughts. If you are an OCD sufferer of suspect yourself to be one please buy "Brain Lock" now. It will never ever disappoint you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stop those Obsessive Thoughts, April 15 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Brain Lock (Paperback)
Intrusive thoughts were ruining my life and terrifying me. They became so frightening and horrible, I sought out a therapist. Finding little to no relief and still not knowing what was wrong I turned to Amazon.com with the simple search "scarey thoughts". By shear luck, I selected this book. I know it sounds dramatic, but the book saved my life. I was losing ground at work, having panic attacks, and basically falling apart. Reading this book gave me the tools to overcome my problem. I cannot recommend this book enough. I honestly thought I was going insane before reading this book. I went on to read other books about Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, but this book was the best. It's quick and easy to read and spent a great deal of time on "Intrusive Thoughts" which other books simply pass over.
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Brain Lock
Brain Lock by Jeffrey Schwartz (Paperback - Feb. 6 1997)
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