by Jeffrey M. Schwartz with Beverly Beyette. ReganBooks, 1996

INTRODUCTION --- Obsessions, compulsions and the "FOUR-STEP" self-treatment method to successfully change your brain chemistry (px-xxxvi)

    This is obsessive-compulsive disorder ("OCD")

    What are obsessions?

    Getting the (wrong) message

    What are the compulsions?

    A checklist of common "OCD" symptoms

    SUMMARY of the four steps ---

      Step 1 --- RE-LABEL = You must recognize that the intrusive obsessive thoughts and urges are the RESULT of "OCD." You must call the intrusive thought or urge to do a troublesome compulsive behavior exactly what it is! It is an obsessive thought or a compulsive urge. You must develop the ability to recognize the difference between the unpleasant feelings that "OCD" symptoms cause and reality!

      Step 2 --- RE-ATTRIBUTE = You must realize that the intensity and intrusiveness of the thought or urge is CAUSED by "OCD," which is probably related to a biochemical imbalance in the brain . You must ask the question, "Why does this keep bothering me?" And, you must answer it by accepting that you have a medical condition called "OCD."

      Step 3 --- RE-FOCUS = You must work around the "OCD" thoughts by focusing your attention on something more constructive, at least for a few minutes. DO ANOTHER BEHAVIOR by "shifting gears" and performing an alternative, wholesome behavior. You can actually repair the "gearbox" in your own brain by learning how to "RE-FOCUS" in a consistent way!

      This is where the hardest work is done and where the change in brain chemistry takes place. However, things come together very quickly, resulting in an almost automatic response. You can recognize"OCD" thoughts as "false" messages!

      Step 4 --- RE-VALUE = Don't take the "OCD" thought at face value! It is NOT significant in itself. You must "RE-VALUE" those thoughts and urges when they arise. You will learn to "devalue" unwanted obsessive thoughts and compulsive urges as soon as they intrude.

      You will come to see intrusive "OCD" symptoms as the useless "garbage" they really are.


      First, you can gain better control over your responses to your own thoughts and feelings, which makes day-to-day living much happier and healthier.

      Second, by changing your behavior, you can change the "faulty" brain chemistry that was causing the intense discomfort of your OCD symptoms.

      Since it has been scientifically demonstrated that the brain chemistry in this serious psychiatric condition is changed through the practice of the "four-step" plan, you can CHANGE your own brain chemistry by altering your responses to many other "bad habits." You can LESSEN the intensiveness and intrusiveness of the unwanted habits and behaviors, which will make them EASIER to break. (pxxii-xxiii)

PART 1 --- The four steps (p1-116)

PART 2 --- Applying the four steps to your life (p117-202)

PART 3 --- Self-treatment manual for the four-step method (p203-219)

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