‘Life in Rewind’: A GoodTherapy.org Review

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition fairly well known among mental health professionals and the psychologically minded public at large. Yet as with so many things, there exist extreme departures from what we’d normally envision of a person afflicted with OCD—and the co-author of a recently released book on the subject is an excellent example. The man, who experienced the issue for most of his life, had developed extreme rituals that kept him from leaving his house or carrying out the vast majority of daily tasks; he became unable to bathe himself and spent hours each day carrying out elaborate counting and organizing rituals. That is, until he met the man who would help him triumph over his condition: his psychotherapist.

The two met after the afflicted man’s family called for help, and the psychotherapist, a renowned expert on OCD at Harvard Medical School, drove three hours to meet and assess the man—and the mind—that would occupy his professional efforts for years to come. That initial meeting was difficult; the young man had developed strict rules for what actions could be taken in his home or around his person, yet psychologist and client were eventually able to find common ground.

The extraordinary tale of a syndrome so highly developed that it defied many professionals’ attempts to rein and the process of dismantling it to achieve the ultimate freedom for its victim is the subject of a new book, created by the client-therapist pair as well as a dedicated biographer. Highlighting the great expanses of what is possible when dedication and positive techniques are employed to dire psychological situations, the book is stirring up new conversation on the ability of therapy to not only enhance lives, but to save them. The book, Life in Rewind, is published by Harper-Collins.

© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Natalie


    May 18th, 2009 at 1:38 AM

    LIfe in Rewind seems like it will be a very interesting book. OCD seems to be a more serious problem then we all realize.

  • Natalie


    May 18th, 2009 at 1:39 AM

    OCD seems to be a serious problem. more than we realize.

  • Natalie


    May 18th, 2009 at 2:01 AM

    This sounds like it will be a very interesting book to read.

  • Carlton


    May 19th, 2009 at 5:41 AM

    You can’t understand how OCD can take over the lives of not only those who suffer but from the family members who have to help them to deal with it as well. It is so frustrating because what seems rational to the rest of us seems foreign to the one with OCD>

  • Katie


    May 20th, 2009 at 5:12 AM

    I did a paper once for a college psychology class on OCD and only wish this book had been available then. Everything that I read at that time was so negative but this one sounds a little more upbeat and positive. It is things like this along with the work of a great psychotherapist which go a long way toward giving people hope for getting their lives back.

  • Julia


    May 21st, 2009 at 2:20 AM

    My uncle was diagnosed with OCD. His OCD was cleanliness. He would always be having a bath, washing his hands etc. He died a very old man without ever seeing a therapist for it. His family chose to ignore it as it didnt upset anyone.

  • Cecil


    May 21st, 2009 at 3:50 AM

    Sounds good on paper but harder to do in real life

  • Crystal


    May 24th, 2009 at 7:55 AM

    We do need more therapist willing to help individuals as these. You’re right Carlton, we don’t understand this condition unless we have been faced with it pray for those people who do need help get it.

  • Gloria


    May 26th, 2009 at 2:24 AM

    OCD complicates daily living. It’s a blessing just being normal in every way. I know a colleague of mine who is struggling with OCD. Career opportunities definitely are not the same once people at work know about a mental condition that can be detrimental to business.

  • Jackie


    May 26th, 2009 at 8:05 PM

    My dad was cured of OCD. Life before was hell for him and the family. I think what helps is understanding that they cannot help themselves. Family support is vital. It is also important for friends and colleagues to be educated about their condition.

  • Erica


    May 30th, 2009 at 9:14 PM

    Its nice’ to see so many people genuinely understand OCD. It’s very difficult in the real world for these kind of people who are termed mad by the “normal” ones.

  • Claudia


    June 4th, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    This book sounds like a really interesting and eye-opening read. OCD is more common than many people realize, and can severely affect the lives of the people suffering, as well as their loved ones. I am working with A&E and their new show, Obsessed, that aims to raise awareness and understanding about OCD and similar disorders. We’d love your thoughts in the show. Thanks for the information on Life in Rewind.

  • cowboy


    July 31st, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    I have a BA in sociology and crim law….but it never prepared me for the proper love and psycological ballplaying to try to help a relative overcome hoarding and stacking…ive studied this alot and wish to help others in my area…the ocd sufferer is beyond their own ability to help themselves…family abuses only worsen it…and create hardened defence mechanisms…you want to just beat them in the head,,,but you got to look them in the eye…and love them to seek help…cognitive behavioral therapy,,,the right med,,,not 20 meds and a quack….Jesus is a fine physician….My helps went out to a former mother in law…even after my spouse became an ex…i still kept up with my mother in law…and she stacked stuff up to the walls….they try to fill any voids in their living spaces because they are trying to fill voids that traumatically happened in their early or young life….a loss of a family member during stressful collegiate exams,,,a loss of a twin brother from trauma or accident, a loss of a child or an abortion…lots more cases are relevant.

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