Needing to Know for Sure

A CBT-Based Guide to Overcoming Compulsive Checking and Reassurance Seeking

by Martin N. Seif, Sally M. Winston

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781684033706
  • 9781684033713
  • 9781684033720

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.


  • New Harbinger Publications; December 2019
  • ISBN: 9781684033713
  • Title: Needing to Know for Sure
  • Author: Martin N. Seif; Sally M. Winston
  • Imprint: New Harbinger Publications
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781684033706
  • 9781684033713
  • 9781684033720

About The Author

Martin N. Seif, PhD, is cofounder of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), and was a member of its board of directors from 1977 through 1991. Seif is former associate director of the Anxiety and Phobia Treatment Center at White Plains Hospital, a faculty member of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and is board certified in cognitive behavioral psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology. He maintains a private practice in New York, NY; and Greenwich, CT; and is coauthor of What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders and OvercomingUnwanted Intrusive Thoughts.

Sally M. Winston, PsyD, is founder and codirector the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland in Towson, MD. She served as the first chair of the ADAA’s Clinical Advisory Board, and received their prestigious Jerilyn Ross Clinician Advocate Award. She is a master clinician who has given sought-after workshops for therapists for decades. She is coauthor of What Every Therapist Needs to Know AboutAnxiety Disorders and Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781684033706
  • 9781684033713
  • 9781684033720