March 22, 2010
Present Perfect is a self-help book that combines Buddhism with self-therapy for those people suffering from mild Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder—or OCPD. The author is careful to differentiate OCPD from the anxiety disorder labeled Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which requires a combination of medical treatment and cognitive therapy in order to manage symptoms.
Somov provides a synthesis of experiential exercises, mindfulness techniques and tools that teach forgiveness in order to guide the reader on a journey of healing and reducing the often crippling need for control. While he does not focus on spirituality or spiritual healing, his techniques reflect the Buddhist concepts for seeking enlightenment and serenity.
Although I do not suffer from OCPD, I found this book to be very enlightening with many “Ah-ha” moments. It is one of the better self-help books that I have encountered as it leads the reader on a path of self-discovery rather than dogmatically prescribing the route to wholeness. Although the focus of the book is self-help for people with OCPD, I can easily imagine his suggested techniques being used with other conditions where people feel uncomfortable with themselves or the world around them.