Lifeline Anxiety Disorder Newsletter

Book Reviews


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These books were reviewed in our 2006 to 2010 issues.
Click here for reviews in 1994 to 1996 issues, 1997 to 1999 issues, 2000 to 2002 issues, 2003 to 2005 issues, 2011 to 2013 issues.

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Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques.

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques by Gillian Butler. New York University Press. May 2001.

An easy-to-use guide, providing practical methods for overcoming social nervousness or apprehension across the range of symptoms from those of simple shyness to severe social phobia, this book contains a self-help program based on the clinically proven techniques of cognitive therapy. There are three sections – the first explaining the origins of social anxiety: what it is and what it does; the second providing the practical guide to overcoming these feelings, unlearning bad habits and changing thinking patterns to replace them with confident action and rational thought; the third containing relevant information on associated topics and self help ideas. All three sections contain numerous examples to fully demonstrate the subjects of discussion and prevent any misunderstanding. The author is a consultant clinical psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society. or

Diagonally-Parked in a Parallel Universe : Working Through Social Anxiety.

Diagonally-Parked in a Parallel Universe: Working Through Social Anxiety by Signe A. Dayhoff. Effectiveness-Plus Publications. January 2000.

Dr. Dayhoff, a social psychologist, author and lecturer who has overcome social phobia herself, provides a comprehensive self-help guide in this book. Current research and theories about the origin of the disorder are explained and practical ways to recover are given. These involve one step at a time programs for learning social skills in general conversation, finding a job, dating, etc. There is information on how to find the right professional help, what to expect from it, how group therapy works, the positive and negatives of medication, alternate treatments, getting financial assistance and finding social support. As a mental health professional and having suffered social phobia herself, the author is able to bring to the table what other professionals cannot when writing a book – the many personal challenges faced by social phobics. The chapters on blushing, sweating and other physiological symptoms and reactions to them provide more insight for therapists and support people than what is normally acquired in reading up on the subject. This makes the book required reading for anybody involved in helping the social phobic help him/herself overcome the challenges presented by the disorder. Only with comprehension of the realities it discusses, can truly empathetic assistance be given, whether by a mental health professional or on the part of a family member or friend. or

Anxious 9 to 5: How to Beat Worry, Stop Second Guessing Yourself, And Work With Confidence.

Anxious 9 to 5: How to Beat Worry, Stop Second Guessing Yourself, And Work With Confidence by Larina Kase. New Harbinger Publications. September 2006.

People who have anxiety disorders worry about work for many more than forty hours each week they spend in the workplace. It impacts, not only, on their work performance, but on the general quality of their lives as well.

Anxiety 9 to 5 has clear and simple solutions for various kinds of work-related anxiety problems and for the people who struggle with them. Established cognitive behavioural techniques are employed, together with quizzes, exercises and coaching points, pertaining to each chapter, assist readers in conceptualizing and successfully overcoming their anxiety and effectively beat them. Strategies are provided for the many workplace problems which result from anxiety, whether time management difficulties, tiredness and lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, avoidance, assertiveness problems or team-building. Kase addresses the problems which millions of people experience throughout the range of levels of nervousness - from talking with the boss to giving a presentation or taking on a new work role. She examines the way anxiety kills creativity and innovation and shows how mastering workplace anxiety leads to having greater ideas, working more efficiently and performing competently as a team member. She also demonstrates the benefits to employers who work with employees in developing strategies to reduce anxiety. Written with humour and using real-life scenarios to provide examples, the book is invaluable for people suffering from social anxiety and fear of failure in the workplace.

Martin M. Antony, Ph.D., chief psychologist and director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre at Hamilton, Ontario’s St. Joseph’s Healthcare and professor at McMaster University, wrote the introduction to the book which is a recommendation in itself.

Larina Kase, Psy.D., MBA, is a psychologist and business coach who specializes in the reduction of anxiety and stress in the workplace. She has worked with the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania and, as a coach, assists business owners and executives throughout the Unites States and Canada in overcoming workplace stress, anxiety and worry. Her articles regularly appear in business-related media. or or

Wish I Could Be There: Notes From a Phobic Life.

Wish I Could Be There: Notes From a Phobic Life. Allen Shawn. Viking. February 2007.

Allen Shawn is a successful composer, pianist, teacher, and author. He is also an agoraphobic. After spending most of his adult life trying to conceal his many phobias, he analyzes and shares his experiences in this fascinating study, demonstrating how fear is rooted in both nature and nurture. He examines the influences of his upbringing, encompassing both his father’s phobias and his mother’s over-protectiveness and the various biological and psychological issues within the family, on his struggle with agoraphobia and draws parallels to both modern brain research and the writings of Darwin and Freud.

Exploration of the neurophysiology of phobic fear and anxiety reveals it as the innate human response to environmental threats which has become exaggerated. Shawn explains how it feels to experience the terror he faces in almost any unfamiliar place – highways, bridges, elevators, tunnels, airplanes and even pretty country lanes – and describes the physiological processes that paralyze him, turning fear, originally a survival mechanism, into disability and creating a circumscribed life full of self-preoccupation and avoidance. Linking his panic with the internalized fear and anger of his childhood, separation from his autistic twin sister and the double life of his brilliant father, William Shawn, who was a famed editor of the New Yorker, he finds Freudian explanation for his difficulties with family and identity as he was growing up.

Eccentric, candid and compelling, the book goes beyond an investigation into the author’s agoraphobia to become a commentary on the mystery of family and individual character shaping, and how the human mind must cope with life’s demands and the universal struggle to face them. The author’s own analogy is that his agoraphobia is a way to open Pandora’s box a bit, while sitting on top of it. This continues to involve never leaving home without his “safety items” – a supply of Xanax, a bottle of ginger ale, a cellphone and a paper bag. or or Kindle Ebook

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. John P. Forsyth. George H. Eifert. New Harbinger. January 2008.

Described as “mindfulness-based approach to living” by the authors, acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, is a revolutionary new approach, and the research specialty of John Forsyth, a University at Albany, New York, psychology professor and director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program there, and of Georg H. Eifert, a clinical fellow of the Behavior and Research Society and author of more than a hundred papers on psychological causes and treatments of anxiety and other emotional disorders, based in California. They have jointly authored a therapist guide and treatment manual on ACT concepts and one for the general public on dealing with problem anger using ACT. This workbook is the first self-help book to adapt the therapy techniques to a program which helps readers to overcome anxiety disorders by incorporating ACT practices into their daily lives. It is written in a style which involves the reader in a fun approach to exploring this new approach to breaking free from anxiety. The package includes a CD-ROM with worksheets, additional exercises and audio programs.

The innovative workbook helps you to find out how your mind can trap you, keeping you stuck and struggling in anxiety and fear, and shows you how to nurture your capacity for acceptance, mindfulness, kindness and compassion, shifting your focus away from anxiety and on to what you really want to do in life. ACT helps people to face their various psychological problems and learn to accept the pain without becoming overwhelmed by it. Then it goes on to help them identify and cultivate their values and commit to living with mindfulness and acceptance providing directions and objectives by the week. or or Kindle Ebook or

A Brief History of Anxiety (Yours and Mine)

A Brief History of Anxiety (Yours and Mine). Patricia Pearson. Bloomsbury USA. March 2008.

“Our fears are private, arbitrary, idiosyncratic,” writes Patricia Pearson. “Anxiety rages undetected in the mind, both secretive and wild.”

From the biblical King David, who wrote that “fearfulness and trembling have come upon me”, to soccer great, David Beckham, plagued by a “sense of balancing on the cliff's edge”, the list of famous anxiety sufferers is a long one and includes poets Keats, Tennison and Yeats, which gives one some food for thought.

The author provides many historical examples and discusses the philosophical, medical and theological antidotes to anxiety through the ages ,and goes on to demonstrate how our western lifestyle today constantly triggers stress and, in the vulnerable, anxiety.

The book explains the nature of anxiety and the remedies. Much anxiety, Pearson’s own included, derives from what, clinically, is known as ‘cued fear’ – such traumatic early childhood experiences as near-drownings, dog bites and getting lost – and the way parents deal with it. This varies, naturally, but the more the common responses which trivialize the fear are less effective than acknowledging it and helping the child to develop ‘strategies’. She tells us that she sang loudly to cope with her fear of the dark and has helped her own child develop a list of things she can do if bad guys come through her bedroom window.

Diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder twenty years ago, Pearson, herself, feels that the medical use of antidepressants to correct a ‘chemical imbalance’ in the brain is an ‘urban myth’, and describes her own painful withdrawal from Effexor. She supports new, drug-free ways to strengthen the psyche and has some interesting suggestions.

Reading A Brief History of Anxiety is an enlightening experience. The author examines the subject with candour, using many amusing anecdotes from her own experiences, and bringing understanding and perspective to the often misunderstood topic. or or Kindle Ebook or

Hole in One

Hole in One. A Tale from the Iris the Dragon Series by Gayle Grass. Iris the Dragon Inc. Perth, Ontario. April 2008.

Hole in One a tale from the Iris the Dragon Series is the new Iris the Dragon book. It’s about social anxiety – the story of a boy called Teeman who wants to be an amazing golfer. Teeman, however, is very anxious about school and performing and is afraid he will never realise his dream. Then he meets Iris the Dragon, and Iris helps him learn how to handle his anxiety and interact with people instead of avoiding them.

Iris the Dragon Inc. is an educational publishing company which has produced a series of illustrated children’s books and educational resources to educate both adults and children about mental illness. Iris the Dragon, the main character in the series, is somebody to whom both can relate. She is always there to interpret the characters' thoughts and fears and to help them through their troubles.

Author Gayle Grass is concerned about the need for early identification and treatment of mental disorders. She uses her children’s storybooks to communicate this message to children and caregivers. The previous books in the series are Catch a Falling Star which introduces the topic of mental health, encouraging children in sharing their worries with a caregiver and providing readers with symptoms which can indicate potential problems in a child’s emotional and social development, and Lucky Horseshoes about a girl with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with whom children with the problem can relate and identify their own thoughts, feelings and actions with those of the character. or

The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques

The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Anxious and What You Can Do To Change It by Margaret Wehrenberg. W. W. Norton. New York. August 2008.

Based on the belief that people with anxiety disorder have the power to change the way their brains work without medication, the author presents the ten techniques which she has found work best in controlling and overcoming anxiety. Presented comprehensively, the result is a handbook full of strategies to help people struggling with anxiety to understand, manage and control their own stress.

The reader learns how the brain makes him/her anxious and how this anxiety can be managed with medication, then goes on to find out how to manage his/her anxious body, anxious mind and anxious behaviour through biologically-based practical and effective tips on a day-to-day basis. Diaphragmatic breathing and self-talk, mindfulness, cognitive control and muscle relaxation are all involved in successfully doing so. The final two techniques take a planned approach to worry. When worries get out of control, you can win back that control by putting a time limit on the amount of time to be taken in worrying through the various issues, then planning a time to come back to thinking about it later, then diverting your thoughts elsewhere every time a thought about the worry comes back into your head while you wait for the scheduled worry time. An anxious brain reconsiders a plan many times so that, to stop this constant anxiety, the fundamentals – identification of the problem, listing solutions, selection of an option and actually writing out the plan – of planning must be learnt and adhered to. In both these techniques, a brake is effectively applied to stop anxious thoughts – in the first, it is “Stop! I already worried” and in the second, “Stop! I have a plan!”

With some patience and determination, this book leads the way to gaining a lasting sense of power over anxiety. Margaret Wehrenberg is a leading mental health clinician from St. Charles, Missouri. Her previous book on anxiety disorders is entitled The Anxious Brain: The Neurobiological Basis of Anxiety Disorders and How to Effectively Treat Them. or or Kindle Ebook

Bon's Year On: My Spiritual Journey through Panic and Anxiety

Bon's Year On: My Spiritual Journey through Panic and Anxiety by Bonnie Grzesh Pedota. Trafford Publishing. August 2006.

A first-hand account of a journey of recovery from panic disorder – a journey from which the author has created a tool kit and coping mechanisms for herself and others to use when panic threatens. Pedota suffered from panic disorder for four years and relates her story through journal entries, storytelling and spiritual reflection. She gives people with the disorder hope for their own recovery by inspiring them to believe that they, too, can face the challenge and get on with their lives. A former teacher, Pedota is a spiritual psychotherapist and mental health advocate who speaks publicly with the Canadian Mental Health Association speakers bureau about her experiences with mental illness. Having experienced life with an "invisible illness" herself, one of her goals in publishing Bon's Year On, and telling her own story, is to break through the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

The book provides instructions on writing a journal. There are no rules, she says. A journal serves as a place to record whatever is going on in one’s heart and mind – dreams, goals, doodles, songs, poems – the possibilities are endless. Pedota found keeping a journal to be highly therapeutic during her own recovery from panic disorder and her own journals comprise the basis of the book with key journal entries included so that readers can relate to what she was facing and, she hopes, feel less lonely and depressed by their own journeys.

One key message of Bon’s Year On is to view the journey of recovery from panic disorder, as she did when she took a year off from school and majored in recovery, instead. That is, as one of life’s great learning experiences – an opportunity to grow. or

Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma & Emotional Upheaval

Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma & Emotional Upheaval by James W. Pennebaker. New Harbinger Publications. January 2004.

James W. Pennebaker, who is recognized by the American Psychological Association as a top researcher on trauma and expressive emotions therapy or EET, has developed a form of journaling called "expressive writing" to assist people coping with both trauma and illness.

In this book, he guides readers through writing exercises designed to allow them to explore their feelings about their bad experiences. He explains what each journal exercise will accomplish and provides space in the book itself to use as a journal. This allows for continual reference to what has been written and, subsequently, for the journaler to learn more about his/her fears and reactions. He offers advice designed to inspire increased capacity for self-expression in the writing. The ability to understand and the facility to cope with fears, anxieties and other difficulties that comes from telling a story is accomplished through completing the exercises and acquiring a greater appreciation of life

As the first book incorporating expressive emotions therapy, Writing to Heal is, in essence, a step-by-step guide in “expressive writing” journaling. Pennebaker brings its effective techniques for healing to readers in an accessible form, which guides them in understanding their traumatic and/or disturbing experiences by writing about them in a way that has been clinically proven to lead to recovery.

James W. Pennebaker Ph.D. is a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions. or

Fix Your Phobia in 90 Minutes

Fix Your Phobia in 90 Minutes by Anthony Gunn. Penguin Books Australia. May 4, 2009.

Australian psychologist and phobias expert Anthony Gunn developed a fear of medical procedures and hospitals at age eighteen when, as exchange student in Central America, he was operated upon without anaesthesia for a collapsed lung.

He became a psychologist because he wanted to cure himself and has gone on to spend his life helping people overcome their phobias. His unique friendly approach to counselling has helped many people in his Penrith, New South Wales practice to successfully manage panic attacks, phobias, social anxiety and shyness and performance anxiety. His book explains the simple, ten-step treatment he developed to treat himself, and which anybody can follow. Written in an easy-to-understand style, the book shows the reader how to successfully treat any phobia in ninety minutes in a series of positive small steps.

Gunn feels that phobias are increasing today because people are exposed to more graphic material in terms of media images of terrorism and war. Since phobias are programmed into a part of the brain – the amygdala – which cannot reason, people know that their phobias are irrational, but cannot control them. He says the prime time for absorbing phobia-fuelling material is in childhood and adolescence because the brain is still growing and can’t quite put the logic together and make sense of the world, so it uses the imagination. Phobias are never fully cured but they can be controlled by exposure to the object of the fear and the burning of new neural pathways to a more logical part of a brain. This is, in essence, what the book covers.

In addition to learning how to overcome fear of dogs, spiders, water, flying and life-destroying agoraphobia or social phobia, the reader is also shown how to apply the resulting new self-confidence to other stressful areas of life – job interviews, parenting issues, business difficulties, for example. Fix Your Phobia in 90 Minutes is a very practical guide to overcoming phobias and getting on with your life. It deserves further investigation. or

Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me by Howie Mandel

Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me by Howie Mandel. Bantam. November 24, 2009.

Since beginning as a stand-up comedian at Toronto’s Yuk Yuk’s in 1978, Howie’s career has included Comedy Store sets, 20 appearances on The Tonight Show, six years on the Emmy Award-winning drama, St. Elsewhere, talk show host and, currently, game show host. All despite serious obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Now, at the peak of his career with Deal Or No Deal, Howie Mandel finds himself well-positioned to help shed the stigma attached to mental health disorders.

After the miserable season during his daytime talk show The Howie Mandel Show when he soaked his hands in a bucket of Purell under his desk after shaking hands with his guests, the fist bump became his trademark greeting on Deal Or No Deal. This, along with brand new makeup sponges every day, literally laundered money, avoiding hand rails helps Howie to manage his OCD.

He has recorded a public service announcement for anxiety disorders, testified on Capitol Hill, discussed OCD with fellow sufferer Howard Stern and talked about ADHD on Regis and Kelly. With the launch of the book and a concurrent ABC’s 20/20 feature on his everyday life Howie Mandel is bringing high profile to the need to eliminate stigma. or

Chameleon by Jordan Taylor Brown

Chameleon by Jordan Taylor Brown. Power of One. September 18, 2009.

A novel about a thirteen-year-old girl living with social anxiety disorder written by fifteen-year-old Jordan Taylor Brown of Lakeland, Florida. Jordan has social anxiety disorder and wanted to help people understand this irrational fear of interacting with people. Using the voice of Chemille, the novel’s protagonist, Jordan vividly describes the panic attacks and distress she experiences - erratically beating heart, swollen tongue, limp limbs and constant extreme stress. “As far as how she (Chemille) feels about certain things, or how she would react or the thought process, that’s pretty much me,” Jordan says. This is a book which all teenagers should read because it is they who can best help a contemporary with social phobia. or

Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated from Anxiety by Kelly Wilson and Troy DuFrene

Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated from Anxiety by Kelly Wilson and Troy DuFrene. New Harbinger Publications May 2010.

This book is about breaking away from anxiety by accepting your anxious thoughts and feelings instead of struggling with them. It explains the basic ideas that make up acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in terms of functioning in six areas. These are: • focusing on what’s happening in the moment, • defusing your thoughts as they occur, • acknowledging your life as it is, • choosing what matters to you, • committing on acting to further your values, • seeing who you are as you evolve.

The objective of the book is not to help you get rid of your anxiety but, instead, to give yourself space to see life as it is, so that you can better cope with the worry, panic, and fear associated with anxiety disorders. It puts those unwanted feelings into perspective so that you can focus on what you want to do in the moment; in the day; in life. There are games and activities throughout to provide experience of functioning in the key areas as they are explained. In-the-moment strategies are provided to calm their fears.

This book will help you to gain the tools you need to keep from getting trapped by anxiety and, instead, look to what life is presently bringing to you – both the comfortable and the uncomfortable. Kelly G. Wilson, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology and clinical psychology at the University of Mississippi, and Troy DuFrene met when Troy attended one of Kelly’s ACT workshops. This led to their collaboration on Mindfulness for Two, a successful book targeted to professionals on ACT as applying to mindfulness in psychology. or or Kindle Ebook

Turnaround: Turning Fear Into Freedom™ by David A. Russ Ph.D. and Christopher T. McCarthy M.Ed.

Turnaround: Turning Fear Into Freedom™. David A. Russ Ph.D. and Christopher T. McCarthy M.Ed. Informed Therapy Resources. March 2010. In the first program of its kind to specifically address children directly through creative mixed media, David Russ and Christopher McCarthy – two clinical therapists with over 30 years of experience between them and fathers of anxious children – work with the best innovative approaches to treating childhood anxiety disorders. Turnaround™ is a comprehensive, creative audio program which speaks directly to children using a cognitive-behavioural approach. It comes with a workbook in which, after each day's audio lesson, children complete exercises to reinforce the lesson taught that day. The anxious child is invited to join six other children, two Docs and a teen named Emily on a ten day imaginary hiking trip during which they face life-changing challenges. Emily has graduated from the program in the past and now acts as a narrator and mentor. The children have generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, perfectionism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety and social phobia. The two Docs, Dr. David and Dr. Chris, take them through an adventurous lesson each day. They meet imaginary characters and find out from other children how they were able to conquer their fears and anxieties. The program includes: • the 10 CD Turnaround™ Program for kids, • Turnaround™ Journal, a 74 page workbook, • Chill Kit, a relaxation guide for kids • 2 CD Parent Guide with helpful information and techniques for parents. There is also a bonus CD, Med FAQs, for parents. This is an interview with neuropsychiatrist Dr. James Lee, on the medications used to treat child anxiety. or

Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies, 2nd Edition. Dr. Charles Elliott and Dr. Laura Smith.

Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies, 2nd Edition. Dr. Charles Elliott and Dr. Laura Smith. Wiley Publishing Inc. April 2010.

The first edition of this book was published in 2001 and it was followed by a number of Anxiety for Dummies books by Drs. Elliott and Smith. It quickly became recognized as a comprehensive book on anxiety around the world and advocated by many therapists as a supplement to their treatment. When their publisher approached them about updating the original book, the authors evaluated the changes the world has gone through in the nine years since they wrote it. With so many new triggers to anxiety – terrorism, the recession, escalating environmental worries, pandemics and more – they decided that it was definitely time for a second edition.

The three goals of the book are for readers to understand just what anxiety is and the different forms it comes in, to learn what’s good about anxiety and what’s bad and to be informed on the latest techniques for overcoming it.

Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies is divided into the following six parts:

  • Detecting and Exposing Anxiety – explains just what anxiety disorders are, the different kinds and why people get them.
  • Battling Anxiety – includes proven strategies for overcoming anxiety.
  • Letting Go of the Battle – dealing with anxiety indirectly in terms of lifestyle changes, connecting with others, exercising, sleep, breathing, mindfulness.
  • Zeroing in on Specific Worries – an entirely new section focusing on anxieties about finances, terrorism, natural disasters and health which prepares anxiety sufferers (and even those who don’t normally suffer from anxiety) for unexpected calamities and accepting uncertainty in an uncertain world.
  • Helping Others with Anxiety – information on being a coach or a cheerleader in helping a friend or family member conquer anxiety. The includes an expanded area of the original book providing the tools to understand the differences between normal fear and anxiety in children and some simple guidelines to help out anxious kids.
  • The Part of Tens – ten ways to stop anxiety in its tracks, ten ways to handle relapse and ten signals that professional help is in order. or or Kindle Ebook

Work Makes Me Nervous. Amy Lemley and Jonathan Berent.

Work Makes Me Nervous. Amy Lemley and Jonathan Berent. Wiley Publishing Inc. April 2010.

Amy Lemley is a successful writer and editor who, despite appearing confident, was always filled with anxiety because she felt like a fraud and thought others would see he r failings. Technology, today, enables avoidance behaviour and, as with many other people with workplace anxiety, screening calls, caller ID, email and text messaging allowed her to avoid phone calls and face-to-face meetings.

Jonathan Berent is a certified psychotherapist who works with clients in individual, group, and family psychotherapy. He has appeared on many TV and radio shows.

The book was written as a result of Lemley learning coping techniques from Berent. It explores the way in which many people suffer from anxiety in their professional lives. This can range from fear of attending meetings, working on team projects to paralyzing anxiety at the thought of taking part in a client consultation or giving a speech. It affects people at all levels of their careers. Embarrassment, shame and humiliation prevent it from ever being discussed.

Berent works with many corporate executives – many of whom will not get a promotion, and may even lose their jobs, if they cannot interact with others or present at meetings. Even more seriously, the problem can easily lead to clinical depression and/or alcohol or drug abuse. He employs a variety of techniques to help clients learn to overcome their fear and anxiety and rebuild confidence in their professional lives.

A technique that can be especially beneficial is the “adrenaline control technique” on which the authors elaborate.

  • Set realistic expectations. You’re not going to be able to stop the surge of adrenaline when you’re asked to give a speech, so accept it as natural. This is important in preventing you from becoming frustrated or angry.
  • Recognize adrenaline is a source of power. When you feel the adrenaline, don’t let it panic you. Instead, see it as a sign that you’re ready to move forward.
  • Go with the flow. “Imagine a surfer on a wave, harnessing its energy . . . going with it and in control,” the authors write. “The wave represents adrenaline. Accept it. Don’t fight it.”
  • Remember to breathe. Take in slow, deep breaths for four counts and exhale for four counts. This will help calm you.

Frustration and anger drive the anxiety you feel when adrenaline flows. Regarding the adrenaline as fuel for success prevent them from doing so. Berent, himself, recognizes his hands becoming cold before a public appearance as a sign his adrenaline is pumping. Somebody else, with this or a similar reaction may let the anxiety take hold and accelerate to result in a panic attack. Many people, however, work with the adrenaline flow and actually find it makes them perform better.

Work Makes Me Nervous provides many examples of people learning to cope with workplace anxiety and includes a 21-day developmental program of practical exercises and effective stress-management techniques. or or Kindle Ebook

Overcoming the Fear of Fear: How to Reduce Anxiety Sensitivity

Overcoming the Fear of Fear: How to Reduce Anxiety Sensitivity by Margo C. Watt and Sherry H. Stewart. New Harbinger Publications Inc. January 2009.

This is a book in which the authors distinguish between fear and anxiety. We so often use these terms interchangeably that they become misunderstood. Fear is the emotion brought about by danger. Anxiety is the condition generated by thoughts of danger. Fear of fear, then, is anxiety sensitivity, the state of panic created by reaction to the effects of fear or anxiety-related sensations - trembling, dizziness, increased heartbeat, sweating difficulty concentrating, etc.

Research shows that some people are more sensitive to the symptoms of anxiety than others. This sensitivity can lead to anxiety disorders and, in itself, is proving to be a major predictor of who is likely to develop anxiety disorders. The condition affects about sixteen percent of the population. People with high levels of anxiety sensitivity worry about other people noticing them undergoing these sensations, misinterpret them as signs of going insane or fear that they could be physically harmful to their health. They often fear the sensations more than the situation which caused them and this can result in their avoiding activities that might possibly trigger the symptoms.

The manifestation of anxiety sensitivity is especially noticeable in social phobia due to the anxiety sensitive person’s fear of being negatively evaluated when experiencing such symptoms of anxiety as trembling, sweating or blushing. High anxiety sensitivity levels predict performance anxiety and social interaction anxiety. They also result in higher risk for having panic attacks and post traumatic stress disorder, and appear to be linked to depression, health anxiety, chronic pain, substance use disorder and problems with alcohol.

Overcoming the Fear of Fear provides a proven approach to dealing with this fear of anxiety symptoms. It teaches cognitive behavioural techniques that have demonstrated effectiveness in people with anxiety sensitivity, techniques which help to reduce anxiety sensitivity, preventing panic attacks and allowing the anxiety sensitive people to live without fear. It is nominally a toolkit which will show readers how to deal with dysfunctional thinking, change avoidance behaviour, expose themselves to the sensations they fear and manage stress.

Margo C. Watt, Ph.D., is associate professor of psychology at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and adjunct professor of psychology at Dalhousie University in Halifax. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and also maintains a limited private practice. She has both training and experience in clinical, health and forensic psychology. Her research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. Sherry H. Stewart, Ph.D., is a Killam Research Professor and Canada Institute of Health Research investigator in the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and serves as the coordinator of the Doctoral Training Program in Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie. While intended as a self-help book, unlike most popular books in the genre, this one is based on significant clinical research. The authors have twenty-five years of clinical and research experience in the field of anxiety and related disorders, expertise from which the book clearly benefits. or or Kindle Ebook