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Self-help books / Anxieties in general

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Playing with Anxiety: Casey's Guide for Teens and Kids

Anxiety has the power to stop kids in their tracks, preventing them from exploring and growing into independent teens and young adults. Casey, the fourteen year old narrator of Playing with Anxiety, knows all too well how worry can interrupt fun, ruin school, and take control of a family. In this companion book to Reid Wilson and Lynn Lyons’ parenting book, Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous & Independent Children (HCI Books, 2013), Casey shares her own experiences and those of her friends to teach kids and teens the strategies to handle the normal worries of growing as well as the more powerful tricks of anxiety. With pluck and humor, Casey tells stories, offers exercises, and describes her “solving the puzzle” approach that kids and their parents can use to address all types of worries and fears. 

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The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety

John Forsyth, Ph.D. & Georg Eifert, Ph.D. (267 pages, paperback plus CD), Oakland: New Harbinger, 2007.

The brain is built to respond to all threat as a signal, instructing the body-&-mind to “take action now.” After a bit, the body-&-mind memorizes the signal-response pattern, and many of our responses become automatic. The brain is programmed to err on the side of assuming threat instead of assuming safety. This is a good thing for survival. But we end up responding to a lot of false positives. This is unfortunate when our automatic reaction to lots of situations becomes a sense of threat, anxiety, and avoidance. How to change this is very simple; we could send the instructions on a postcard. And when you follow the guidance of this wonderful workbook, by the end you’ll be able to fit the principles that guide you onto the back of a postcard, too.

The challenge, as they say, is in the details: how to change your mind so it lines up with those instructions. Herein lays the gift of The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety. Forsyth and Eifert intend to accomplish this task in a holistic manner. They know it will take persuasion, time, and patience. Influencing your point of view is what they are great at: metaphors, analogies, diagrams, cartoon illustrations, examples, written exercises and homeworks, within 270 workbook-sized pages. The accompanying CD contains 8 audio-guided meditations and the book’s 13 printable exercise forms.

Here’s what this workbook isn’t: a set of skills to practice in order to control anxiety. Instead, this is a framework to orient you toward the rest of your value-filled life. You will be taken on a journey. Go. Because if you win at this task of uncoupling from your anxious reactions to life, it will be because you have altered your consciousness. No small task! It takes a student’s mind and a willingness to be coached. Fortunately, you will find these authors to be trustworthy and competent guides.

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The Procrastinator's Guide to Getting Things Done

by Monica Ramirez Basco, (178 pages, paperback), New York: Guilford Press, 2010.

Do you hold off to the last minute on those less-than-pleasant tasks? Are you typically off by 50% on your that-won’t-take-long-I’ve-got-time estimates? Think you are a capital-P Procrastinator for life? With this guide you’ll get the quick-and-easy shortcuts around all your excuses.

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The Anti-Anxiety Workbook: Proven Strategies to Overcome Worry, Phobias, Panic, and Obsessions

Martin Antony, Ph.D. & Peter Norton, Ph.D. (262 pages, paperback), New York: Guilford.

If you are going to invest your time and energy in a self-help book, you need to be supported by more than just hope. You deserve to trust the authors as experts with combined decades (not years) of experience. You want to feel confident that the strategies are backed by proven science, and applying them will yield the promised results. This workbook delivers on all that.

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Transforming Anxiety, Transcending Shame

by Rex Briggs, MSW  (Paperback, 280 pages, 1999)  Here is my endorsement appearing on the book's cover: "Rex Briggs has written a very important book.  He makes a clear case that anxiety is not to be demonized but to be learned from and used to enhance our humanity.  Transforming Anxiety, Transcending Shame will be rewarding reading for anyone who believes that self-understanding can lead to self-determination.  If you suffer from anxiety, then this book is for you.  In a direct, perceptive way Mr. Briggs prescribes a more powerful approach to healing than any medication or any specialist’s approach. 

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Healing Fear: New Approaches to Overcoming Anxiety

by Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D. (Hardcover, reprint edition, June 2000)  The author of "The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook" offers proven strategies for battling anxiety, inspired by his struggle with his own obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Overcoming Anxiety: From Short-Term Fixes to Long-Term Recovery

by Reneau Z. Peurifoy, MA (Paperback, 192 pages, 1997)  Reneau is a long-time professional colleague of mine who has a deep commitment to helping those with anxiety.  Here you will learn about the core causes of anxiety, then study a self-help program that will challenge your negative thinking and help you gain control of your daily activities.  Three case examples will illustrate how to succeed.

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Triumph Over Fear: A Book of Help and Hope for People with Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and Phobias

by Jerilyn Ross, MA (Paperback, 1995)  Jerilyn Ross, a long-time colleague and friend, is President & CEO of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.  Ross combines her firsthand account of overcoming her own disabling phobia with inspiring case histories of recovery from other forms of anxiety, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The book includes the latest research on anxiety disorders in children, plus advice for dealing with family members and employers.

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Extinguishing Anxiety: Whole Brain Strategies to Relieve Fear and Stress

by Catherine M. Pittman and Elizabeth Karle, (248 pages, paperback), South Bend, IN: Foliadeux Press, 2009.

This is a casually written and quite readable self-help book that gives the simple neurological underpinnings of anxiety and the fear response.  Most of it revolves around the amygdala, the body’s alarm system: understanding its processes and getting out of its way so it can learn what is truly dangerous and what is no longer a threat

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The 10 Best-ever Anxiety Management Techniques

by Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D. (paperback, 224 pages, 2008)When you suffer from continued anxiety and worry, you feel as though there is something basically wrong with the biochemistry of your brain. Not true. Your brain is the world’s most brilliantly complex machine, and it functions impeccably. The problem is that it can learn in a heartbeat how to protect you from threat; but once it learns, it doesn’t unlearn easily. If you struggle with panic disorder, generalized anxiety or social anxiety, in this book you will find a solid combination to unlock this learning process within the brain, and the good news is: your brain will be an excellent student. Dr. Wehrenberg has done the work to create the right learning environment and to organize your needed tools. If you follow her lead, your body and mind will thank you with the peace and quiet you deserve.

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The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook

by Martha Davis, Ph.D., Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, Ph.D. & Matthew McKay, Ph.D. (Paperback, 276 pages, 5th edition, 2000)
The bible on stress reduction marks its 20th anniversary with this revised and expanded edition featuring a reader-friendly format with additional techniques, diagrams, examples, and information reflecting the latest research. The chapters on meditation, thought stopping, and coping-skills training have been substantially reworked, and a new chapter on worry control has been added.

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The Anxiety Cure: An Eight-Step Program for Getting Well

by Robert L. Dupont, M.D., Elizabeth Dupont Spencer, M.S.W. & Caroline M. Dupont, M.D. (Paperback, 256 pages, 1998)
Dr. Bob Dupont is a long-time friend of mine and founding president of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.  Help from a top author team for the estimated 27 million Americans with anxiety disorders.  This books provides a practical guide featuring a step-by-step, eight-point program for curing the six kinds of anxiety

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Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety

by Robert Gerzon (Paperback, 337 pages, 1998)
In this groundbreaking book, my colleague Robert Gerzon approaches the age-old problems of anxiety, stress, and fear from a new perspective, one that leads to personal and spiritual growth. He dispels the myth that all anxiety is bad and shows that it is a natural--even sacred--part of life. Gerzon brings the surprising message that "learning how to be anxious about the right things in the right way" may actually be our most direct route to serenity. 

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Anxiety and Phobia Workbook

A revision of the best-selling classic, this book provides step-by-step help for sufferers of anxiety and phobic disorders. It offers the latest treatment strategies for the whole range of these problems-panic disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder-with revisions that include updated information on medications, mindfulness training, and health-related conditions that aggravate anxiety.

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