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Self-Help Books / Social anxieties

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Shyness: A Bold New Approach

Bernardo Carducci, Ph.D. (384 pages, paperback), New York: Quill, 2002.

Shyness is a common human experience, not a disorder, frailty or character flaw. In fact, 20 percent of Rhesus monkeys (whose brain structures are closest to human) are behaviorally inhibited (shy), both in captivity and in the wild. The trait is so genetically predetermined that we can breed shy monkeys. And if we give those infants to a dominant mother, she will nurture them right out of their inhibitions so that a few years later they act just like the average adolescent. Conclusion: you can be shy and still perform successfully out there in the world. Dr. Carducci honors and respects those with shy traits and simultaneously shares the key moves to strengthen self-acceptance and build social skills. He exquisitely recognizes the narcissistic paradox: when you become preoccupied with critically observing your own behavior, you become more anxious, and then tend to botch the social encounter. He teaches the reader, among other things, how to transfer attention off the self and toward the other, thus giving a more realistic sense of the social encounter.

This is a wonderful guide that tracks and assists through all stages of the lifecycle, from pre-school through adulthood, and steers among the major settings of life, from intimacy to the workplace.


The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook: Proven Techniques for Overcoming Your Fears

by Martin M. Antony, Ph.D. & Richard P. Swinson, M.D., (Paperback, 216 pages,  2000)  This is a just-released step-by-step guide to overcoming fear of social interaction.  It provides a comprehensive overview and includes behavioral skill-building exercises that have been proven effective in most cases.


Social Phobia: From Shyness to Stage Fright

by John R. Marshall, MD  (Paperback, 240 pages, 1995)  Long neglected by psychologists, social phobia has now been dubbed the "disorder of the decade". This important book, with its moving case histories, proves that this cruel condition need not doom a person to a life sentence of loneliness and despair.


The Hidden Face of Shyness: Understanding & Overcoming Social Anxiety

by Franklin Schneier, M.D. & Lawrence Welkowitz, Ph.D. (Paperback, 271 pages, 1996)  This illuminating book sheds light on all forms of social and performance anxiety. Using dozens of vivid case studies, the authors discuss the sources of anxiety, both common and rare variants, and describe treatment, from state-of-the-art medication to psychotherapy to methods readers can do themselves.

Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety & Phobia

by Barbara G. Markway, Ph.D., Cheryl N. Carmin, Ph.D., C. Alec Pollard, Ph.D., & Teresa Flynn, Ph.D.  (Paperback, 199 pages, 1995)  Dr. Pollard is a long-time colleague and friend.  The entire team of writers have great expertise in these subject.  This book provides clear and supportive instruction for assessing your fears, practicing relaxation and deep breathing, and improving or developing new social skills.  Get this book for a step-by-step program to handle your anxieties.


Overcoming Shyness and Social Phobia: A Step-By-Step Guide

by Ronald M. Rapee (Paperback, 120 pages, 1998)  Considering that social anxiety disorder is the third most common mental health disorder (after depression and alcoholism), Dr. Rapee's book is a must for every clinician's library as well as an invaluable resource for those suffering from social anxieties.  Readers can work systematically through the nine lessons to conquer social fears on their own or they can use the book in conjunction with ongoing therapy.


In the SpotLight: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing

by Janet Esposito, MSW. (Paperback, 176 pages, 2000)  Janet Esposito really demonstrates her expertise in the area of overcoming performance anxiety in her book, In The SpotLight.  The reader immediately becomes aware that Janet “gets it” on a personal level, having suffered the problem herself at one time.

Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties

by Jonathan Berent, ACSW with Amy Lemley  (Paperback, 1994)  A leading psychotherapist explains how to conquer the entire range of social anxieties, and demonstrates how anyone of any age can set specific goals that work toward the development of lasting self-esteem -- the core of healthy social interaction.