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Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques Paperback – 27 May 1999

63 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (27 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854877038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854877031
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gillian Butler is a consultant clinical psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society, who practises in the Oxfordshire Mental Healthcare Trust.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy treats emotional disorders by changing negative patterns of thought. Gillian Butler, a consultant clinical psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society, has condensed into this well-written, very readable book effective techniques for overcoming conditions such as panic attacks, depression, anxiety and addictions. Everyone who has ever felt disempowered by their embarrassment or lack of confidence, will benefit from reading this book--understanding your emotions means that it is possible to effectively manage and accept them.

The book is divided into three sections: Part One which explains social anxiety, the role of this fear, its origins and what actually happens when social anxiety strikes; Part Two gives a complete practical guide to overcoming these feelings, changing thinking patterns, reducing self- consciousness and building confidence; Part Three gives some "optional extras" such as explaining the legacy of being bullied and about how to learn to relax.

This book is engrossing and intriguing and a very worthy addition to the bookshelf of those with an interest in human behaviour and social interaction. It will help to treat and defeat very crippling, entrenched problems right through to the usual, mild feelings of discomfort and social shyness experienced by everyone at some time--this book can be recommended for people who want to improve their networking and business interaction skills also. --Alison Jardine

Review

The best consumer-friendly CBT-based books... All are very thorough. (The Observer)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

257 of 263 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 May 2004
Format: Paperback
I've seen this book mentioned many times as a good self-help guide on two online SA communities ([...] and [...]) and on reading it I would recommend it to any SA sufferer. In particular, I think it would be really helpful for someone new to the topic of Social Anxiety, perhaps not sure whether or not they have it, and unclear about how they could use techniques from self-help CBT. There's lots of information here I am familiar with through learning from several web sites, but this book is a real timesaver - it might not have all you need to know about SA, but more than enough to understand your problem and begin to think of possible solutions. The book makes liberal use of lists of key points in bullet-point format, and has many boxes with examples of the terms being discussed, so it's quite understandable too. Rather than just use a jargon term such as "avoidance behaviour" it gives practical examples which you can then see if they apply to you.
For someone new to the subject just being able to recognise "Yes, that's what I've got" can be really helpful. Getting out of denial is the first step to tackling a problem you might have allowed to grow unchecked for years. SA has many signs and symptoms, affecting multiple areas - how you think, how you behave, on your body and emotions. This book helps you understand how these areas are interrelated, how they affect each other, and hence the things that need to be done to tackle the problem.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By peach_candy on 9 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a decent book, one of the most widely recommended that I've seen around.

The description/definition of social anxiety was good, something that I would probably give to someone else to read to help them understand it.

The "cognitive" part of the book (explanations of different types of negative thoughts and finding alternatives for them, the tables you can photocopy to fill in to help you keep a record of your progress, etc.) was extremely helpful, and I've seen a lot of improvement in myself after trying (and, most importantly, *sticking*!) with the methods used there.

The "behavioural" part and the chapters on building self-confidence and reducing self-consciousness however, were a bit weak and felt rushed, they let the book down, IMHO. Those chapters basically amounted to (respectively) "find something to do and try to be good at it", and "focus on other people instead of yourself". Hmm, useful :|

I think those parts of the book could have benefitted with more "user participation" as per the "cognitive" part of the book - related writing exercises or tables to fill in (for me personally, that kind of thing helps focus my mind on the problem in hand - it was odd that the first part of the book had numerous such things and the second part had maybe *one*), and just more specific exercises in general.

Also, as another reviewer has already mentioned, the dry tone of the book may not be for everyone.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jane on 8 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is so helpful. I read it in about a week or so and really cracked on with the exercises, the reanalysis of my thoughts consistently slowly showed me how wrong my thought patterns were. I had some great breakthrough moments where I sat there laughing about how ridiculous my thoughts were. My anxiety lessened through doing these exercises, in conjunction I started writing a list of my positive qualities and seeking evidence for them in social interactions, which really helped my self esteem. I also realized that my inhibition and self-monitoring which was killing me, was so easy to overcome, you simply SAY whatever is in your head.

You have to do these exercises. They can feel hard to work through, I found them hard work especially when starting out, but the effort worked, it meant I was fixing things. This does involve exposing yourself, which was a little hard but it got much much easier by working on my thought patterns. Also the more I put myself out there (which this book enables you to do) the less I felt anxious, now I feel confident, so it does involve confronting your fear but the thought exercises enable you to deal with that until your anxiety has died away considerably, if not totally.

So many years I have spent thinking I am boring, soulless, a shell, with no spark, no zest no character. I have been inhibited, afraid to be myself. Anxious to talk to people, shied away from life. This has been the first thing in 3 years that has helped me get over that, to be more myself again, after having severe depression. It's taken away so much fear, so much insecurity and it did so in about a month. I still have some issues with low level depression, which I have realized, but this has helped me so greatly!
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147 of 156 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book a really helpful read after many years,from being five years old, feeling like a bit of an outcast in certain situations, and analysing every conversation and meeting for my own blunders. It's an easy book to skim through picking up interesting and reassuring chapters, and makes you realise how common it is to feel uneasy, weird and full of self doubt, and that really even people who appear confident may be going through the same traumas.
The book is helping me to reassure myself in "trying" situations and as my teenage son seems to have inherited some of my self doubt, despite being popular, it's giving me useful advice to give him when he needs it.
The book covers many aspects of shyness/lack of self esteem and would be helpful to any degree of self doubt. I'm really glad I bought it!
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