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Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques [Paperback]

Gillian Butler
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 May 1999

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness is a self-help manual for this common problem, which explains why it happens and sets out practical methods of resolving it. Everyone sometimes feels foolish, embarrassed, judged or criticised, but this becomes a problem when it undermines their confidence and prevents them doing what they want to do.

This easy-to-use guide, full of real life examples, is for those who suffer from all degrees of social anxiety and shyness, for their families and friends, and for the professionals who help them: psychologists, doctors and others.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (27 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854877038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854877031
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 256,055 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


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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
245 of 249 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great place to start learning about SA 3 May 2004
By A Customer
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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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One half of a good book 9 Dec 2008
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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142 of 148 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps I'm not weird after all!!! 24 Nov 2002
By A Customer
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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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should have this book 30 Mar 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you have any doubts about yourself at all or any of the symptons described on [...] then you should definitely buy this book.
Through a series of events in my life I began to shut myself of from the world without realising it and everytime I'd get asked to go to a social gathering of any kind I'd be struck by fear and anxiety. I'm not even the whole way through the book yet but already it has been a massive help, confirming and helping realise what my behaving is doing and showing me how to fix myself.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Gillian Butler's book shows considerable insight into what it feels like to suffer from Social Phobia. The book is split into three sections, covering:
The definition and causes of Social Phobia;
Practical methods to overcome the problem, (including numerous examples); and
Other useful information on subjects such as relaxation, and the long-term effects of bullying.
This very practical guide has helped me considerably with my own Social Phobia, and I would highly reccomend it to other sufferers.
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101 of 108 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work for me... 17 Jan 2008
I had high hopes for this book after reading the glowing reviews on here, but it didn't live up to my expectations. It is very good at describing what it's like to suffer social anxiety and I found myself thinking 'that's me, I feel like that' as I read. However I couldn't get to grips with the solutions suggested e.g. if you are feeling self conscious, you can solve it by deciding not to. It takes a look on the bright side approach and suggests you think about the flip side of situations e.g. everyone's looking at me versus actually, noone is looking at you. The author also states 'being bullied can have lasting effects' and I found myself thinking 'yes, I know that thanks, but what can I do about it?'. This book was good at describing how it feels to be socially anxious but didn't help me overcome the horrible stomach churning tension and desire to run away from such encounters, nor the constant worrying and reflecting that goes with having social anxiety.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Throughout the book the chapters are summarised for easy access to the...
A very informative book which helps you to understand social anxiety. Throughout the book the chapters are summarised for easy access to the main points and there are helpful tips!
Published 1 month ago by Laura Stammers
4.0 out of 5 stars worth a look
a lot of reading required before getting any answers. Haven't finished reading it yet, but hopefully it will be of some help.
Published 4 months ago by glenys williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful.
Easy to read and informative. Practical advice that you can use in real life situations to help manage those stressful situations.
Published 5 months ago by Helen Davey
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
I chose this book because it was recommended to me by work colleagues for someone special. It has not yet been read.
Published 6 months ago by Sonya Levene
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
If you have any form of SA then this is the book you should start with. I have real problems communicating in meetings and giving my opinions due to SA and this book gives... Read more
Published 6 months ago by BZA
4.0 out of 5 stars overcoming social anxiety and shyness
I have read a lot of self help books (I am very intersted in psychology) and I would rate this one as easy to understand, not too weighty and technical and full of ways and means... Read more
Published 7 months ago by emily
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
This book is really good and helpful for people with social phobia. But I would even more recommend the 3-part self-help course based on the same contents.
Published 10 months ago by Allie
5.0 out of 5 stars very nice book
Whoever complete the worksheets provided in this book will become a new person.
Full of cinfidence.more happier then before.
Great book
Published 12 months ago by thetahirbashir
5.0 out of 5 stars bought for a friend
bought for a friend with social problems. I haven't read it but understand it is useful, but needs a good deal of committment
Published 13 months ago by P. Sowman
4.0 out of 5 stars Love This Book
I'd never bothered purchasing a self-help book before, imagining they're all full of wishy-washy nonsense like "believe in yourself and you will succeed" and all that jazz, but... Read more
Published 15 months ago by emilythecat
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