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4.6 out of 5 stars19
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 December 2009
A lot of self-help books are hit or miss because they give you one or two strategies for solving a problem. Not so with this book- that's because its a workbook. This means the book takes a problem, and gives you MANY different strategies and ways of solving it. I'm a big fan of workbooks, simply because there's something for everyone. If you don't like strategy "A", well, then just move on and try strategy "B" or "C". Here's a few more specifics about the book...

-you take a self diagnosis questionnaire to help you identify which anxiety disorder you may be dealing with

-you will learn about the causes of anxiety disorders, including triggers and maintaining causes

-the book proposes a multi-level comperehensive approach that addresses different levels of contributing causes (physical, emotional, behavioral, mental, interpersonal, whole-self, and spiritual

-you can use the weekly practice records to monitor your own program

-the bulk of the book is esentially a bunch of strategies that you can choose from, such as breathing exercises, desensitization, physical exercise (also recommend Exercise Beats Depression for more on that), self-talk, and visualization

As you can see, the book takes a very comprehensive approach to getting the reader better and most are bound to find at least find one or two techniques that will really hit the nail on the head. Five stars easy.
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on 15 March 2007
I have suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks for many years. I was recently referred to the local NHS mental health service who enrolled me on an Anxiety Management course. In the meantime however, I began applying for other jobs and was pleased to be offered 3 interviews.

The flip side of this was the panic attacks and anxiety that I had been suffering from. I really didn't want this to jeapordise the chance of me getting a new job by having a panic attack at the interview, and I still had not heard anything from the NHS about the date of the anxiety management course.

I decided to take the bull by the horns and sort the problem myself. I ordered this book and read it in a week. I put the techniques into place - in particular the breathing exrecises, deep muscle relaxation and exercise - and after just 2 weeks i feel relaxed, in control and confident.

I had an interview this morning and didn't panic, shake or feel nervous - it was wonderful! I owe it all to the advice in this book which talks to the reader in a direct, intelligent manner and is not patronising. Personally I find NHS leaflets on the subject rather patronising and uninformative (cartoons, captions etc!) but this book was amazing.

I highly recommend it to anyone who suffers at any degree of anxiety. It has changed my life.
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VINE VOICEon 5 December 2007
This book is, quite simply, the best single resource for sufferers of anxiety and related problems. The fact it so far enjoys only 5 star reviews on this site, in a subject area that normally produces great variations in opinion, is quite a testament to how well received it has been. It is an excellent reference, a work book to begin or maintain a recovery from debilitating anxiety, an encouragingly and refreshingly pragmatic and realistic appraisal of disorders, treatments and medications and a crutch for those suffering relapses into old, painful habits.

I came to this book thoroughly disillusioned with the genre of self help for those suffering moderate to severe anxiety. Other texts seem to promise much, only to quickly disappoint by reiterating similar messages of just being positive and expelling negative thoughts. But for it being that easy! Bourne's text takes a more comprehensive approach. It fully details the anxiety conditions, and then sets out the methods by which the symptoms and the root condition can be treated and improved.

In doing this he seems to be open minded, rational and encouraging. Rather than dismiss certain forms of treatment, he explains their advantages and disadvantages and acknowledges that different treatments are more effective and more appropriate to different people with different conditions, in varying degrees of seriousness and at differing points in their diagnosis. It is one of the few `self-help' books I have read that suggests for some people medication is the best therapy, and long term exposure to medication may be required, and that this is to be welcomed as a relief from vicious symptoms rather than feared or stigmatised.

The book also fully considers exercise, nutrition, sleep, relaxation techniques, dealing with panic and behavioural patterns. It is a workbook in its approach to cognitive behavioural therapy, overcoming negative self talk, changing mistaken beliefs, visualization, expressing feelings and assertiveness. This allows the reader to be more proactive, and actually put into action the techniques discussed within a progressive and constructive framework. It incorporates a range of step-by-step guidelines, questionnaires, exercises and sheets to be photocopied for use in a programme of CBT.

More than any other resource or individual this book has helped me accept my condition, and treat it as a treatable illness rather than something to be ashamed of or something to endlessly strive to be rid of. Since doing this life has been significantly improved and enjoyed.
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on 7 August 2005
This book is amazing - i have read a lot of books on anxiety and panic, and i can say without doubt this is the best one by far. The author really knows about anxiety and all it's related disorders - and presents a commons sense holistic approach to recovery. He doesn't rely on one area of practise - or emphasise one treatment over others, but presents a comprehensive holistic treatment plan that you can taylor to your own needs - not a one size fits all solution.
Once you understand what type of anxiety disorder you have (it could be more than one - this is perfectly common) what has caused it and what maintains it. You can start to build your own recovery plan - then put it into practise - you can do this on your own, or with a therapist.
Personally i have spent a lot of time with a therapist working on my anxiety - but i'm sure if i had come across this book earlier it would have been uneccesary, all you need is within the book. A great common sense approach to the path of recovery from anxiety - great stuff!
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on 27 February 2007
If you are looking for a very comprehensive book on anxiety and phobias, then this book is for you. I came across this book while looking around in the health library of my employer and I am so glad I did. This book covers just about everything, from learning relaxation techniques to regular exercise, nutrition, cognitive therapy, assertiveness training and much more. In my opinion it is simply the best book ever on this topic, because it covers so much but also because it gives you a lot of exercises to do which helped me to feel I can finally do something to get better. Highly recommendable!
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on 7 January 2009
This is easily the best book I've ever read about anxiety, and I've read a few. It's outstanding. The only problem with it is that it can be quite heavy going - it's a big read. If you want something more accessible you could try Free Yourself from Anxiety by Emma Fletcher and Martha Langley. It's a new book on the same topic that is very easy to follow.
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on 16 January 2007
Basically it is a step by step recovery program. It works on the Physical , emotional and behavioral,

It also has lots of ways and improving your self esteem and self image.

It has a weekly practice chart which includes, relaxation technique, exercise, countering negative self talk, assertive communication, self esteem, etc.

You do these exercises every week and there is a detailed chapter on every exercise you have to do.

The book covers phobias, social phobia, panic disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder,

What I love about this book is that its so detailed! It gives a plan and a list of things to work on everyday. It does involve a lot of commitment,
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on 13 September 2007
Having had panick attacks which led to agoraphobia.
This book has helped me so much. If you have a better understanding of why you get panick attacks and how to deal with them when you get them, it really helps.

It has a lot of self help sections in it which have helped me to combat all my fears. This book is well worth it??
Could save you thousands in therapy. This week I have using the techniques, been in a supermarket unaided,
great book...
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on 17 October 2010
Very thorough book, which takes you step by step through understanding anxiety and phobias and how to overcome them. The information in this book provided me with an invaluable understanding of why and how anxiety occurs, and therefore helped me enormously in overcoming my panic attacks. There is a lot to read which may seem a bit overwhelming, but the book is split into chapters so it is easy to navigate to the sections most relevant for you. I highlighted the really useful bits that appealed to me as I read through the book....this has made it really easy to review the important info whenever i pick up the book again. Definitely recommend this book.
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on 21 April 2006
I fully agree with all the other reviews about this book. It is comprehensive, intelligent, and well-written. As a sufferer of anxiety and phobias, I have been working through this book and have already seen much improvement. It is also useful as a resource for working with a therapist. Only short-coming is that it does not deal directly with my specific phobia (emetophobia) but it does deal with all the more common ones (agoraphobia, social phobias, etc).
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