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Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated from Anxiety(Deckle Edge) [Paperback]

Kelly G. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 May 2010
Whether it manifests itself as worry, fear, rumination, obsession, compulsion, or shyness, anxiety is everywhere, and it causes no end of trouble for just about all of us. But at its core, anxiety serves an important purpose: to neutralize uncomfortable ambiguities. This book begins with a whirlwind tour of anxiety: what causes it, what we think about it, and what it might look like. Then the book looks at some of the approaches to treating anxiety and poses an intriguing question: What if you don't need to get rid of anxiety in order to live a terrific life? Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong approaches this breakaway hypothesis through the mechanisms of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and presents a series of thinking points and short games readers can do to easily and effectively begin to incorporate ACT techniques into their lives. This book is not a full-scale self-help approach for someone with serious anxiety problems, but an easy way for readers who have wrestled with worry, fear, and shyness to put those feelings into perspective and focus instead on what they want to do in life. This book will help readers foster the flexibility they need to keep from succumbing to the avoidant forces of anxiety and open themselves to the often uncomfortable complexities and possibilities of life.

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Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated from Anxiety(Deckle Edge) + The Happiness Trap (Based on ACT: A revolutionary mindfulness-based programme for overcoming stress, anxiety and depression) + The Confidence Gap
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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger (7 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572247118
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572247116
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description

About the Author

Kelly G. Wilson, Ph.D., is associate professor of psychology at the University of Mississippi. He is a central figure in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and was one of the authors of the landmark "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" (Guilford Press, first edition 1999, second edition 2009). Wilson is among the most sought-after ACT trainers. His popular experiential workshops touch thousands of clinicians and students each year. www.onelifellc.comTroy DuFrene is a writer specializing in psychology. He is coauthor of Coping with OCD and Mindfulness for Two. He lives and works in Oakland, CA. Visit him at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anxiety Management, forty years later! 6 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In 1967 I bought How To Stop Worrying And Start Living (Personal development) as it seemed to be the best(maybe the only!) book on anxiety available at the time. And more than 40 years later I've now purchased Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong ('Things'), and what an interesting contrast.

Whereas the earlier book sought to change your behaviour and your thoughts directly - not as easy as it sounds, 'Things' is based on the new ACT approach of developing 'psychological flexibility' ... which enables you to handle mental events (thoughts, emotions and sensations) as they arise. This approach (which itself draws heavily on mindfulness) is a fundamental departure from much (most?) of the self help material on offer today. At its core, 'Things' teaches you NOT TO TRY AND CHANGE your thoughts etc. but to 'STEP BACK' from your swirl of mental events through AWARENESS. And in doing so you bring 'psychological flexibility' to bear on these events - allowing you to either choose to immerse yourself in them or to 'defuse' and just let them arise and fade as most will do naturally.

Maybe I've made it sound a little complicated but the book is wonderfully written and the material easy to read and practice. The authors, Wilson and Dufrene, have an uncanny knack of sensing what you might be feeling as you dip into the book, and tailoring their message accordingly with simple insightful and encouraging comments and gentle humour; and even the occasional piece of poetry seems to further illuminate their message.

So, for me this is probably the best book around today on helping to manage anxiety. And even the absence of an index (an unnecessary irritation!) cannot prevent me giving it five stars.

Many thanks to Wilson and Dufrene for this gem of a book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy and interesting journey into ACT 13 Sep 2010
In his own, particular style Kelly describes the journey through the ineffable mysteries of life and the 'bits' of it we don't want. As always the writing is eminently readable without trivialising a very serious subject. An excellent introduction to ACT concepts and a truly helpful self-help tool.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done, Dr Wilson! 29 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wanted to write a review that didn't have the words "terribly horribly" in the title. That actually went rather well. But things as a rule, will - not may - go terribly, horribly wrong. There is no such life as one totally bereft of any kind of pain or strife. Anxiety and the unwillingness to face it is a human given.

The thing with "Things" is that it invites us as readers to find if there can be a life, a meaningful, vital life and a life that we can find when we explore our uncomfortable emotions. "What if?" it seems to whisper. It's scary... I mean things might go really wrong even on that path. And yet. What if we walk it? And that is the other part of this book, it's gotta be walked. So pick it up, walk it and see what might happen besides things going wrong.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Things...' 28 July 2010
`Things Might Go Terribly Horribly Wrong' is an eminently accessible introduction to the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach as applied to anxiety. Its one of my personal favourites of the ACT self help genre as the exercises are innovative and the language is user friendly enough to allow anyone to engage easily with both the theory and the practice. A great job by one of the best ACT therapists around.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 17 Aug 2010
'Things' is the type of book that I would give my mother to read, not because she has issues with anxiety but because, if she ever wants to learn exactly what it is that ACT is all about, then this is the book to do it.

I read it in three days whilst on holidays in Egypt, if found it to be clear, concise and utterly accessible. It was interesting, funny and easy to read. Indeed as it is written in a way that is easy to understand, It enables me to use the principles of ACT on an everyday basis, not only with those around me, but also with myself.

For anyone who is interested in ACT, you must read this book. However I'd also encourage anyone who is interested in the area of human suffering as a whole to give it a go; it might just give you some new tools to use in the everyday challenges that yourself and those around you face.
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