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on 6 July 2011
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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on 17 August 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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on 29 July 2010
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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on 13 September 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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on 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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on 21 September 2013
I really liked the simplicity and approach of this book.
Although if you are in a highly anxious/agitated state, the book i would first and foremost refer you to is 'Complete Self-Help for your Nerves' by Claire Weekes - it really is the bible for anxiety sufferers!
This would be a good follow-up book for later on ...
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on 3 July 2012
This book is fantastic. I'm already on my second, and probably going to have to order a third having lent both out, with no sign of these returning any time soon
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on 11 May 2015
a lot of what we already "KNOW" redefined,another title could be Reality and perspective.This approach to anxiety is another tool to help find a way of dealing with anxiety and lessening its impact on us.Professional help may be required to do full justice to this work.
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on 6 January 2014
A great book, well written and really shines a light into the dark recesses of anxiety. Simple, easily accessible exercises demonstrate the points raised throughout. Thank you
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on 17 November 2014
Really great book for the general public and those who are trying to learn about ACT professionally
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