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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 8 February 2012
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! I no longer analyse myself with a very critical inner voice, I no longer feel awful about myself. I wish I had the patience to sit here and write a more eloquent review and to fully communicate the extent to which this has helped me, but i'll just say this;

In the past three years I have felt full of fear of rejection and I have felt so unlovable and devoid of character. Now I actually feel confident, I don't depend on people's love or acceptance, I don't feel anxious at all interacting with other people & I feel like I am getting some of my old spark and character back and that is amazing.

This book revived me.
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on 7 May 2010
This is such a fantastic book. It is as if the author, Gillian Butler, has climbed into my head and can see the world through my, very anxious, eyes. As a sufferer of this terrible damned condition, I needed to find someway of learning what exactly was happening to me. My life went on hold as stress and fear of living everyday life began to take over. I was, in short, running away from anything and everything that made me feel anxious. How can anyone live life in fear of simply going shopping, to work or even for a walk in the park ??? If you have anxiety you will know exaclty how. No cinema trips, holidays, eating out, drinks with friends.... the list goes on and on.

Gillian has a first rate insight into what happens to someone with an anxiety disorder. How we view the world ( it is a distorted and inacurate view at times ), what the causes & triggers are, what we do over and over again that keeps us suffering with anxiety, and believe me, suffer we do. If you only buy one book, this has to be it.

I have read many books on anxiety but this one kept me turning the pages, as the author knows EXACTLY what is happening to the reader, why and most importantly how to be free of this dreadfull, all consuming, condition. If, like me, your life has been on hold, you miss out on so much. Socialy, job opportunities, visiting friends and family and even going on holidays.

Please buy this book, you will NEVER regret it.
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Although this is a competively priced self-help book for social anxiety, I feel that it is really only suitable for those with mild Social Aniety issues. It does give an insight and understanding of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Social Anxiety - In fact at least half of the content of the book is used up on this. It also provides some good basic guidence on techniques and strategies. However, I feel that it is pretty limited and I would recommend that a better investment would be made in purchasing one of the 'Treatments That Work' series workbooks - I have included two links for their workbooks on Anxiety Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic: Workbook (Treatments That Work)or Mastery of Your Anxiety and Worry: Workbook (Treatments That Work).

Although these workbooks are more expensive, they are far more comprehensive and take you through a structured programme of activities (which are also based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques).

On another note, although it is possible to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques as a 'self-help' method, you do need to be prepared to commit time and effort into doing the recording and analysis as it is the reflection on your findings that provides the insight to help change unwanted negative thoughts and behaviour. You may also find it very challenging to be objective in recognising and addressing 'Negative Thoughts and Behaviour' as many who suffer with anxiety are convinced that these are true and rational thoughts and behaviours. You may wish to explore the benefits of consulting with a CBT therapist who will be able to help you to address 'Negative Thoughts and Behaviour' objectively and also guide you through a structured course of therapy.
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on 16 February 2013
I cannot begin to explain how good this book is. Forget all the other anxiety books and just buy this one. I felt that the author had written the book about me and bizarrely I now understand my thoughts and feelings so much more clearly. I now feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I am confident that I will overcome my anxiety. Please buy it if you also suffer with anxiety and you want to free yourself of it!
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on 18 February 2012
I've had social anxiety for 25 years, I've tried loads of things to help. With this book, I am feeling the first real signs of relief. It talks about the problem from many aspects, most of which that happen so quickly I dont' even realise I am doing them. I realize I don't have to know the exact reasons why all this started to get over it because I can work on the behaviours and thoughts that now continue the problem. And I don't have to be giving a speech or be in a meeting to work on it either. Walking down the street or watching tv, there are thinking and behaving patterns that keep me stuck. I'm so glad I got this book.
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on 1 February 2013
This book goes into excessive depth about what Social Anxiety is. Like someone with SA needs a 100 page explanation on what it is, especially with the internet.

It then covers extremely basic psychological principles, again in far more depth than is needed, though it might be useful if your constantly plagued by bad or unhelpful thoughts.

However if you expect some kind of help on how to actually make friends, talk to the opposite sex or get a job (things many people with sa struggle with), this book provides 0 pages on that, and considering these are the greatest issues and challenges that impact on anyone with SA (and I regularly post in a SA board, so I know), I cannot say this book is truly practical, as it may leave the reader no better off than they starts, and thus I cannot give this a higher score.

Their are more to these issues than just the base psychology, practical action is needed, and without advice int hat area this book is woefully incomplete.

Writers of other books about SA should keep this in mind., and I do believe their is an open market for a more complete SA book.
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on 19 February 2014
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 to help yourself to get out of the negative thinking rut that allows the social anxiety to perpetuate.
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on 13 December 2009
I always had a positive experience with Self-help books, specially those titles with reviews. Therefore decided to leave my review on this book.
It is a very good book for those who seek to understand Social Anxiety and shyness. Its language is very simple, to the point. Speaks to me as a person in same effectiveness it speaks to professionals.
To those who seek help: one advise... be patient and read it starting from Page number 1, even introduction... it is written in a way it will built your knowledge, and towards the end there are the exercises.
I would recommend this book to those who need help, for those who help others ... Its an adventure reading it.. and it is a happy one :)
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on 26 March 2014
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 practical advise on how to improve. It's not a magic bullet (what is), but it's certainly helped improve my condition and have recommended it to a friend who is now reading it and getting a lot out of it too.
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on 6 February 2011
This book explains very well how uncomfortable and painful it is to live with social anxiety and shyness. It explains how even an extroverted person can be traped in a bubble they think they can't burst alone, and then shows how to. It is an excellent book if you feel you need help with this problem and can't speak to anyone or feel nobody would understand, this book sets you straight. Best wishes to all who need it.
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