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on 2 December 2012
Therapists will probably find it useful,as the book contains plenty of good, solid and sensible suggestions for therapy approaches. But mixed in with this helpful advice are some rather odd passages and views. Part of the problem is that its definition of "avoidant personality disorder" is far too wide. I wish the book would focus on the "average avoidant", i.e. the person with low self-esteem, generalized social anxiety and poor social skills who has serious problems forming close relationships, but who is otherwise a nice, "normal" person and cooperative.

There is unfortunately an overemphasis on types of people most of the above category of "average" avoidants can't relate to, e.g. people that are able to form relationships, but are "avoidant as partners" (the subject of e.g. the chapter on sexual avoidance) or people who also suffer from serious conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder or paranoia, very disturbed people that are uncooperative, extremely rigid and unpleasant, and people that actively pursue their isolated lifestyle as a philosophy.

Some serious editing would be needed to better unveil the book's potential and good points, currently regrettably overshadowed by a too hazy focus, too wide scope and the dubious views and passages scattered throughout.

The last chapter is an attempt to speak directly to sufferers, and offers some help and sound advice.

But, all in all, this book is, sadly, unsuitable as a self-help book for sufferers of avoidant personality disorder. Instead try Fennell's Overcoming Low Self-Esteem workbooks, Butler's Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness workbooks, Young and Klosko's Reinventing Your Life and Goleman's Emotional Intelligence, in combination.
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on 15 April 2011
I deeply regret purchasing this book and would not recommend it to anybody wishing to learn about Avoidant personality disorder, especially if they are seeking assistance with their own mental health issues. The tone is overwhelmingly negative and I felt that the author presents those he calls "avoidants" as malign and perverse individuals who cause as much (if not more) harm to others through their behaviour than to themselves. I was astonished to find the author including an extract from a reader's unfavourable review of his work in order to be able to refute it and his sensivity to critcism appears a few times in the text. I found no beneficial advice in this volume at all, the focus is on patients who seek or are in relationships and the author's main goal seems to be to highlight behaviour that he classifies as sabotaging committment. This is of no relevance to AvPD "patients" who are not concerned with these issues or who are at different stages in their lives. I could go on about features of this text which I found distasteful, the multiple case examples did not seem to serve any purpose other than to list negative behaviours on the part of the subjects. I took great offence at the recommendations in Chapter 20 regarding the types of professions the author would recommend to people with AvPD. Overall, I have no idea who this book is aimed at, the tone of the writing comes across as hostile and the reader concerned about AvPD will neither gain clarity nor feel in any way understood or supported.
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on 17 April 2011
I couldn't disagree more with that negative review. What book was she reading?! Dr. Kantor's book thoroughly describes Avoidant Personality Disorder, goes into its causes, and outlines the various therapeutic approaches currently in use for helping overcome it. Numerous case histories fruitfully unveil the essence of this serious and widespread problem, distinguish it from Social Phobia, and illustrate real-life examples of how individuals triumphed over their relational anxiety and commitment fears through therapy and self-help approaches. There is much new material including an original and excellent chapter on sexual avoidance and a day by day/monthly guide for coping that can help avoidants reduce their anxiety and start down the road to emerging from their isolation. I have read mostly all of Dr Kantor's books and they never fail to inspire me. He is a gifted writer, and a true genius-- the combination of which, makes this book accessible, informative,and a joy to read.
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