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The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook

A practical and thorough guide that offers help to anyone who has struggled with panic attacks, social fears or other anxiety, The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook (2005) may change your life. You’ll learn from author Edmund J. Bourne, PhD to understand your anxiety disorder, and use step-by-step guidelines and exercises to help you learn new skills for recovery.

Not a one-size-fits-all approach, the book shows you how to create a treatment program that works for you. You can use the workbook on your own or with a therapist. The book teaches you how to identify and express your feelings, rid yourself of negative self-talk and improve self-esteem.

Anxiety can cause physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, sweating or queasiness. It can keep you from dealing with everyday life situations. Your fear and uneasiness may cause you to isolate yourself from social activities. The book is useful to anyone dealing with general anxiety as well as those dealing with specific anxiety, such as a fear of public speaking

Anxiety is physical, emotional and behavioral and also has mental, interpersonal, self-esteem and spiritual levels, says Bourne. An effective recovery program, he says, must address them all. Here are some of the strategies you’ll learn from the Anxiety & Phobia Workbook:

Physical:

  • Practicing techniques for breathing, relaxing muscles and feeling calmer.
  • Using exercise to reduce muscle tension and stress.

Emotional:

  • Developing ways of identifying what you’re feeling
  • Expressing those feelings and communicating them.

Behavioral

  • Visualizing to confront your fear
  • Using a variety of methods to minimize panic

In one example in the book, a man was having trouble attending meetings because he was afraid his boss and coworkers would look upon him critically. From the book, he learned to use “imagery” to visualize himself sitting in a group for 15 minutes and working toward a goal of visualizing himself giving a five-minute presentation by going through the steps in his imagination. With each step, his anxiety began to decrease. If he became more anxious, he would “switch off” the scene and retreat in his mind to a peaceful and relaxing scene.

He also arranged with his boss to attend only small and short meetings, progressing to larger and longer meetings. While he still felt anxious, he learned to cope with anxiety by using the methods in the book, such as breathing techniques and affirmations, such as “As soon as I get started, I’ll be fine.”

The book covers various types of anxiety in depth. Self-help topics include assertiveness, self –esteem, nutrition, meditation and imagery.

Edmund J. Bourne, PhD has specialized in the treatment of anxiety disorders for twenty years.  The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook is now in its fourth edition.

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