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The Anxiety First Aid Kit: Quick Tools for Extreme, Uncertain Times Paperback – August 1, 2020
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About the Author
Rick Hanson, PhD, is a psychologist, meditation teacher, and the author of Buddha's Brain. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, he cofounded the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and edits the Wise Brain Bulletin. He and his wife have two children.
Matthew McKay, PhD, is a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He has authored and coauthored numerous books, including Self-Esteem, The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Thoughts and Feelings, and ACT on Life Not on Anger. His books combined have sold more than four million copies. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and specializes in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety and depression.
Martha Davis, PhD, was a psychologist in the department of psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Clara, CA, where she practiced individual, couples, and group psychotherapy for more than thirty years prior to her retirement. She is coauthor of Thoughts and Feelings.
Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, MSW, worked for the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Program for thirty-seven years. During her tenure, she was a clinical social worker, hospice director, researcher, health educator, and management development instructor and coach. She is retired and lives in Northern California.
Martin N. Seif, PhD, is cofounder of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), and was a member of its board of directors from 1977 through 1991. Seif is former associate director of the Anxiety and Phobia Treatment Center at White Plains Hospital, a faculty member of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and is board certified in cognitive behavioral psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology. He maintains a private practice in New York, NY; and Greenwich, CT; and is coauthor of What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders and OvercomingUnwanted Intrusive Thoughts.
Sally M. Winston, PsyD, is founder and codirector the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland in Towson, MD. She served as the first chair of the ADAA’s Clinical Advisory Board, and received their prestigious Jerilyn Ross Clinician Advocate Award. She is a master clinician who has given sought-after workshops for therapists for decades. She is coauthor of What Every Therapist Needs to Know AboutAnxiety Disorders and Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts.
David A. Carbonell, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety in all its forms. He is author of Panic Attacks Workbook, The Worry Trick, and Fear of Flying Workbook. He is a “coach” on the popular self-help site www.anxietycoach.com, and has taught workshops on the treatment of anxiety disorders to more than 9,000 professional psychotherapists in the US and abroad. He is a long-standing member of the ADAA, and a frequent presenter at their annual conferences. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from DePaul University in 1985, and has maintained a practice devoted to the treatment of anxiety disorders since 1990. He lives in Chicago, IL, with his wife and a pair of rescue dogs. In his spare time, he is a founding member of The Therapy Players, an improvisational comedy troupe of professional psychotherapists that performs at clubs, theaters, and mental health conferences throughout the Chicago area.
Elizabeth M. Karle, MLIS, is collection management supervisor at the Cushwa-Leighton Library at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. In addition to supplying research for this book, she has personal experience with anxiety disorders—providing a firsthand perspective that focuses the book on what is most useful for the anxiety sufferer. Originally from Illinois, she currently resides in South Bend, IN, and holds degrees or certificates from the University of Notre Dame, Roosevelt University, and Dominican University. She is author of Hosting a Library Mystery.
Catherine M. Pittman, PhD, is associate professor at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN. As a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in South Bend, IN, she specializes in the treatment of brain injuries and anxiety disorders. She is a member of the ADAA, and provides workshops and seminars on the topics of anxiety and stress.
- Item Weight : 6.3 ounces
- Paperback : 128 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1684038480
- Product dimensions : 6 x 0.26 x 9 inches
- Publisher : New Harbinger Publications (August 1, 2020)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #37,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I really enjoyed this little book and while it can't replace things like professional therapy or prescribed medication, it's a great supplement with a variety of techniques that you can try in the moment and on your own time. I would say it's more like a toolbox than a first aid kit, since out of the 40 suggestions, only 10 are meant for immediately dealing with anxiety in the moment and trying to find calm. The next section is about working on worry and anxiety from a step away, and ways to distance yourself from anxious thoughts. The third section is on deep relaxation achieved through things like hypnosis, and the fourth section is on structural life changes that will help, like better sleep and moving your body with exercise.
I appreciate the very straightforward nature of this book. It's laid out very simply, with each suggestion numbered 1-40, and each section divided into "What to Know" - a little bit of background, ranging from the biology of the fight or flight response to the history of hypnosis - and "What to Do" - action steps to carry out the technique.
Some of these techniques are familiar, especially in the first two section - deep breathing, mindfulness, setting a "worry appointment" where you tell yourself to address at a later time - while others were new and interesting. The word "hypnosis" makes me nervous (I blame Office Space), but I appreciated how they framed it as something like daydreaming. And while there are some elements like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and trying to approach the problem logically, there are suggestions that go the opposite way and talk about repeating your most intense, outlandish thought dozens of times until it loses its meaning. This wide variety of approaches means that I'm confident that I'll be able to experiment and find some approaches that work best for me.
The real test is whether I'll pick this book up in the moment and find something, vs this current cover-to-cover read with the intention to review. We shall see! On that note, I appreciate that the authors suggest taking the paperback and putting it somewhere like a coffee table, where it's easy to pick it up when needed. Again, this cannot replace professional help but I hope it can assist people in its intended use in providing some ideas to explore on your own.
The book states that it is a "mental health toolkit" and will give the reader a "welcome respite from panic and worry," so a person can focus on the here and now.
I liked the discussion about taking your worries for a walk. It discusses how our worrisome thoughts demand attention and how trying to get rid of those thoughts directly tends to make them more persistent. The solution provided is to go out doing our everyday things and engage in the world, which tends to direct our energy and attention outside rather than inward in our heads.
The other technique I found useful was the Tic Tac challenge. It suggests whenever you have a "what if" thought such as what if something bad happens, the challenge is to remove on Tic Tac and this allows you to keep track of the number of times you experience a "what if" thought that pulls you out of the present moment and has you spinning about catastrophic possibilities that may not happen. It's a great visual to see how many times a person may have thoughts that stop them from living in the here and now.
Overall, a useful book to have on your shelf, and it's a quick and easy read that provides practical tips and tricks to help with anxiety.
Interesting First Aid kit for those that suffer from chronic anxiety. The guide provides exercises and ideas on how to cope with excessive worrying and fear laced thoughts. It provides lots of breathing exercises and ways to get around anxious feelings. I found it very helpful and will try many on a daily basis.
Many thanks to New Harbinger Publications and NetGalley for the advance copy.