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Face Your Fears: A Proven Plan to Beat Anxiety, Panic, Phobias, and Obsessions Hardcover – January 1, 2012
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From the Inside Flap
Everyone experiences fear and anxiety, but when fear begins to dominate your life, it can be devastating. You don't have to live that way. Whether you suffer from moderate anxiety or debilitating fear, a specific phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or any other form of anxiety, Face Your Fears will change the way you think about fear and what to do about it.
This up-to-date, evidence-based, user-friendly self-help guide to beating phobias and overcoming anxieties walks you step by step through the process of choosing courage and freedom over fear. In Face Your Fears, celebrated therapist Dr. David Tolin introduces a highly effective and scientifically proven treatment called exposure therapy, in which you gradually confront your fears. Drawing on moving stories from the hundreds of patients he has treated successfully, Dr. Tolin defines the six different types of anxiety and helps you determine which type you need to overcome. He guides you step by step through the gradual exposure process as you learn how to eliminate crutches and safety behaviors, address scary thoughts, and examine the evidence. You'll learn how to track your progress and you'll feel yourself taking back control of your life one exposure at a time.
With Dr. Tolin's gentle, confident guidance, you will learn to face and beat:
Fears of specific situations or objects (such as animals, heights, and blood)
Fears of body sensations (including panic attacks and health anxieties)
Social and performance fears (fears of social interaction, public speaking, and asserting yourself)
Obsessive fears (including fears of contamination and imperfection as well as scary thoughts)
Excessive worries (such as worrying about everything and intolerance of uncertainty)
Post-traumatic fears (fears of trauma-related situations and painful memories)
Once you feel better, Dr. Tolin helps you maintain your newfound freedom for years to come. By understanding and preparing for circumstances that might cause your fear to return, you can take practical steps to prevent it from coming back and to overcome it quickly if it does.
You know what it feels like to live in fear. Now it's time to rediscover what life feels like without it. Face Your Fears delivers the no-nonsense, scientifically proven tools you need to take control of your life and your future. Dr. Tolin walks you step by step through the process of choosing courage and freedom over fear.
From the Back Cover
Self-Help Book of Merit Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
"An expert in anxiety disorders, Dr. Tolin has drawn on his extensive scientific knowledge, clinical wisdom, and experience to make the most effective treatment for fear and anxiety accessible in this terrific user-friendly self-help book. If you suffer from problems with panic, anxiety, or phobias, look no furtherthis is the book for you. Use it on your own or work through it with a therapist. You can beat anxiety and fear by facing your fears."Jonathan S. Abramowitz, Ph.D., author of Getting Over OCD; Professor and Associate Chair of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
"Exposure therapy really works for people with anxiety. Dr. David Tolin explains why it works but more importantly, he shows how to make it work for you in this clear, step-by-step guide to facing your fears so you can get better from anxiety." Elizabeth DuPont Spencer, LCSW-C, and Caroline DuPont, M.D., coauthors of The Anxiety Cure and The Anxiety Cure for Kids: A Guide for Parents
"Filled with powerful, clear, and evidence-based strategies to alleviate fear and enhance life satisfaction, this book will change lives."Lizabeth Roemer, Ph.D., coauthor of The Mindful Way through Anxiety, Professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Boston
"Dr. David Tolin is a master at helping people understand why they are afraid and helping them overcome the problem. This easy-to-read guide blends compelling personal stories with up-to-date methods for assessing fears and obsessions, understanding them, and fixing the problem at its source."Gail Steketee, Ph.D., author of Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, Dean and Professor, Boston University School of Social Work
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Let me just start off by saying that I have had many fears, or specific phobias, since my childhood. My fear of elevators is on top of the list. I completely avoid trains, and planes. I almost dropped out of school because of public speaking, and my fear of hospitals could potentially limit my choice of jobs based on the degree that I am working for. So it's safe to say that fear has strongly impacted my life. I mostly avoided my fears, until I had an incident in a hotel where the only available room was on the 16th floor. The hotel staff looked at me like I was crazy as I trudged up 16 flights of stairs in the stuffy, hot stairwell, triggering a panic attack, and leaving my gasping for air as I reached the top. I knew at this point that I needed to make changes. My therapist had been trying to help me through these fears for years through exposure therapy, and I avoided it for years, saying that there were other things I wanted to focus on first, and that I wasn't ready. After this incident, I returned, begging her for an alternative, but she said the best way to get over my fears was to face them and work through them. I was frustrated and unhopeful. Didn't anyone understand that my fears were SO severe that I COULDN'T face them? Well, then I found this book.
Face Your Fears is a guided book that talks about anxiety, fears, and obsessions. It offers a comprehensive plan for exposure therapy, and explains that both flooding (facing your biggest fear all at once) and graded exposure (a more gradual approach) are effective, but to choose which is right for you. Naturally, I felt that if anything was going to work, it would be graded exposure. The book gives reasons for different fears and encourages the reader to find their triggers, and the reason that they have the fears that they do. I had a mix of different reasons for fears, but all of them make sense. Dr. Tolin strongly encourages consulting with your therapist, if you have one, to work through the plan that he details. In a nutshell, to take a graded exposure approach, you choose a minimal task related to your fear, and gradually work your way up. For example, for me even being near an elevator would cause my heart to race, so first I would look for video clips involving people in elevators, such as the ones in the movie 'Elf' where the elevator did not malfunction, and simply watch the process. Once I did that, I would repeat it until I felt no fear at all, and then I would move onto my next step. I would go close to one, look inside, and maybe push the button on the outside. I again would repeat this until completely comfortable, before moving onto the next step, maybe stepping inside an elevator or even going on one but only for one floor. Eventually I would repeat until I felt comfortable taking an elevator to the highest floor possible. The process can be long, but if you are experiencing debilitating fear that is limiting your life, it is worth it. I have been working on this plan with my fear of hospitals and trains, and plan to use it until all of my specific fears are diminished to the point.
Dr. Tolin is a gifted psychologist and clearly has a great grasp on the ways of anxiety, phobias and obsessions. However, I also found him to be a wonderful writer. This book was written in a way that was easy to read, and interesting, even in the early chapters where the content was centered mostly around the science and biology related to anxiety disorders. The language was relaxed, and made me feel comfortable. Everything that was said made sense to me, and made me aware of the importance of exposure therapy, and how you really can take it at your own pace. My therapist is wonderful and had told me much of that before, but perhaps I had to see it in a written, comprehensive form in order to understand.
In short, this book can be life changing if you use it correctly, and I would recommend seeing a therapist, if possible, to help guide you. Thank you Dr. Tolin, for this life changing book!
Love the book and very worth reading.
The book is easy to read and follow, interesting, and has up-to-date information on the latest studies on anxiety disorders treatment. there is a lot of real examples of real phobic patients and how and what they did to recover so you are not feel alone, in addition to the supporting and encouraging write styling of the author that bring comfort.
one interesting principal outlined in this book is the emphasis on going "beyond normal" or what most people do for best results. but my question is do you need to continue doing above normal exposures in the long run or it is just a temporary?