The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Workbook Edition
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The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety combines the accumulated wisdom of the ages with up-to-date, cutting-edge developments in scientific psychology. In an easy-to-read and fun format, those suffering from anxiety in all of its guises will find the keys to breaking loose from its shackles. By emphasizing acceptance of toxic emotions (and illustrating ways to accomplish this), rather than struggling to overcome them, the person inside you may finally emerge to set your life on a new, productive, and valued course. Highly recommended for all those struggling with worry, anxiety, and fear.
—David H. Barlow, PhD, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Boston University and author of Anxiety and Its Disorders
Ably surfing the dual currents of traditional exposure and acceptance-based treatments for anxiety, the authors of this resourceful workbook illustrate the synergies to be found in their combination. Carefully structured charts and patient assignments support the core message that taking action to face one’s fears is most effective if acceptance informs our starting point and values determine our destination. This book is a "must-read" for anyone encountering anxiety as a barrier to leading a fuller life.
—Zindel Segal, PhD, Morgan Firestone Chair in Psychotherapy, head of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Unit at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, all at the University of Toronto, and author of The Mindful Way Through Depression
If you suffer with anxiety, Forsyth and Eifert have given you a gift. It is not a structured manual for how to get over your anxiety as much as it is a book of wisdom. They raise the inevitable truth that anxiety is a part of all of us, and they show us the way, through willingness, compassion, mindfulness, and acceptance of ourselves and others, to live a life worth the living, to understand our important values and to live in concert with them. This is a book well worth the reading, and its message is worth keeping close to your heart.
—Richard G. Heimberg, PhD, professor of psychology and director of the Adult Anxiety Clinic of Temple University
Steeped in the rich tradition of psychological theory, The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety by Forsyth and Eifert represents a major advance for the practical treatment of anxiety and related conditions. This book will assist clinicians and patients in constructing a treatment plan that insures progress in overcoming the many obstacles associated with conquering fears. A major contribution to clinical care, this workbook will contribute to the growing knowledge base on acceptance and commitment therapy, joining other evidence-based approaches as a major tool for treating the disabling symptoms that accompany anxiety.
—Terence M. Keane, PhD, chief of psychology service at the VA Boston Healthcare System, director of the Behavioral Science Division of the National Center for PTSD, and professor and vice-chair for research of the Division of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine
In this impressive workbook, Forsyth and Eifert show how giving up your attempts to control anxiety and fear will help you to leave your anxiety problems behind and get on with your life. This clearly written book is packed with helpful suggestions. I will definitely use it with my own clients and students, and I recommend it highly for anyone who struggles with anxiety.
—Martin M. Antony, PhD, ABPP, professor and director of graduate training in the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, ON, Canada
This book presents a framework to orient you toward the rest of your life. You will be taken on a journey. Go. To uncouple from your anxious reactions to life, you will need to alter your consciousness. No small task! It takes a student’s mind and a willingness to be coached. Fortunately, you will find these authors to be trustworthy and competent guides.
—Reid Wilson, PhD, author of Don’t Panic
From the Publisher
- Publisher : New Harbinger Publications; Workbook edition (January 2, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1572244992
- ISBN-13 : 978-1572244993
- Item Weight : 1.31 pounds
- Dimensions : 8 x 0.75 x 10.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #734,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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By fighting the anxiety, which is what just about all of us do (And why not? It seems natural to "fight" something you want to get rid of, right?), you are actually feeding it. Once the anxiety train gets rolling and continues to pick up steam, the brain chemicals are flooding your body, and the intense, uncomfortable feelings of anxiety take over. At this stage, virtually all efforts to just "talk yourself out of it" are futile.
Again, because we so hate feeling anxious, we immediately start trying to battle it when we begin to feel it, and this battle only adds negative energy and strengthens the anxiety. Which further explains why no matter how hard you fight against the anxiety you just see it getting worse. Now all the pieces seem to fit a bit better, and you come to understand why all your dutiful efforts to "fight" anxiety have not worked.
This technique has indeed been helpful, but it is not easy, or instant. It definitely is a new way of thinking and acting, and thus, takes practice. However, I don't feel there is anything wrong with trying to replace negative thoughts and irrational ideas with positive ones (cognitive therapy) as long as you don't become dependent on that as an avoidance strategy. Nor do I see a major problem with telling yourself there is no reason to be scared when, in fact, there is no actual reason to be scared. The authors would likely be quick to point out that if such approaches really helped, you'd be over your anxiety by now.
I think it is also fair to say though that by changing the way you view your thoughts, and by choosing not to resist them, you are, in fact, employing a form of cognitive therapy, even if you don't label it as such.
There is much to commend this book, but be prepared for something completely different, and maybe even a bit frightening. Time to face what you have been dodging. No more running away. The more you think about it though, and compare it to your own experience, the more sense it makes.
This book is a simple MUST read for anyone. If you suffer from anxiety, depression, insecurities -- as we all do -- then you definitely need to make your way through this workbook. I promise you, if you haven't already, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) will change your life by revolutionizing the way you connect with your thoughts and emotions.
The premise of this "third wave" behavioral therapy is simple and almost esoteric: By combating your issues, which is the norm in therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), you feed them and create a cycle of avoidance that only aggravates the problem. The truth is that there is no need to conquer anxiety, phobias, etc. The battle cannot be won because the battle is simply *part* of living. With that knowledge, the battle does not need to be won in order to live a healthy, vital life. There is a way you can peacefully integrate your "issues" (which, at the end of the day, aren't actually issues but natural processes that all humans experience) into your life. It's extremely counter intuitive approach because it goes against everything that you are told in a "culture of feel-goodism." This simple foundation is enough to consider reading the book. ACT goes after the very undercurrent of contemporary therapy and attempts to revitalize the way people connect with themselves. The book knocks down various myths about anxiety that I, myself, didn't realize I had been hanging on to. Once I was able to let go of these thoughts and learn to accept instead of avoid, I began to be more mindful, more peaceful, and more productive in my daily activities.
One of the most powerful lessons I've learned is this (and forgive me if I'm not explaining it well!): Triggers and phobias aren't feared, so much as the FEELING of the fear itself. For example, you aren't afraid so much of being judged, so much as feeling the panic and distress OF being overwhelmed with anxiety. Now, to fix this, you would naturally attempt to avoid social situations that place you in this vulnerable position. But what good does it do? By avoiding, you let the fear in your life become a blockade that prevents you from living a vital existence. The thing is -- fear is not a blockade. Fear and anxiety are essential components of living, and HELP you ensure that you are doing the right things. The problem isn't suffering anxiety itself, the problem is creating habits of avoidance and escapism to prevent yourself from feeling that anxiety. The attempt at escape obscure what's really important -- LIVING. This was a powerful lesson that changed the way I acted. Knowing this, I began to embrace my anxiety and, knowing that it was natural and essentially helpful, use it to become more productive and compassionate towards myself. No longer did I chide myself for feeling certain ways that I didn't control. The entire premise of my behavior changed for the better.
The book itself makes no promises, and instead encourages you to see what works for you. The writing is effectively simple, clear, and engaging. Ideas are repeated throughout in order to reinforce them in your memory. Clean, easy metaphors and exercises are presented at natural moments, and simple exercises such as "Don't Think About A Pink Elephant!" (demonstrating the negative effects of suppressing emotions) helpfully engage your higher thinking and get you to see things in a different light. The authors, Forsyth and Eifert, present their cases well, and establish a good sense of trust in their research and writing. On top of that, the book is extremely quotable and goes out of its way to make sure you understand its core ideas -- essential phrases are highlighted in grey boxes, and summaries of the lessons are included at the end of each chapter, along with key questions to think about.
At heart, the book and ACT feels so much like common sense. It has a tone of Zen to it. That's not surprising, given how mindfulness, acceptance, and peace are key components of Eastern philosophies! I'm reading this book and also going through Mindfulness meditation practices in my daily life. My anxiety and insecurities have calmed down. But more importantly, I've learned to accept my fears as natural parts of existence; I've learned to integrate them into my life and let my emotions and fears pass through me; and -- this is very important -- I've learned how to *use* my anxiety and fear to channel me away from avoidance and into productive, healthier directions. I'm very much happier, accepting, and calm!
As I said, this book is a must read for EVERYONE. There's another book by the same publisher for depression by different authors, but I haven't read it. I'll be sure to check it out after this workbook.
It may not help you as much as it helped me, but it will change the basis of the way you look at things and live!