Customer Reviews: The Dance of Fear: Rising Above Anxiety, Fear, and Shame to Be Your Best and Bravest Self
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on August 28, 2005
The Dance of Fear is the book formerly known as Fear and Other Uninvited Guests. The name change most likely came as the result of author Harriet Lerner's other Dance book titles - Dance of Anger, Dance of Intimacy, Dance of Deception and so on.

Lerner uses her experiences, patients' experiences, and other people's experiences - a valuable way to teach what fear is as it has many meanings and situations that bring it on. She doesn't throw, "Do this..." out there or make claims you'll get past your fear in one day. Instead, she shares the stories of several patients who had to deal with a challenge over a period of time.

Lerner covers rejection, anxiety, change, the workplace, looks, and when things fall apart. When it comes to addressing fear, only one thing is guaranteed - one solution does not fit all. What helped Anne Morrow Lindbergh cope with the loss of her infant son won't necessarily work for someone else.

The message is that we all face fear in spite of our education, knowledge, courage, or any other characteristic that supposedly makes a person fearless. When we accept fear as a natural occurrence in our lives, we learn to deal with it better than if we didn't accept that.

Some who see a book classified as psychology or self-help run away. It's understandable as such books can be too sugary sweet, too philosophical, full of annoying affirmations, or full of exercises. This one has none of these characteristics. Heck, it makes you laugh. It doesn't even mention OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and it has a drop of panic attacks, but not from someone who is dealing with panic / anxiety disorder. It's about the fear all humans experience, not just those with an illness.

As a result of this book, I walk away with a better understanding of fear and its cousins, shame and anxiety. I'm not cured of anything. Instead I have gained insight into this strong emotion and should have a better handle on it the next time I dance with it.

The Dance of Fear has none of the big words that Lerner learned in medical school. Instead of quoting complex theories, she uses meaningful quotes you may have come across. The outcome is a book that reads like a friend wrote it and who happens to be knowledgeable on this topic.
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on January 1, 2006
Rebeccasreads highly recommends THE DANCE OF FEAR as book about the tangled tango of life with people -- sometimes you lead & sometimes you follow, & if you know what makes you tick, who's doing what isn't nearly as important as who's in charge of you, & that talking it out is the one thing that really helps.

Dr. Lerner doesn't write trite self-help hand books, the questions she asks & the answers people give her set the scene for her articulate insights. Take time to read THE DANCE OF FEAR because it's about what these emotions are, how we behave because of them, what harm happens when we don't know what's driving us, & how we react to events, great & small, that have us frozen in the headlights or hiding away from life.
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on October 17, 2013
Recommend by my doctor. Great tips for dealing with fear that triggers a depressive episode. No exercises except by example in the narrative. Read the first two chapters in the sample download. The rest of the book is less vanilla than chapter two and discuses tougher cases. Most of the cases are gender generic, but a few are more directed to females. I am male and still found the book informative and helpful.

An honest book that does not promise to heal you overnight by reading it.
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on October 31, 2006
Anxiety, panice attack and depression, these are all clinical problems that sometimes need medication, but you can't get a complete cure unless you remove the sourse of them. You need to increase your wisdom to better see the problem. I found this book amazing in this job. You can feel the ocean of wisdom in her words.
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on March 7, 2014
I thought this book would be addressing the root causes of fear, the way that fear hobbles us and how to overcome it to a more well rounded and satisfying life. I gave up after about the fourth scenario, as these anecdotal stories had nothing to do with my experience, and everything to do with post divorce, fear of flying, public speaking, etc. Maybe it got better, but that wasn't what I needed to read about.
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on April 8, 2015
This author puts herself out there and lets the reader know that she too experiences real fear - but there are ways to overcome that fear and anxiety . The book is a very fast read, with practical tips and suggestions, and humor. Yet, she is upfront in saying that there is no quick "cure" or fix for fear in one's life. The way out of fear has to be facing your fears and doing it scared! For anyone struggling with fear or anxiety, this is worth reading as a motivation to look at the area deeper and to at least begin the journey of dealing with fear in your life. For some, it will give you the courage to take more steps in overcoming fear in certain areas of your life.
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on April 8, 2012
Not a self help book in my opinion though. Its good for identifying different emotions so later on, when you are experiencing them, you know what it is that your feeling, and hopefully be better able to respond in spite of those negative emotions.
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on November 22, 2012
Hello Viewers of the book!

If you are in a place of "Not Sure" and looking to grab this book, than I recommend to grab it.
I first read it when I was being bullied at work place by the whole team. The book really gave me the weapons, or tools to recognise what I needed to in my fellow work "bull dogs" and my self to get through every day. It really worked for me so much I leant it so some one who didn't give it back so I bought another and gave one to a friend who needed guidance to. This is a "give you strength book"

I love Harriet Learner has a way of writing that you can't even feel the pages turning, you just get to the end.

Simple and to the point

Thank you Ms Learner.

And I hope this helps the viewer!


Jodie Lear
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on April 24, 2016
Accessible writing style and enjoyable read. The author gives many examples along with clear explanations of concepts, so the reader walks away with a better understanding and ability to apply the concepts. She also shares personal stories, helping the reader to connect with her experiences and feel more comfortable with their own fear.
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on February 29, 2016
While my specific fear was not addressed in much detail, I gained lots of insight about fear. I can use the anecdotes to read into my own situation. As with all issues if this sort, things usually work out better with a therapist to help you figure it out. Love all Lerner's books.
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