Bibliotherapy, the use of books to enhance therapy, is ideal for those who absorb information best by reading, or want more information on a topic. Reading a book can provide in-depth knowledge as well as comfort, insight, and the reminder that you are not alone. Below are some books that I recommend on a variety of the topics that I address in my therapeutic work.

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ANXIETY

When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by David D. Burns


It is very important to note that anxiety is not always pathological. As a matter of fact, anxiety is not usually pathological. While you may not love having it around, anxiety is your body's natural response to stress and is helpful in many ways. If you are going through a break-up or divorce, moving, interviewing for a job, giving a speech, for example, it is natural to have some anxiety around these stressful situations. Self-compassion is key when looking at your anxiety and determining if it feels like a normal and healthy response to your current circumstances, OR if things are generally ok right now and you just can't turn the anxiety off or you are experiencing negative thoughts/beliefs that don't realistically fit your situation. If you are in the latter category, this may be the book for you.

A key premise in beginning to address anxiety, which Dr. Burns does a great job of highlighting in this book, is that there is no scientific agreement on the exact root of anxiety, which, of course, means that there is no one universally agreed upon way to treat it. Anxiety also presents itself in many forms (general anxiety, OCD, social anxiety, body dysmorphia, agoraphobia, etc), and with a variety of possible symptoms (panic attacks, withdrawal, insomnia, racing thoughts, hypervigilance, rumination, etc.). I say this to remind anyone suffering from issues related to anxiety that it is going to take some trial and error to find the treatment path that works best for you, and, possibly, an additional journey to get to the root of what initiated the anxiety in the first place.

It is not unusual to have depressive feelings if you are dealing with a lot of anxious feelings. No one likes feeling anxious, so, of course, being in that state can get you down. Anxiety and depression are often attached at the hip and determined to crash your party, but that also means that managing anxious feelings can also go a long way in alleviating depressive feelings as well.

While it is not the only treatment approach, by any means, CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) is the gold standard treatment method for anxiety. I personally feel that CBT as a stand-alone treatment is typically insufficient to address the full picture, but for many people it can go a long way in relieving symptoms and correcting negative thought processes that are feeding the anxiety.

If CBT is the gold standard of anxiety treatment, this book is the gold standard of self-help in applying CBT principles to your anxious thoughts. In his humorous and relatable stories and explanations, Dr. Burns walks the reader through basic CBT techniques and includes many helpful worksheets that can be printed for the reader to work through as they read. Burns emphasizes throughout the book that, while one technique might not work for you, that's ok; and he then offers another. It is unlikely that every technique presented will resonate with you, but I think most readers dealing with anxiety will find at least a few great takeaways to help manage their symptoms.

Reminder, that some people working on anxiety may also need the support of a therapist and/or the support of a medical doctor or psychiatrist, in addition to, or instead of, the techniques presented in this text. That's ok too! This is just one more tool to add to your toolbox.
MEMORABLE QUOTES: "1. You feel the way you think. 2. When you're anxious, you're fooling yourself. Anxiety results from distorted illogical thoughts. It's a mental con. 3. When you change the way you think, you can change the way you feel."

"When you feel anxious, worried, panicky, or afraid, you're telling yourself that you're in danger and that something terrible is about to happen … Once you start to feel anxious, your negative thoughts and feelings begin to reinforce each other in a vicious cycle. The catastrophic thoughts create feelings of anxiety and fear, and these feelings trigger more negative thoughts."

"Shame is also a central feature of anxiety. You may try to hide your symptoms of insecurity or panic, thinking that other people would look down on you or think you were weird if they knew how you really felt inside."

"Anxiety and worry are extremely common, so we end up "pathologizing" people unnecessarily."

"Many people don't understand the difference between a negative thought and an SDB [self-defeating belief]. Your SDBs are always present, but negative thoughts surface only when you're upset."

"… feelings of self-blame, guilt, and inadequacy usually aren't very motivating and don't help me learn from my mistakes. Feelings of shame and guilt simply make me want to cover up my failures because I can't stand to face them. In fact, I do my best work when I'm feeling happy, relaxed, and self-accepting."

"The word "should" comes from the Ango-Saxon word scolde. When you use Should statements, you're really scolding yourself or other people."

On procrastination: "Extremely successful people know that … action comes first and motivation follows. They don't wait around until they "feel" like doing something. They just plow ahead and do it, whether they feel like it or not."





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PERSONAL GROWTH & LIFE TRANSITIONS

Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them by Karl A. Pillemer


In Fault Lines, Cornell professor and family sociologist, Karl A. Pillemer addresses the common, but not commonly discussed, issue of familial estrangements. One study found that around 27% of American adults have experienced estrangement from at least one family member. The book outlines the collateral damage and intergenerational trauma that can stem from these estrangements, addresses the issue of reconciliation, several paths towards reconciliation, and examines boundaries that may need to be in place in order for a reconciliation to happen. The real impact of the book comes from the wisdom that Pillemer collected in long-form interviews with people who are experiencing, or have experienced, estrangements. Through their words, the reader may experience the universality of their own experience and, possibly, find a path forward. Pillemer presents categories of causes of estrangements including: The Long Arm of the Past, The Legacy of Divorce, The Problematic In-Law, Money and Inheritance, Unmet Expectations, and Value and Lifestyle Differences. TRIGGER WARNING: The book is largely written with a focus on reconciliation. If you are experiencing a family estrangement and you are not wanting to reconcile, or just don't feel that this is where you are in your journey at this time, this book could be triggering. The majority of the people interviewed in the book are endorsing reconciliation as a path toward peace, but, for many estrangements, a certain amount of healing and work on developing healthy boundaries may be necessary before taking those next steps. MEMORABLE QUOTES: "Of all the regrets older people have, a family estrangement is often the most painful." "The groundwork for an estrangement can be established early in a person's life, through disruptions and difficulties that occur while growing up in the family. A history of harsh parenting, emotional or physical abuse and neglect, parental favoritism, or sibling conflict can shape relationships decades into the future." "People describe estrangement in precisely these terms: a form of chronic stress that never goes away. It may be punctuated at times by a burst of contact from the estranged relative, followed by silence. It is characterized by attempts to reach out that become highly stressful sources of disappointment." "You can and should, perhaps with the help of a counselor, piece together the incidents that led to a rift, understanding your role and that of others involved. However, when it is time to reconcile, the relationship must be lived forward. For many people, the attempt to create a shared 'backward understanding' will fail, because our narratives are our own and form part of our identity. If you are considering an attempt at reconciliation, you must ultimately move forward together, whether or not the two pasts can be aligned."





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Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them by Karl A. Pillemer


In Fault Lines, Cornell professor and family sociologist, Karl A. Pillemer addresses the common, but not commonly discussed, issue of familial estrangements. One study found that around 27% of American adults have experienced estrangement from at least one family member. The book outlines the collateral damage and intergenerational trauma that can stem from these estrangements, addresses the issue of reconciliation, several paths towards reconciliation, and examines boundaries that may need to be in place in order for a reconciliation to happen. The real impact of the book comes from the wisdom that Pillemer collected in long-form interviews with people who are experiencing, or have experienced, estrangements. Through their words, the reader may experience the universality of their own experience and, possibly, find a path forward. Pillemer presents categories of causes of estrangements including: The Long Arm of the Past, The Legacy of Divorce, The Problematic In-Law, Money and Inheritance, Unmet Expectations, and Value and Lifestyle Differences. TRIGGER WARNING: The book is largely written with a focus on reconciliation. If you are experiencing a family estrangement and you are not wanting to reconcile, or just don't feel that this is where you are in your journey at this time, this book could be triggering. The majority of the people interviewed in the book are endorsing reconciliation as a path toward peace, but, for many estrangements, a certain amount of healing and work on developing healthy boundaries may be necessary before taking those next steps. MEMORABLE QUOTES: "Of all the regrets older people have, a family estrangement is often the most painful." "The groundwork for an estrangement can be established early in a person's life, through disruptions and difficulties that occur while growing up in the family. A history of harsh parenting, emotional or physical abuse and neglect, parental favoritism, or sibling conflict can shape relationships decades into the future." "People describe estrangement in precisely these terms: a form of chronic stress that never goes away. It may be punctuated at times by a burst of contact from the estranged relative, followed by silence. It is characterized by attempts to reach out that become highly stressful sources of disappointment." "You can and should, perhaps with the help of a counselor, piece together the incidents that led to a rift, understanding your role and that of others involved. However, when it is time to reconcile, the relationship must be lived forward. For many people, the attempt to create a shared 'backward understanding' will fail, because our narratives are our own and form part of our identity. If you are considering an attempt at reconciliation, you must ultimately move forward together, whether or not the two pasts can be aligned."





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Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl


Towards the beginning of the book, Frankl quotes Nietzsche, "He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How." This concept is the premise of Frankl's philosophy of logotherapy – the assertion that the primary motivation for human existence is to find meaning in life. Frankl describes three broad categories in which we find meaning, "in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times."

Viktor Frankl was a neurologist, psychiatrist, and philosopher, but because of this book, he is also remembered as a Holocaust survivor. He began developing logotherapy before World War II, but gained significant perspective into the concept of finding meaning during difficult times in the years that he spent in various concentration camps. This unique perspective is part of what launched Frankl's book into being an international bestseller, and the power of his message has reverberated with many readers going through their own hard times.

Please note that the continual reference to "man" in this text along with male gendered pronouns, as opposed to "human," "person," "being," or any other ungendered term, is the product of the male-centric language common in the 1940's. If you, like me, don't identify as a "man," and can make a mental substitution when reading, the heart of the text is very worthwhile, despite the dated language.
TRIGGER WARNING: While this book is not about the horrors of the concentration camps, it does include many scenes from Frankl's experiences during this time of his life. MEMORABLE QUOTES: "Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can control what you will feel and do when it happens to you."

"Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it."

"What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him."

"One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone's task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it."





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TRAUMA

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When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by David D. Burns


It is very important to note that anxiety is not always pathological. As a matter of fact, anxiety is not usually pathological. While you may not love having it around, anxiety is your body's natural response to stress and is helpful in many ways. If you are going through a break-up or divorce, moving, interviewing for a job, giving a speech, for example, it is natural to have some anxiety around these stressful situations. Self-compassion is key when looking at your anxiety and determining if it feels like a normal and healthy response to your current circumstances, OR if things are generally ok right now and you just can't turn the anxiety off or you are experiencing negative thoughts/beliefs that don't realistically fit your situation. If you are in the latter category, this may be the book for you.

A key premise in beginning to address anxiety, which Dr. Burns does a great job of highlighting in this book, is that there is no scientific agreement on the exact root of anxiety, which, of course, means that there is no one universally agreed upon way to treat it. Anxiety also presents itself in many forms (general anxiety, OCD, social anxiety, body dysmorphia, agoraphobia, etc), and with a variety of possible symptoms (panic attacks, withdrawal, insomnia, racing thoughts, hypervigilance, rumination, etc.). I say this to remind anyone suffering from issues related to anxiety that it is going to take some trial and error to find the treatment path that works best for you, and, possibly, an additional journey to get to the root of what initiated the anxiety in the first place.

It is not unusual to have depressive feelings if you are dealing with a lot of anxious feelings. No one likes feeling anxious, so, of course, being in that state can get you down. Anxiety and depression are often attached at the hip and determined to crash your party, but that also means that managing anxious feelings can also go a long way in alleviating depressive feelings as well.

While it is not the only treatment approach, by any means, CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) is the gold standard treatment method for anxiety. I personally feel that CBT as a stand-alone treatment is typically insufficient to address the full picture, but for many people it can go a long way in relieving symptoms and correcting negative thought processes that are feeding the anxiety.

If CBT is the gold standard of anxiety treatment, this book is the gold standard of self-help in applying CBT principles to your anxious thoughts. In his humorous and relatable stories and explanations, Dr. Burns walks the reader through basic CBT techniques and includes many helpful worksheets that can be printed for the reader to work through as they read. Burns emphasizes throughout the book that, while one technique might not work for you, that's ok; and he then offers another. It is unlikely that every technique presented will resonate with you, but I think most readers dealing with anxiety will find at least a few great takeaways to help manage their symptoms.

Reminder, that some people working on anxiety may also need the support of a therapist and/or the support of a medical doctor or psychiatrist, in addition to, or instead of, the techniques presented in this text. That's ok too! This is just one more tool to add to your toolbox.
MEMORABLE QUOTES: "1. You feel the way you think. 2. When you're anxious, you're fooling yourself. Anxiety results from distorted illogical thoughts. It's a mental con. 3. When you change the way you think, you can change the way you feel."

"When you feel anxious, worried, panicky, or afraid, you're telling yourself that you're in danger and that something terrible is about to happen … Once you start to feel anxious, your negative thoughts and feelings begin to reinforce each other in a vicious cycle. The catastrophic thoughts create feelings of anxiety and fear, and these feelings trigger more negative thoughts."

"Shame is also a central feature of anxiety. You may try to hide your symptoms of insecurity or panic, thinking that other people would look down on you or think you were weird if they knew how you really felt inside."

"Anxiety and worry are extremely common, so we end up "pathologizing" people unnecessarily."

"Many people don't understand the difference between a negative thought and an SDB [self-defeating belief]. Your SDBs are always present, but negative thoughts surface only when you're upset."

"… feelings of self-blame, guilt, and inadequacy usually aren't very motivating and don't help me learn from my mistakes. Feelings of shame and guilt simply make me want to cover up my failures because I can't stand to face them. In fact, I do my best work when I'm feeling happy, relaxed, and self-accepting."

"The word "should" comes from the Ango-Saxon word scolde. When you use Should statements, you're really scolding yourself or other people."

On procrastination: "Extremely successful people know that … action comes first and motivation follows. They don't wait around until they "feel" like doing something. They just plow ahead and do it, whether they feel like it or not."





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Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them by Karl A. Pillemer


In Fault Lines, Cornell professor and family sociologist, Karl A. Pillemer addresses the common, but not commonly discussed, issue of familial estrangements. One study found that around 27% of American adults have experienced estrangement from at least one family member. The book outlines the collateral damage and intergenerational trauma that can stem from these estrangements, addresses the issue of reconciliation, several paths towards reconciliation, and examines boundaries that may need to be in place in order for a reconciliation to happen. The real impact of the book comes from the wisdom that Pillemer collected in long-form interviews with people who are experiencing, or have experienced, estrangements. Through their words, the reader may experience the universality of their own experience and, possibly, find a path forward. Pillemer presents categories of causes of estrangements including: The Long Arm of the Past, The Legacy of Divorce, The Problematic In-Law, Money and Inheritance, Unmet Expectations, and Value and Lifestyle Differences. TRIGGER WARNING: The book is largely written with a focus on reconciliation. If you are experiencing a family estrangement and you are not wanting to reconcile, or just don't feel that this is where you are in your journey at this time, this book could be triggering. The majority of the people interviewed in the book are endorsing reconciliation as a path toward peace, but, for many estrangements, a certain amount of healing and work on developing healthy boundaries may be necessary before taking those next steps. MEMORABLE QUOTES: "Of all the regrets older people have, a family estrangement is often the most painful." "The groundwork for an estrangement can be established early in a person's life, through disruptions and difficulties that occur while growing up in the family. A history of harsh parenting, emotional or physical abuse and neglect, parental favoritism, or sibling conflict can shape relationships decades into the future." "People describe estrangement in precisely these terms: a form of chronic stress that never goes away. It may be punctuated at times by a burst of contact from the estranged relative, followed by silence. It is characterized by attempts to reach out that become highly stressful sources of disappointment." "You can and should, perhaps with the help of a counselor, piece together the incidents that led to a rift, understanding your role and that of others involved. However, when it is time to reconcile, the relationship must be lived forward. For many people, the attempt to create a shared 'backward understanding' will fail, because our narratives are our own and form part of our identity. If you are considering an attempt at reconciliation, you must ultimately move forward together, whether or not the two pasts can be aligned."





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RELATIONSHIPS AND INTIMACY

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Will I Ever Be Free of You?: How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist and Heal Your Family by Dr. Karyl McBride Ph.D.


Will I Ever Be Free of You? does a wonderful job of walking the reader through the impact of recovering from a narcissistic romantic relationship, with a heavy focus on divorces and partnership separations. Special attention is paid to navigating caring for children through this process, though the book would be equally useful for those without children. Because being romantically involved with a narcissist involves a heavy amount of gaslighting, it can be gratifying to learn that the abusive tactics that you may be experiencing/have experienced are universal in these types of relationships. Recognizing that commonality can be soothing, and serve as a reminder that . . . it’s not you . . . it’s them. The additional emphasis on how to deal with the divorce/separation process and how to protect children to the best of your ability in that process, elevates this book from a source of comfort to an easy to follow guide to your high-conflict divorce/separation. TRIGGER WARNING: If you are early on in your recovery process, it could be triggering to read some of the stories included of others suffering through narcissistic relationships. Though I think the book can be very helpful, I invite you to notice where you are in your healing before diving in. MEMORABLE QUOTES: How narcissism impacts the family system: “The narcissist does not feel secure enough to allow each individual in the family to have his or her own sense of self, beliefs, decisions, and separate interests. They expect all family members’ lives to revolve around them, and they ignore other people’s needs or desires. There is no sense of community or individuality. Their needs rule.” Keeping children healthy during divorce: “As children adjust to divorce, they tend to mirror their parents’ emotions. So the better you deal with the changes, the better the children will do. If a parent is stuck in anger, a child is likely to be stuck there too. The same goes for the other emotional stages of divorce.” Narcissists and the family court system: “The narcissist does not play well with others. He or she does not necessarily follow rules, laws, and court orders. Unfortunately, you may find little support or understanding about what you are dealing with. Especially in the beginning, the professionals – attorneys, judges, parenting-time evaluators, and others – may assume that both of you are unbalanced and creating unnecessary and time-consuming problems.”





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HIGH CONFLICT DIVORCE, SEPARATION, AND CO-PARENTING

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Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl


Towards the beginning of the book, Frankl quotes Nietzsche, "He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How." This concept is the premise of Frankl's philosophy of logotherapy – the assertion that the primary motivation for human existence is to find meaning in life. Frankl describes three broad categories in which we find meaning, "in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times."

Viktor Frankl was a neurologist, psychiatrist, and philosopher, but because of this book, he is also remembered as a Holocaust survivor. He began developing logotherapy before World War II, but gained significant perspective into the concept of finding meaning during difficult times in the years that he spent in various concentration camps. This unique perspective is part of what launched Frankl's book into being an international bestseller, and the power of his message has reverberated with many readers going through their own hard times.

Please note that the continual reference to "man" in this text along with male gendered pronouns, as opposed to "human," "person," "being," or any other ungendered term, is the product of the male-centric language common in the 1940's. If you, like me, don't identify as a "man," and can make a mental substitution when reading, the heart of the text is very worthwhile, despite the dated language.
TRIGGER WARNING: While this book is not about the horrors of the concentration camps, it does include many scenes from Frankl's experiences during this time of his life. MEMORABLE QUOTES: "Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can control what you will feel and do when it happens to you."

"Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it."

"What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him."

"One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone's task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it."





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NARCISSISTIC ABUSE RECOVERY

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Will I Ever Be Free of You?: How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist and Heal Your Family by Dr. Karyl McBride Ph.D.


Will I Ever Be Free of You? does a wonderful job of walking the reader through the impact of recovering from a narcissistic romantic relationship, with a heavy focus on divorces and partnership separations. Special attention is paid to navigating caring for children through this process, though the book would be equally useful for those without children. Because being romantically involved with a narcissist involves a heavy amount of gaslighting, it can be gratifying to learn that the abusive tactics that you may be experiencing/have experienced are universal in these types of relationships. Recognizing that commonality can be soothing, and serve as a reminder that . . . it’s not you . . . it’s them. The additional emphasis on how to deal with the divorce/separation process and how to protect children to the best of your ability in that process, elevates this book from a source of comfort to an easy to follow guide to your high-conflict divorce/separation. TRIGGER WARNING: If you are early on in your recovery process, it could be triggering to read some of the stories included of others suffering through narcissistic relationships. Though I think the book can be very helpful, I invite you to notice where you are in your healing before diving in. MEMORABLE QUOTES: How narcissism impacts the family system: “The narcissist does not feel secure enough to allow each individual in the family to have his or her own sense of self, beliefs, decisions, and separate interests. They expect all family members’ lives to revolve around them, and they ignore other people’s needs or desires. There is no sense of community or individuality. Their needs rule.” Keeping children healthy during divorce: “As children adjust to divorce, they tend to mirror their parents’ emotions. So the better you deal with the changes, the better the children will do. If a parent is stuck in anger, a child is likely to be stuck there too. The same goes for the other emotional stages of divorce.” Narcissists and the family court system: “The narcissist does not play well with others. He or she does not necessarily follow rules, laws, and court orders. Unfortunately, you may find little support or understanding about what you are dealing with. Especially in the beginning, the professionals – attorneys, judges, parenting-time evaluators, and others – may assume that both of you are unbalanced and creating unnecessary and time-consuming problems.”





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When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by David D. Burns


It is very important to note that anxiety is not always pathological. As a matter of fact, anxiety is not usually pathological. While you may not love having it around, anxiety is your body's natural response to stress and is helpful in many ways. If you are going through a break-up or divorce, moving, interviewing for a job, giving a speech, for example, it is natural to have some anxiety around these stressful situations. Self-compassion is key when looking at your anxiety and determining if it feels like a normal and healthy response to your current circumstances, OR if things are generally ok right now and you just can't turn the anxiety off or you are experiencing negative thoughts/beliefs that don't realistically fit your situation. If you are in the latter category, this may be the book for you.

A key premise in beginning to address anxiety, which Dr. Burns does a great job of highlighting in this book, is that there is no scientific agreement on the exact root of anxiety, which, of course, means that there is no one universally agreed upon way to treat it. Anxiety also presents itself in many forms (general anxiety, OCD, social anxiety, body dysmorphia, agoraphobia, etc), and with a variety of possible symptoms (panic attacks, withdrawal, insomnia, racing thoughts, hypervigilance, rumination, etc.). I say this to remind anyone suffering from issues related to anxiety that it is going to take some trial and error to find the treatment path that works best for you, and, possibly, an additional journey to get to the root of what initiated the anxiety in the first place.

It is not unusual to have depressive feelings if you are dealing with a lot of anxious feelings. No one likes feeling anxious, so, of course, being in that state can get you down. Anxiety and depression are often attached at the hip and determined to crash your party, but that also means that managing anxious feelings can also go a long way in alleviating depressive feelings as well.

While it is not the only treatment approach, by any means, CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) is the gold standard treatment method for anxiety. I personally feel that CBT as a stand-alone treatment is typically insufficient to address the full picture, but for many people it can go a long way in relieving symptoms and correcting negative thought processes that are feeding the anxiety.

If CBT is the gold standard of anxiety treatment, this book is the gold standard of self-help in applying CBT principles to your anxious thoughts. In his humorous and relatable stories and explanations, Dr. Burns walks the reader through basic CBT techniques and includes many helpful worksheets that can be printed for the reader to work through as they read. Burns emphasizes throughout the book that, while one technique might not work for you, that's ok; and he then offers another. It is unlikely that every technique presented will resonate with you, but I think most readers dealing with anxiety will find at least a few great takeaways to help manage their symptoms.

Reminder, that some people working on anxiety may also need the support of a therapist and/or the support of a medical doctor or psychiatrist, in addition to, or instead of, the techniques presented in this text. That's ok too! This is just one more tool to add to your toolbox.
MEMORABLE QUOTES: "1. You feel the way you think. 2. When you're anxious, you're fooling yourself. Anxiety results from distorted illogical thoughts. It's a mental con. 3. When you change the way you think, you can change the way you feel."

"When you feel anxious, worried, panicky, or afraid, you're telling yourself that you're in danger and that something terrible is about to happen … Once you start to feel anxious, your negative thoughts and feelings begin to reinforce each other in a vicious cycle. The catastrophic thoughts create feelings of anxiety and fear, and these feelings trigger more negative thoughts."

"Shame is also a central feature of anxiety. You may try to hide your symptoms of insecurity or panic, thinking that other people would look down on you or think you were weird if they knew how you really felt inside."

"Anxiety and worry are extremely common, so we end up "pathologizing" people unnecessarily."

"Many people don't understand the difference between a negative thought and an SDB [self-defeating belief]. Your SDBs are always present, but negative thoughts surface only when you're upset."

"… feelings of self-blame, guilt, and inadequacy usually aren't very motivating and don't help me learn from my mistakes. Feelings of shame and guilt simply make me want to cover up my failures because I can't stand to face them. In fact, I do my best work when I'm feeling happy, relaxed, and self-accepting."

"The word "should" comes from the Ango-Saxon word scolde. When you use Should statements, you're really scolding yourself or other people."

On procrastination: "Extremely successful people know that … action comes first and motivation follows. They don't wait around until they "feel" like doing something. They just plow ahead and do it, whether they feel like it or not."