Here's a description of the book to give you a flavour of what's inside. If you want to skip the flavour and see the contents, here they are...
Anxiety Relief (Formerly "You Can Fix Your Anxiety") is a book written to tell you everything you need to know about how to successfully overcome states of anxiety and depression, once and for all. But, this isn't just another book filled with nice advice or tedious anxiety exercises. This book will take you on a carefully structured, scientifically explained journey, exploring exactly what anxiety and depression actually are, and why, precisely, human beings suffer so deeply and frequently. Stress, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and Depression are all explained here in satisfying detail using clear examples of the way in which the human brain engineers anxiety and depression as protective strategies against threat.
With this understood, the book continues by looking at how and why these protective strategies can often be triggered inappropriately, causing unnecessary anxiety and depression. One central area focussed on here is the intensely human requirement for caring and valuing - love. John carefully avoids sentimentalism and explains in clear language that "love" is an essential ingredient for wellbeing, and it's absence can be a key causal factor for anxiety. With careful reasoning the case is made, that when we are in states of anxiety or depression we can find ourselves in a war within. Not only are we suffering because we are frightened or low, but we also then inadvertently add to that suffering with feelings of alarm, frustration, anger, self-loathing, and impatience. You might say it's fear of fear and depression about depression. This, he says, simply deepens the crisis, and he goes on to show us exactly how we can end this situation of stalemate, and encourage the disparate parts of ourselves to come together harmoniously.
In addition to the need for resolution between warring parts of oneself, we also learn about the practical matters which affect our stress levels, and consequently, our anxieties. Positive methods to help us accurately identify our unmet needs, and what might be making us unhappy or anxious are shared alongside practical therapeutic tools for making the necessary changes. There is great empathy and understanding shown here for the resistance which many of us feel towards implementing change. Strategies for making change possible, desirable, and ultimately implementable are sensitively offered. One of the great strengths of this book is its almost uncanny ability to predict your next question, and answer it. John explains that, "Great therapy is all about understanding the natural resistances present in the human psyche, and offering palatable ways to work with that resistance rather than against it." After so many years working in the real world with anxiety disorders, this understanding has become second nature to him. It is this wisdom which makes this book so special.
Evidently, there are a finite number of reasons that people become stressed, anxious, or depressed. This book shines a spotlight into all of those areas. Whilst it recognises that there is no "one size fits all" approach to healing, you'd be hard-pressed to read this book without having numerous moments of illumination. Just some of the areas addressed in the book include sleep, diet, exercise, nutrition, flexible thinking, brain chemistry, medication, therapy, drugs, assertiveness skills, assessing control, communication, forgiveness, self-hypnosis, relaxation, the power of stories, and much else.
It draws from a wide cross section of therapeutic knowledge, incorporating ideas from Hypnotherapy, NLP, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Gestalt, Body Psychotherapy, and Solution Focussed Brief Therapy. Despite these intimidating sounding disciplines, John manages to deliver all you need to know in plain English, which remains gentle and easily digestible.
Finally, John tells us a bit about his own recovery story, and reminds us that there's every reason to be hopeful, no matter how bad things are. He counsels us on having a realistic expectation for recovery, and finishes with a wonderful emotional rescue section for a future reference, should we ever need to be quickly reminded of all that we've learned!
You Can Fix Your Anxiety is written in a style which is both engaging and light, despite the serious nature of the subject matter. Like a great movie, it's a long book, but it's a joy to read, and the pages turn easily. John has a way of making you feel that he's right there with you, like a personal therapist, holding the space, and encouraging you tirelessly to do the undo-able, think the unthinkable, and find the strength and courage necessary to know in your heart that anxiety relief IS possible!
If you'd now like to see more about the contents of the book, there's more here....
Or, if you're ready to read it.....