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Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated from Anxietyby Kelly G. Wilson
Synopses & Reviews
You don't need a book to tell you this much: Sometimes things fall apart, crack open, and miss the mark. You can plan and strategize and keep your eye on the horizon, watching for trouble. And nothing you can do will protect you from the fact that things might, when you least expect it, go terribly, horribly wrong. If you're anxious about this, it's not like you don't have a reason. If you're very anxious about this, you're certainly not alone. In fact, even if your whole life feels like it's about anxiety, your story is a lot more common that you might imagine.
If you could just get your anxiety to go away, you could get on with the business of living your life, right? Well, maybe — or maybe not. Does anxiety need to go away in order for you to live your life fully, vitally, with richness and purpose?
This book approaches the problem of anxiety a little differently than most. Instead of trying to help you overcome or reduce feelings of anxiety, Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong will help you climb inside these feelings, sit in that place, and see what it would be like to have anxiety and still make room in your life to breathe and rest and live — really and truly live — in a way that matters to you.
Although it's grounded in a research-supported form of psychotherapy called acceptance and commitment therapy, also known as ACT, Things isn't especially technical or stepwise. Rather, the book starts a conversation about why we all sometimes feel anxious and what role that anxiety serves in our lives. It connects the experience of anxiety to the essential experience of human suffering. And then, in sometimes unexpected ways, Things explores some basic ways of being in the world that can change the role anxiety plays in your life.
This book has been awarded The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit — an award bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives.
"Rejecting the use of diagnostic labels (agoraphobia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc.) as part of a medical legacy best left behind, psychologist Wilson (Mindfulness for Two) and writer Dufrene (Coping with OCD) approach anxiety as a mild dysfunction treatable with 'acceptance and commitment therapy' (ACT), a way of becoming 'more psychologically limber' in order to 'negotiate crowds, participate in social functions, take risks, and so forth.' The collaborators contend that behind much anxiety is an inability to deal with ambiguity; as such, they suggest a series of exercises to stop the cycle of brooding that arises from problems that do not have clear, immediate solutions (and which may be unsolvable). Many of the techniques they propose (visualization, 'mindful breathing practice') are familiar exercises in mindfulness, but the most important message of ACT is not to avoid situations that produce anxiety. Instead, this empathetic guide helps readers recognize that brooding over painful or disorienting thoughts is a natural part of everyone's life, necessitating the flexibility to 'work around obstacles... inside our own heads.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Wilson and Dufrene help readers foster the flexibility they need to keep from succumbing to the avoidable forces of anxiety, and open themselves to the often uncomfortable complexities and possibilities of life.
In Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong, Kelly Wilson and Troy DuFrene, authors of Mindfulness for Two, offer an effective approach based in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to coping with the worry, panic, and fear associated with anxiety disorders. This comprehensive book is packed with in-the-moment strategies readers with anxiety can use to calm their fears.
Whether it manifests itself as worry, fear, rumination, obsession, compulsion, or shyness, anxiety is everywhere, and it causes no end of trouble for just about all of us. But at its core, anxiety serves an important purpose: to neutralize uncomfortable ambiguities. This book begins with a whirlwind tour of anxiety: what causes it, what we think about it, and what it might look like. Then the book looks at some of the approaches to treating anxiety and poses an intriguing question: What if you don't need to get rid of anxiety in order to live a terrific life?
Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong approaches this breakaway hypothesis through the mechanisms of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and presents a series of thinking points and short games readers can do to easily and effectively begin to incorporate ACT techniques into their lives. This book is not a full-scale self-help approach for someone with serious anxiety problems, but an easy way for readers who have wrestled with worry, fear, and shyness to put those feelings into perspective and focus instead on what they want to do in life. This book will help readers foster the flexibility they need to keep from succumbing to the avoidant forces of anxiety and open themselves to the often uncomfortable complexities and possibilities of life.
About the Author
Kelly G. Wilson, Ph.D., is associate professor of psychology at the University of Mississippi. He is a central figure in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and was one of the authors of the landmark Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Guilford Press, first edition 1999, second edition 2009). Wilson is among the most sought-after ACT trainers. His popular experiential workshops touch thousands of clinicians and students each year. www.onelifellc.com
Troy DuFrene is a writer specializing in psychology. He is coauthor of Coping with OCD and Mindfulness for Two. He lives and works in Oakland, CA. Visit him at www.troydufrene.com.
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