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As a psychologist, I have worked with thousands of people suffering from severe anxiety. I have never ceased to be amazed and humbled by their courage.
Let me explain. For me, driving along the highway is an ordinary act, needing no bravery. For Mary Ellen Popkin, it used to be an act of mind-numbing terror--and yet, she did it when she needed to. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the act of overcoming it.
People suffering from anxiety disorders experience fear in the absence of an objective danger, but the fear is real. Facing it, overcoming it, needs courage.
Mary Ellen is a hero, for not only has she defeated the monster Anxiety, but also she has written a guide for fellow sufferers.
Often, personal accounts of recovery are just that: perhaps touching, emotionally powerful, but, well, not much use to anyone else. The Anxiety Disorder Workbook is not like that. As the title suggests, it is a tool for defeating anxiety. I was pleased to find a list of techniques very close to those I use with my clients, each clearly explained, each leading to explicitly set out exercises.
I was delighted to read a book with no typos, correct grammar and punctuation, and clear language. Such virtues are not to be taken for granted, even in books put out by big name publishers. The author's language shows that she is not a professional writer, but all the more credit to her for having produced an inspiring, technically correct and very useful book.
I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is pestered by anxiety in any of its forms, and for friends or relations of sufferers.
Mary Ellen has a BA from Marymount College. She also did some graduate course work at MCP Hahnemann University in Art & Dance Therapy. For over 10 years she was an ice skating coach. Later she became a District Manager for a Fortune 50 Company. She accomplished these things despite being diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder. When she graduated from Marymount College, Mary Ellen's father had terminal cancer and she chose to help her family care for him at home. He died approximately ten months later but the experience left her with a diagnosis of Separation Anxiety. Her attacks increased and she had GAD, Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia which left her housebound for nearly 7 months.
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