self-help books instead of therapy? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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self-help books instead of therapy?

Since therapy these days is expensive I was wondering if any of you had any experience with using self-help books/workbooks instead? Is it a good alternative?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 05:54 AM
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I have heard that the self-help route has worked fairly well for many people. The only thing is you really need to discipline yourself and be fully committed to following through. Some of the exercises these books will ask you to do may seem pointless and silly at first, but they can actually work if you practice them enough. I started a CBT program recently, but unfortunately for me my therapist is fairly unavailable during the summers, so I have started reading books..if nothing else, it will give you a better knowledge of what you are dealing with.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by behindblueeyes View Post
Since therapy these days is expensive I was wondering if any of you had any experience with using self-help books/workbooks instead? Is it a good alternative?
if your a strong person who can rely on yourself then sometimes its better to do it on your own.

at the end of the day you are the expert not the therapist. you know exactly what thoughts are going through your head, exactly how you feel and exactly what you are scared of. you know how you behave and what your habits are and what you need to change

people often need the therapist becasue they need support and they need a bit of a push. also some people have difficulty identifiying their unconcious core beleifs. but if you can uidentify those beleifs yourself and if you are strong then i dont see the need for a therapist
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 09:18 AM
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I've seen therapists on and off over the years and while they have helped in some way to get where I am today. I feel they slow the process for me more than if I work at it on my own. Although my SA is really bad, and probably does still require some assistence from a therapist. I am still waiting to see someone else about it.

Self-help books have helped me make more progress than visiting a therapist and other things regarding my health. Actually without the books I wouldn't have been so informative about SA before seeing another therapist. I don't follow any of the books to a T either. I read and take what I want from it and apply it to my every day life. I kind of over the course of a few years after accumulating so many books. I made a mental SA program in my mind using bits and pieces of information from all the books(including online), it is a slow process but I notice progress and apparently everyone around me has noticed it as well which is a bonus in my book

I am still looking into therapy because of how inconsistent I can be and to help me overcome the high anxiety situations. But everything else I seem to be managing it fairly well and I am not taking any medication either, just watching what I eat. So I guess it is possible but even for me, there is only so much you can tackle on your own before support is needed. Mind you, I have a severe level of it so it is an exhausting process for me to tackle every day. I keep going strong though like the energizer bunny haha.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 09:22 AM
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Jessie, would you mind sharing some links or book titles that you came across?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 11:15 AM
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Personally, I think I needed the emotional support of a therapist when I was 20 or so - I was suicidally depressed and didn't have the motivation to do anything on my own. She was a CBT therapist, but I don't think I actually learned CBT from her very well, because her presentation was kind of scattered.

So it would have helped to have a CBT workbook to work through, so I could have learned it better. I just got a cognitive therapy workbook (Mind Over Mood) which seems to be pretty good.

And I really, really wish I had read Bradshaw's book Healing the Shame That Binds You 20 years ago - it would have helped a lot with the CBT, especially dealing with the core beliefs that were so hard to change.

And this other book, No More Mr. Nice Guy - just reading the reviews of that recently was eye-opening. It would have helped me understand myself a lot more.

So yeah, books can be really helpful. I've read a LOT over the years, and had actually gotten sick of them, thinking I'd learned all I could, but I had missed a lot of good ones.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 02:12 PM
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The most useful self help book/workbook I have ever read was The Feeling Good Workbook by David Burns. Too bad I don't always apply what I learned, but useful none the less.

The only reason I like therapy is because my therapist makes me accountable for my actions. If she says I should do something, I am more inclinded to do it because she told me to and I don't want her to judge me for not doing it. Talking about my past, and my feelings and stuff I find unhelpful and annoying.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by xxguitarplayinxx View Post
Jessie, would you mind sharing some links or book titles that you came across?
Sure, I can share some book titles. Some aren't even related to SA but it helps reduce anxiety. I've got like a self-help section on my shelf lol

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns -
It was more for the depression that comes with the anxiety. I am not suffering from that depression anymore. I had it confirmed by a therapist a couple years ago I am still unhappy but it doesn't last as long as before.

Ten Days To Self-Esteem by David D. Burns -
This book I found easier to follow for identifying my negative thoughts and tackling them a little bit at a time. It has a lot of awesome charts to fill out to track your progress. In the book it states its for ten weeks though lol

When Panic Attacks by David D. Burns -
I just read this to see what it information it had about anxiety. I didn't really find many new helpful techniques that I already were using but it was insightful nonetheless.

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness by Gillian Butler -
This is the book that helped me understand my anxiety a little better and how to go about treating it. It was a baseline for my self-help, however, I did not follow it to a T. I mostly use it as reference for others who aren't aware of the anxiety. I find myself reading over it again, and again.

Managing Social Anxiety(Client Workbook) -
I was given this book during group therapy(ended up buying it off Chapters so I didn't need to borrow it) and it helped me look at the CBT in a different way. However I was overwhelmed by the 'program' of following it to a T. I didn't much at all but I do use some of the techniques in it from time to time. There another one for the doctor to read which I was thinking of getting to see the different viewpoints between doctor and patient. And no, group therapy was a no go due to my severe level of SA. I would like to try it again someday though.

Calming Your Anxious Mind(Second Edition) by Jeffrey Brantley, MD. -
This one helped me practice with relaxing, actually. Taking the process of getting better very gradually and not so much impatience and rushing to find a solution for it. Accepting things for what they are, etc... it also kind of helped that I read it while camping to get the full effect of the book lol

The Procrastinator's Handbook by Rita Emmett -
I read it to tackle that habit and it was more than I thought it would be. It isn't a "How To... do it this way only" type of book. It mostly touches on the underlying reasons WHY you procrastinate and one of them is anxiety and fear of something which was pretty true, for me anyways. I am still tackling that to this day but I have gotten waaay better attitude of "let's do it now" rather than "how bout later".

The Anxiety Cure: An Eight Step Program for Getting Well by Robert L. DuPont, MD -
The last book that I found helpful to me, out of the dozen I've read. I ignored the "cure" and the "eight step" wording on the front. I really liked this book since it was very simplified and precise in what you could do to overcome the anxiety. It has a section in each chapter for friends and family to help them help you with the anxiety.

Some of these made me shed tears with the stories told in them, some made me laugh so much. But out of all the books I've read, I find myself gravitate towards these ones the most. I do other things to help me as well. The books just are more of a guide for what I can do for myself. Hope that you find any or all useful to you in some way.

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