Beyond Shyness Audio Program - Social Anxiety Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Beyond Shyness Audio Program

Audio therapy programs are a helpful resource for people who live in locations where they do not have access to a suitable psychologist or therapist to help them with their SAD. Licensed therapists create audio recordings using the same exercises and discussions that they use in live therapy session with Social Anxiety Disorder patients. Because much of the cognitive portion of CBT relies on the patient practicing thought patterns at home, audio therapy can be a successful alternative or useful supplement, to visits with a licensed psychotherapist.

This ground-breaking, self-empowering, learn-in-the-privacy-of-your-own-space self-therapy audio CD program is for you if you or a dependent suffers from social anxieties, disorders or phobias.

The audio CD provides a framework for understanding social anxieties - from both academic and real-life standpoints - and details steps to successfully overcome them. A workbook re-enforces the learning and self-therapy process. It contains exercises, assessment tools, and profiles.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 03:05 PM
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A comprehensive audio series

Social Anxiety Background
Social anxiety has affected me since I was in elementary school. While it was triggered initially by a traumatic experience, it is something that runs in the family and I certainly had a predisposition for. Some examples of how it manifested itself over the years: avoiding certain types of social situations and friends, avoiding public speaking, avoiding the opposite sex completely, hiding in the library during lunch, the thought of just walking down certain hallways at my highschool terrified me, fear of being around large groups of people, fear and avoidance of going to parties or social gatherings, etc. My social anxiety started to get severe when I dropped out of college after one quarter because of my social anxiety. That's when I started to get uncomfortable just leaving my apartment and hit "the bottom" so to speak. Through treatment with group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR) for mild Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and medication I've been able to live the balanced life that I value and form healthy friendships and relationships.

Other Treatments
The other audio tape series I've used is Dr. Richard's Overcoming Social Anxiety (I have posted a Treatment Experience on it), which I found to be more comprehensive in dealing with all aspects of social anxiety. Both take different approaches to treatment, Dr. Richards focusing more on CBT, while Jonathan Berent focuses more on breathing and relaxation techniques.

Treatment Experience

Jonathan Berent's book and audio CDs cover a lot about social anxiety, but I came to them after I'd used Dr. Richard's Overcoming Social Anxiety, so I was already a ways along in treatment, so to speak. I'll focus on what I found to be very beneficial about the series, but it's worth posting the program outline here so you can see what he actually covers:
1A - Getting Started
(1) Introduction: 2:30
(2) Getting to the Point: Defining Your Most Valuable Asset: 10:51
(3) Interview with Arthur: "Cured" Social and School Phobic: 13:31
(4) Interview with Robert: Resolution of Public Speaking Anxiety: 21:48

1B - Getting Started
(1) Understanding Shyness: 6:54
(2) Anxiety as Energy: 2:55
(3) Conscious Breathing Technique: 2:47
(4) Patterns of Social Anxiety: 5:29
(5) Profiles of Social Anxiety: 9:49
(6) By-products of Social Anxiety: 8:07
(7) Causes of Social Anxiety: 7:25
(8) The Learning Disability Connection: 2:25
(9) Self-Image Issues: 1:31
(10) Link to Past Exercise: 3:21
(11) Summary Section #1: 2:55

2 - Create Your Map For Change
(1) Creating Your "Map" For Change: 1:43
(2) Biofeedback: Intro to Skin Temperature Training: 7:54
(3) Intro to Self-Diagnostics: 2:59
(4) Physical Anxiety Profile: 10:34
(5) Mental Anxiety Profile: 6:02
(6) Behavioral Avoidance Profile: 15:15
(7) Behavioral Dependence Profile: 9:17
(8) Muscle Awareness Relaxation Exercise: 2:29
(9) Summary: Self-Diagnostics: 2:46

3A - Develop a High Performance Mind
(1)"Ultimate" Mechanics for Change: Intro to "Mind States": 5:32
(2) The "Natural Child" Mind State: 2:32
(3) The "Adapted Child" Mind State: 20:56
(4) The "Nurturing Parent" Mind State: 3:44
(5) The "Critical Parent" Mind State: 5:29
(6) The "Adult" Mind State: 12:53
(7) Embarrassment Under the Microscope: 3:03
(8) Ego Graph: The Picture of a "Cure": 4:12

3B - Develop A High Performance Mind
(1) Interview With Eric: A Profile of Anger: 16:25
(2) Creating Mind-State Balance: 22:25
(3) Embarrassment Challenge Exercise: 2:01
(4) Interview With Chris (Rock & Roll Musician): An Example of Healthy Mind State Balance: 6:22
(5) Interview With Alan (An Example of "The High Performance Mind":
He Turned His Learning Disability-Based Anxiety Into a Successful Chiropractic Career: 13:12
(6) Mind State Development Exercise: 1:16

4A - Stress Management
(1) Introduction to Stress Management: 9:54
(2) The "Adaptation Phenomenon": 1:26
(3) Social Anxiety Characterizes the Millennium: 2:37
(4) 3-Step Technique For Panic Control: 4:28
(5) Distress Or Eustress: Control Or Controlling?: 3:31
(6) "Performance" & Stress: 13:47
(7) Intro: Comprehensive 7-Step Program For Stress Management: 0:32
(A) The High Performance Mind: 0:31
(B) Resolve Repressed Emotion: 0:23
(C) Learn a Quieting Response: 6:30

4B - Stress Management
(D) Food & Healing: Annemarie Colbin, PhD.: 30:01
(E) Aerobic Exercise: 3:51
(F) Rhythms of Nature: 1:38
(G) Time Management: 2:48

5 - Pharmacology
(1) Natural Pharmacology: 6:22
(2) Intro to Medication: 1:23
(3) Interview With Stephanie (Paxil Patient and Spokeswoman): 14:29
(4) Perspectives on Medicine: 4:04
(5) Interview With Robert Lutrell, M.D.: 16:46
(6) Closing Points: 3:54

6A - Corrective Parenting: For Dependents of All Ages
(1) Understanding "Initiative": 4:27
(2) Warning Signs (Parenting Diagnostics): 12:31
(3) Avoidance-Dependence (Nurturing v.s. Enabling): 15:09
(4) Interview With Ellen (Corrective Parenting For Social Anxiety/Selectively Mutism): 10:16

6B - Corrective Parenting
(1) 22-Step Corrective Parenting Methodology: 46:32

7 - Social Skills
(1) Chemistry Is More Than a 9-Letter Word: 2:16
(2) Listening Skills: 1:57
(3) Logic As a Social Skill: 5:17
(4) Social Skills Learning: 4:40
(5) Interactive Issues: 5:03
(6) The Basic Rules: 0:32
(7) Body Language: 11:46
(8) Ten Steps For Meeting and Greeting: 4:35
(9) Conversation Guidelines: 12:34
(10) Relationship Development: 4:21
(11) Interview With Mike: "Cured" Social Phobic and Involuntary Virgin:10:56
(12) How to Become Truly Likeable -10 Steps: 1:23
(13) Summary: 1:03

8 - Putting It All Together
(1) Putting It All Together: 7:46
(2) Deep Relaxation Exercise: 18:47
(3) Empowering Exercise Introduction: 1:55
(4) Empowering Exercise: 10:54

Given that, the most important things I took away from the series were the diaphragmatic breathing technique and the concept of time and balancing your life.

First, I was really amazed by how helpful diaphragmatic breathing could be. By learning what it was in the booklet and practicing along with him on the CDs it became a habit for me and even now I still will automatically break it out when I am in anxiety causing situations. Having oxygen really helps control adrenalin rushes. The technique helped me start going to Toastmasters and giving speeches because with it I saw myself as able to maintain some level of control and "ride the wave of anxiety" despite that the adrenalin was pumping, my heart racing, knees shaking, hands sweating, etc.

Second, I learned how skewed my concept of time had become and how far off I was from leading a balanced life. Two thing happened as my anxiety got worse, I was increasingly obsessing over fewer and fewer relatively unimportant things, the time of my day just seeming to disappear into thin air. When someone would ask me what I spent all my time doing, I didn't really have any answer? (Sound familiar?) The second thing was that I wasn't living a balanced life between work, play, and social activities. While I think I always knew how skewed my life had become, it wasn't until I came upon this series that I was forced to actually write it out and see what I just wasn't spending my time doing the things I wanted to. Since then I've started to live a more balanced life and pay more attention to how I'm actually spending my time. It hasn't been easy, but awareness of the fact was the first step.

Ultimately, I would recommend Dr. Richard's series over this one, but I think both of them would be beneficial to anyone with social anxiety, Dr. Richard's first, then this one. Jonathan Berent has been working with people with social anxiety out in New York for many years and this series is a way to get access to his therapy without seeing him in person.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 09:23 PM
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Jonathan A. Berent - A Real A-Hole

I had a horrendous experience with Jonathan Berent, whose book and audio CDs are mentioned on this thread.

Through his website, he apparently maintains an email list of those who have contacted him for help with their anxiety.

In the latter part of 2005, Mr. Berent contacted, by email, a seemingly random selection of people on that email list to announce a contest he was sponsoring. I was on that list.

Mr. Berent, for his own personal gain, blantantly exploited and disrespected every person who entered that email contest.

I posted the details of that fiasco to Rip Off Report (link below). The website is usually used for reports of scams, swindles, poor business ethics and financial loss; what Mr. Berent did fits most of those categories.


When at home alone I sit
And grow very tired of it
I have just to close my eyes
To go sailing through the skies.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 01:58 PM
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Agreed. his 10buck book was the only social phobia book back in the early 90's. Reading his material and even looking on the audio contents posted above clearly indicates Berent's distaste and mockery of SA people insulting them as kids.

I once called his office. The reception was the rudest call I've ever heard to date. (and yes, I've worked in customer support and fielded thousands of phone calls so I've heard all kinds of people over the phone) Finally I got in contact with him, and in his heavily pronounced new yorker accent he barely said anything just said his 10buck book was available if I couldn't afford to fly there to attend his programs. I guess his modus is getting concerned parents to talk to him first rather than the "child".

He's a yorker shill and was one of the first to exploit SA suffering financially.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 10:43 AM
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Berent's customer service is appalling. He is rude and condescending to his clients.

I cannot speak for the effectiveness of his program due to the fact that I could not get beyond his arrogance when I needed some questions answered.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 03:40 AM
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My experience with Berent and his associates was just humiliation. I tried reading his book. The last fourth of it is devoted to a message to "parents" about their impotent "child" with SA. The book offers no real world solutions except to humiliate and reinforce oneself with SA stigma. No understanding or compassion for the SA having being singled out by peers since 4 years old and self-esteem perpetually destroyed. The book goes on making SA people feel worse about themselves and guilty for depending on parents or external resources socially and/or financially. The last part is just hacked up or borrowed from generic panic disorder texts i.e. "relaxation exercises" ad nauseum. Might as well add a chapter on how to commit suicide in order to stop being a burden to society. It's just to make a buck and go on a judging spree while at it. It reminds me of a new pyschotherapist I had to see at a local clinic. When I was slow to answer, he just yelled at me to answer. Wow, a bully using taxpayer supported mental clinic to get away with stuff he couldn't elsewhere. In summary, the attitude is they don't care and neither does Berent associates.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 05:40 PM
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Save your money....

The book was recommended to me. I read it. It sounded good in the beginning. Then, about half way through I lost interest. I would not recommend it to anyone. I didn't feel like I was belittled like other posters stated, but I did feel that his suggestions didn't hit the core of the problem. They simply just didn't work as well as the CBT I've learned thus far.

I think that in general, the thing to do for solving ANY problem, is to get advice from someone that has had to deal with the problem themselves, and have done so successfully. They have more compassion, and only teach methods that work, not those that only sound like they work. I don't think he actually had to deal with SA himself.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 10:03 AM
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Worked with him over the phone

This guy charges a fortune to talk to first off. About a 120.00 a session minus insurance if you fortunate enough to have it. He pitched me a great sales pitch than basically interrogates you during the sessions basically he says socially anxious people are addicted to avoidance and just stop avoiding and breathe this way and that's about it. When this small amount of advice he than badgers you to do things that are anxiety provoking and when you feel crappy bout you performance he just repeats the avoidance thing and breathing. He focuses on a persons history and things to blame it on than repeats the process. He had one show on Sally Jesse back in the early 90's and uses this Arthur guy as his poster boy for curing or resolving as he says social phobia. I think he's really about making money that's it. Most people with SA are like me were hard enough on ourselves and just desperate enough to pay some snake oil salesman to "help".
The reality is read his book if you find it really helpful he'll repeat it to you over the phone for 120.00 for 45 minutes a session for as long as you can pay or about $200 to listen to it on CD but it's very redundant.
I wrote this so long because I want to steer people away from wasting money having person experience with him for about 3 months I think my perspective seems to be the most personal I've read so far.
On the other hand Dr.Richards to me seems very concerned with people's welfare sincerely and I've worked in a group using his material. Our group leader gave up because most members stopped showing up and she was giving her time and energy into it unfortunately for myself. You have to put in the work to see results. Just the two of us didn't constitute a group and it was about a 90 minute drive for me so we agreed to throw in the towel. The materials are very helpful if you use them consistently.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 01:23 AM
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These reviews are pretty spot on. I should've read them before I bought the book...
I listened to him speaking on his website, and he doesn't seem to have a very high opinion of SA sufferers to put it mildly. He is probably just a blunt and to the point kind of person, but his lack of empathy is off-putting.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 12:38 PM
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Jonathan Berent??

Hi, I have recently made an appointment with Mr. Berent, and I have got a feeling that he is very arrogant. Have you ever had a conversation with him? My son (3.5 ys old) has SM and I am debating if an appointment with Mr. Berent is the right choice. Please help!

Any therapist that you could recommend?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 12:52 PM
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Jonathan Berent

I really liked the things I saw on Youtube and the videos he has up on his website about sa, and Im considering buying his book

I haven't met him in person tho nor spoke to him on the phone
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