Three books and a podcast

Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire

If you’re a fan of Mrs. Doubtfire, you will love listening to Dr. Claire Weekes in Hope and Help for your Nerves on Audible or CD.  Yes, some of the terminology is a little outdated, but I found the information very relevant and couldn’t help being charmed as she cheered me on.  Little known fact about Claire is that she had anxiety and panic attacks as well throughout her life.

Chronic worriers, Dave Carbonell is at it again. His latest book is called The Worry Trick and follows the popular workbook, Panic Attacks Workbook. I’ve read and enjoyed the workbook and have just begun making my way through The Worry Trick.  You’ll find expert advice inside on how to deal with chronic worry with a healthy dose of skill and humor.  Happy reading!

Do you find yourself backing away when anxiety makes it’s move?  Reid Wilson teaches us the new rules of the game in his latest book “Stopping the Noise in Your Head”. I’ve been reading a little bit every day and find myself underlining something on each page.  If you’ve read about my experience in his weekend workshop, you have an idea of what this looks like.  His style is very strategic, crosses over all anxiety disorders and you’ll feel like he’s coaching you personally along the way.

And finally, have you ever been listening to a podcast while driving home and it’s so good you just sit in your car in front of the house, until it’s over? In this section of This American Life, Paul Ford imagines what if anxiety were an IT problem to be solved?

Ping!

Have a great weekend!

Weekend Treatment Groups

Reid Wilson is getting ready to hold a few weekend treatment groups for people with panic disorder and OCD. Check out his website and get ready for a life changing weekend! You can read about my experience here.

If you live in the Chicago area, Dave Carbonell is also holding a 10 week panic attacks treatment group this coming Fall 2011.

Has anyone else attended either of these groups? If yes, what did you think? Does anyone have other resources they’d like to share?

Upcoming Fall Workshops

I know it’s the beginning of July and crazy hot (over 100 degrees here today!), but let’s look forward to two wonderful workshops available this Fall.

For those of you who live in/around the mid-west, Dave Carbonell is holding a weekend workshop for people with panic attacks. It will be held in Chicago, IL on October 23rd – 24th, 2010. For more information, check out this link. I’ve never met Dave, but his writing style is so appealing to me and I love his sense of humor. I think this would be well worth your time and money.

If you live close to North Carolina, Reid Wilson is also holding a weekend workshop and it’s excellent. His workshop is for people with panic attacks and social anxiety. It will be held in Durham, N.C. on September 11th – 12th, 2010. Reid Wilson has more dates listed at this site.

These guys are both excellent clinicians. I attended Dr. Wilson’s workshop almost two years ago and got so much out of it. What would have been even more helpful was to have a group of people working toward their goals to jump into when I got back home. Although, I think that’s possible to do online. You can expect to jump right in and work on some of your fears while you’re at the workshop. If you’re considering attending, you can read a little about my experience here.

Stay cool and I’ll check back in with a post on chapter 3 this weekend!

Get out your social calendars!

If you have Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, OCD or a fear of flying check your calendars! There are a few great opportunities coming up!

*Reid Wilson is holding a weekend treatment group for folks with Panic Disorder & Social Anxiety Disorder the weekend of May 2-3, 2009 & again August 29-30, 2009. His offices are in Durham, North Carolina & pretty accessible from the highway. He only takes 8 people, so give him a ring & see if the group is a good fit for you.

Dr. Wilson’s weekend treatment group for OCD is going to be held May 16-17, 2009 & again September 12-13, 2009.

*Dave Carbonell is “preparing to start another class for people with a fear of flying this spring. The class, which includes a group flight, will meet weekly in Rolling Meadows for five weeks, so it’s suitable only for people who live in the Chicago area.” For information, send a blank e-mail to: flying@anxietycoach.com

Know of more great resources like these? Share them!

I heart anxiety

Happy New Year!

I’ve been wondering what to write lately. I thought I’d be bursting with prose after the workshop. The busyness of the holidays hasn’t helped, either, but as I read recently, we all make time to do the things we really want to do. You know, like thinking – if only I could find time to keep my house clean and exercise as I plunk myself down to check email.

I think I’ve been avoiding fully processing what I took in that weekend and what I have to do from this point forward. I know I went in having an unrealistic expectation — the hope that I would drive to North Carolina early that Saturday morning a person with an anxiety disorder and come home Sunday night cured for life. The truth is, as Dr. Wilson said, anxiety disorders span the life cycle – which means, much can be done to cope with anxiety and it’s very treatable with the latest techniques & research, but it will always ebb and flow throughout our lives. That’s not what I wanted to hear. He also emphasized that the best way to conquer anxiety is to choose to enter anxiety provoking situations on purpose; want to get anxious; want the symptoms to be intense; and want the symptoms to stick around for a long time. Basically, you’ve got to learn to love your anxiety. On top of that, you gotta drop all the crutches you use to protect yourself from feeling anxious and just feel it all .

I had a chance to practice this provocative approach when driving to my Mom’s recently – a nice opportunity for regular practice. It was raining cats & dogs & sideways. I thought about taking the back roads, but picked up the girls from school and began driving on the highway toward my favorite bridges in West Point. Adrenaline surged, went away and came back again in concert with tired old thoughts and images of freaking out on the bridges. It’s so easy to ride around in circles on those well worn thought grooves. I just kept chanting in my head, “I want it. I want it.” I didn’t employ my usual crutches of favorite music or engaging conversation – I simply expected the anxiety & tried my best to want it to come, be intense and stick around. I also tried to drop the need for certainty and just reassured myself with, “Whatever happens, I can handle it.”

When I finally approached West Point, I saw the first bridge and crossed with no problem except for anticipating the bigger one. As I came up on the ascent of the second, the rain pounded against my car and, this may sound crazy, but I greeted my anxiety, like Reid suggested, and asked it to make my symptoms stronger (“Anxiety, I’m so glad you could meet me here! I need more adrenaline and pronto!”). I looked straight ahead, added the mantra “More” over and over again & remembered “I can handle this”. It wasn’t easy, but I did feel proud afterwards. A few months before, I wouldn’t even consider driving over these bridges on a sunny day without my cell phone within reach and Stevie Wonder cranking on the stereo. And, now, here I was, crossing them with my 3 kids on a dark & stormy afternoon.

Ok, so maybe this work never gets easy. But whatever happens, I can handle it. And, if you’re reading this and struggle with anxiety – you can handle it, too.

As we step into 2009, I invite you to look at what’s holding you back in your life. How will you work with what ails you, whether it’s anxiety or something else? Who will you share this with and who will walk by your side in community or as support?

This is the year to not let yourself off the hook. Don’t spend another moment living a smaller life than you dreamed.

A Quick Update

I just attended a weekend intensive anxiety group with Dr. Reid Wilson in Durham, N.C. this past weekend. (He’s a rock star in the world of anxiety treatment & cognitive therapy) What a great experience! He has another group in February 2009 & I highly encourage you to check it out if you struggle with panic disorder, social anxiety or OCD (they’re separate groups). It’s worth the time & money – I only wish I could transport the group up to my neighborhood. Another exciting opportunity is to check out Dr. James Gordon’s online class starting November 18th that looks at a more holistic approach to depression treatment. Troy commented on my book review of Unstuck & told us all about it – thanks!!

October was just silly busy, but I’ll have something to post very soon about my experience this past weekend!