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The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety and Shyness: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Free Yourself from Fear and Reclaim Your Life

The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety and Shyness: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Free Yourself from Fear and Reclaim Your Life


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Shyness is a common problem that comes with a high price. If you suffer from shyness or social anxiety you might avoid social situations and may have trouble connecting with others due to an extreme fear of humiliation, rejection, and judgment. As a shy person, you may also experience panic attacks that make it even more likely that you’ll avoid social situations.

With The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety and Shyness, the authors’ acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) program for overcoming shyness has become available to the public for the first time. This program has been found to be highly effective in research studies for the treatment of social anxiety disorder and related subclinical levels of shyness.

In the first section, you will confront performance fears, test anxiety, shy bladder, and interpersonal fears—fundamental symptoms of social anxiety. The second part helps you learn psychological flexibility to improve your ability to accept the feelings, thoughts, and behavior that may arise as you learn to work past your anxiety.

By keeping your values front and center, you will gradually learn to move beyond your fears and toward greater social confidence.

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608820801
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 06/01/2013
Pages: 168
Sales rank: 568,983
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jan E. Fleming, MD, is associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, ON, Canada, staff psychiatrist in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and clinical associate at The Mindfulness Clinic, all located in Toronto, ON. She has been a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a practicing psychiatrist for over twenty-five years. As a founding member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies in Hamilton, ON, she received support from the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, the Ontario Ministry of Health, and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, for her research on adolescent depression. Currently, her research and clinical focus are on the application of mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches—such as acceptance and commitment therapy—to social anxiety disorder.

Nancy L. Kocovski, PhD, is associate professor of psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON, Canada, where she teaches in the area of clinical psychology and maintains an active research program focused on social anxiety, mindfulness and acceptance-based treatments, and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). She received a New Investigator Fellowship from the Ontario Mental Health Foundation for her work on the development of mindfulness and acceptance-based group therapy for social anxiety disorder. She received an Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Research and Innovation in Ontario for her work on social anxiety and mindfulness. Kocovski also works as a clinical psychologist in private practice at CBT Associates of Toronto.

Fleming and Kocovski have worked closely together for almost a decade to develop and test the mindfulness and acceptance-based approach outlined in this book. Their research has shown the approach to be as effective as traditional cognitive behavior therapy in alleviating the suffering associated with social anxiety disorder.

Foreword writer Zindel V. Segal, PhD, is professor of psychology at the University of at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, ON, Canada. He is author of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression and The Mindful Way through Depression.

For more information, visit www.actonsocialanxiety.com.

Table of Contents

Series Editor Letter vii

Foreword ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Part 1 Fundametals

1 Defining Social Anxiety and Shyness 9

2 Safety Mode: The Costs of Pursuing "Safety" 19

3 Knowing What Matters: Uncovering Your Values and Goals 31

4 Introducing Mindfulness 51

5 Strengthening Your "Abs": Acceptance of Bodily Sensations 63

6 Defusing from Your Anxious Thoughts 79

Part 2 Putting It All Together

7 Taking "VITAL" Action 99

8 Stepping Toward Your Vital Life 121

Appendix A Mindfulness and Acceptance Approaches for Social Anxiety Disorder-The Evidence 135

Appendix B Additional Resources 141

References 145


Jan Fleming and Nancy Kocovski live in the Toronto, Ontario area in Canada.

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