Free Yourself from Anxiety

BOOK: Free Yourself from Anxiety
5.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


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Title Page

Who this Book is for



1 The Black Hole of Anxiety

Getting equipped

Group members talk

Ways of using this book


Group members talk


2 Are You Sure it’s Anxiety?

Seeing the doctor

What will the doctor do?

How shall I talk to the doctor?

What will happen next?

Group members talk about diagnosis

3 Depression

Can I work on my anxiety while I have depression?

Group members talk about treatment

4 Anxiety Disorders

Panic attacks


Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

Feeling unreal

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Understanding the difference between OCD and phobias

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Children and young people

Keeping an anxiety diary

Group members talk about the Anxiety experience

5 Helping Yourself to Overcome Anxiety

Qualities needed for self-help

Questionnaire – are you ready for recovery?

Group members talk about moving towards recovery

6 Two Key Skills: Goal Setting and Relaxation

Key skill – goal setting

Goals need to be realistic

Choose specific goals

Break goals down into small steps

Keep a record of goals and progress

Learn from your failures

Repeat your goals

Example of goal setting – running the marathon

Breakdown of first goal

Key skill – learning to relax fully

Group members talk about relaxation

7 Causes of Anxiety Disorders

How do anxiety disorders develop?

Task – measure your stress

Group members talk about the build-up to anxiety

8 The Connection between Mind, Body and Spirit

Values and beliefs

Understanding more about your body

Changing your breathing

Key skill – breathing exercise one

Group members talk about breathing

9 Taking Exercise to Help Anxiety

Exercise options

Establishing a personal exercise programme

Exercise ladder

Group members talk about exercise

10 Examining Your Diet

Task – recording what you eat

Food and drink

Your eating pattern

Breakfast is important

Group members talk about food and drink

11 More about Diet

Understanding the effects of caffeine

Checklist – food and drink

Compare your diaries

Group members talk about caffeine

12 Understanding Alcohol, Nicotine and Other Drugs



Prescription drugs

Street drugs

Set your goals

Group members talk about alcohol, nicotine and other drugs

13 Your Sleep Patterns

Worrying about sleep

Task – deal with your sleep

Compare your diaries

Group members talk about sleep

14 Positive Experiences

The value of laughter

Social contacts

Getting out into the fresh air


Group members talk about positive experiences

15 Achieving Life Balance and Managing Your Time

Why anxiety strikes after a stressful event

Assessing your life balance

Group members talk about life balance

16 Review – Lifestyle Changes

Summary of tasks so far

Dealing with difficult tasks

Group members talk about taking small steps


17 Taking the Next Step


Effects of anxiety

Group members talk about anxiety behaviours

18 Examining Anxiety Behaviours



Doing less

Safety behaviours

Effects of anxiety behaviours


Group members talk about safety behaviours

19 What Do You Want to Achieve?

Examining your responses

Be precise about your fears

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Group members talk about recovery

20 Looking at Change and Risk

Key skill – accepting change

Finding the motivation for change

Key skill – taking risks

Learning to accept risk

Group members talk about the recovery process

21 How Your Anxiety Affects Your Friends and Family

Telling someone about your anxiety problem


Group members talk about sharing and isolation

22 Learning about Exposure Work

Working out an exposure plan

Listing your goals

Group members talk about exposure for panic and phobias

Exposure work for OCD

Group members talk about exposure for OCD

Exposure for panic attacks

Coping with a panic attack

Breathing during panic attacks and exposure work

More about breathing

Group members talk about panic

23 Planning Your Exposure

Exposure ladders


Panic ladder

Agoraphobia ladder

Specific phobia ladder

Generalised anxiety disorder ladder

Travel phobia ladders

Social phobia ladder

Group members talk about exposure

24 Exposure for OCD

Understanding compulsions

Example: compulsive hand washing

OCD with compulsive thoughts

Group members talk about obsessions and compulsions

25 Working with a Helper

Arranging help with panic and phobia exposure

Arranging help with OCD exposure

Stopping rituals and compulsive thoughts

Asking for reassurance

Group members talk about working towards recovery

26 Exposure – Coping Skills

Your body

Your helper

Mental distractions

Physical distractions




Plan an escape route

Reward system

Group members talk about coping skills

27 Exposure – Your First Goal

Julie’s exposure – phobia

Andrew’s exposure – OCD

28 Plateaux and Setbacks



Dealing with plateaux and setbacks

Group members talk about plateaux and setbacks


29 Anxiety on Trial

Group members talk

30 Let the Trial Commence

Working with thoughts

OCD and thoughts

Group members talk about negative thoughts

31 The First Two Charges Against Anxiety

Anxiety is charged with wilfully misinterpreting the world


Anxiety is charged with changing your thought patterns


Group members talk about anxious thoughts

32 Anxiety is Charged with Distorting Your Personality

The worrier

The critic

The victim

The perfectionist


Ways of countering the four personalities

Group members talk about sub-personalities

33 Anxiety is Charged with Extreme Thinking

Ways of countering extreme thinking

Group members talk about extreme thinking

34 Anxiety is Charged with Selective Attention

Ways of countering selective attention

Group members talk about selective attention

35 The Final Charges Against Anxiety

Anxiety is charged with distorting your intuition

Anxiety is charged with creating self-reproach

Ways of countering distorted intuition and self-reproach

Group members talk about negative thought patterns

36 Another Approach – Logical Argument

An example of Socratic questioning

More questions to ask yourself

Socratic argument and OCD

37 The Verdict

Changing your anxious thinking

Checklist – coping skills for cognitive work

Group members talk about coping skills

38 Other Techniques to Use to Change Your Thinking

Testing your cognitive work

Cognitive work and OCD

Testing cognitive work for OCD

After the session – all anxiety disorders


Group members talk about making changes

39 More about Thought Processes

Core beliefs

Identifying your core beliefs

Group members talk

40 The Vicious Circle

Core beliefs that drive the vicious circle

OCD and core beliefs

Group members talk

41 Working on Your Negative Core Beliefs

Examining your negative core beliefs

Challenging your negative core beliefs

Group members talk about dealing with the past

42 Changing Your Negative Core Beliefs

Using counter statements for negative core beliefs

Be your own researcher

Group members talk

43 Summary of Work with Core Beliefs


44 Why Me?

Understanding emotions

Simple emotions

Complex emotions

Repression and anxiety

Group members talk about feelings

45 Dealing with Withheld Feelings

Expressing your feelings

Identifying your negative emotions

Group members talk about becoming open to feelings

46 Assertiveness

Assertiveness and anxiety

Group members talk about assertiveness

47 Self-confidence and Self-esteem

Building confidence and self-esteem

Healing your inner child

Group members talk about self-esteem

48 Problems and Decisions

Decision making

Problem solving

49 The Meaning of Life

Are you resisting recovery?

Facing up to difficult issues

Group members talk about encouragment

50 Dealing with Maintenance Factors – Summary

Checklist for maintenance factors

Group members talk – words of wisdom

51 Finale

How are you feeling?

Group members talk about recovery

52 It’s Okay to be Me

Further help

Goodbye to the group


Extra Information

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3



BOOK: Free Yourself from Anxiety
5.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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