Right from this book’s outset, Tracy admits that she’s no professional
or qualified expert in anxiety, or the human condition in this context, though
she shares her thoughts through personal experience, and it is also fair to say
that she has learnt a fair amount along the way about cognitive approaches to
tackling anxiety, such as ACT and CBT.
She makes clear her disdain for the latter, but is certainly a fan of
the former, and herein forms the basis of this book, which is full of exercises
and affirmations, after the customary biography, stretching back to Tracy’s
past twenty years tackling her own anxiety.
It is a crippling condition, to be sure, and I admire anyone who has faced
it head on and achieved even a modicum of success, which this author certainly
appears to have done. What she does now,
in Owning Anxiety, is share her method and her coping mechanisms, both
historically and perpetually. It is a
book which very much comes from the right place – in Tracy’s case, from the
heart. It means well and wants you to be
well. You can tell that her empathy is totally
genuine, and I can imagine how this book would make one feel like they aren’t alone
in their struggle – every bit her intention, I am sure.
Although Tracy covers ACT in some measure of depth,
applying her own spin on it, it is fair to say that this book doesn’t really go
into any depth of psychology or profundity, which is not surprising, given its length
– indeed, I read this book in no more than an hour or two. Don’t expect a method which you can absorb
and practice for life. Rather, what this
is is something of a pep talk, from someone who knows what you need, and she
sets you up nicely to go it alone, as it were.
It is the sort of book that will share her suggestions with you, and you
can refer to at times when you are feeling particularly overwhelmed, or perhaps
in need of a little TLC, which Tracy readily provides. I would describe this not as a self-help
book, as such, but perhaps rather as an introduction to a topic of self-help,
or cognitive therapy you can explore further, and it is delivered by an undoubtedly
caring individual, desperate for you to succeed. Seems to me as good a place as any to start
tackling your anxiety.
In : Book Reviews