What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders : Key Concepts, Insights, and Interventions book cover
1st Edition

What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders
Key Concepts, Insights, and Interventions

ISBN 9780415828994
Published May 20, 2014 by Routledge
218 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders is an integrated and practical approach to treating anxiety disorders for general psychotherapists. What is new and exciting is its focus on changing a patient’s relationship to anxiety in order to enable enduring recovery rather than merely offering a menu of techniques for controlling symptoms. Neither a CBT manual nor an academic text nor a self-help book, What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders offers page after page of key insights into ways to help patients suffering from phobias, panic attacks, unwanted intrusive thoughts, compulsions and worries. The authors offer a rich array of therapist-patient vignettes, case examples, stories, and metaphors that will complement the work of trainees and experienced clinicians of every orientation. Readers will come away from the book with a new framework for understanding some of the most frustrating clinical challenges in anxiety disorders, including "reassurance junkies," endless obsessional loops, and the paradoxical effects of effort.

Table of Contents

1. Why Details Make a Difference 2. The Basics 3. A Contemporary View of Anxiety Disorders 4. The Therapeutic Attitude of Acceptance 5. Getting Started 6. Techniques Your Patients Have Probably Already Tried and Misunderstood: What They Are and How to Make Them Helpful 7. Diagnoses: An Annotated Tour of the Anxiety Disorders 8. Exposure: The Active Ingredient 9. The Curious Case of Worry 10. Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: All Bark and No Bite 11. Classic Pitfalls: Common Mistakes Non-Specialists Make 12. Another View of Resistance: Issues that Interfere with Treatment 13. Some Hard-to-Treat Problems: A New Perspective 14. Relapse Prevention Appendix 1. Additional Metaphors Appendix 2. A Summary of the Labeling Process That Can Be Given to Patients Appendix 3. How to Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing Appendix 4. Anxiety Diary

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Martin N. Seif, PhD, ABPP, cofounded the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and was a member of its board of directors from 1977 through 1991. Dr. Seif is associate director of the Anxiety and Phobia Treatment Center at White Plains Hospital and a faculty member of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell Medical School. He maintains a private practice in Manhattan and Greenwich, Connecticut, and leads Freedom to Fly, an airport-based program for fearful fliers.

Sally Winston, PsyD, cofounded the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland, where she is codirector. She is the inaugural recipient of the Jerilyn Ross Award of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and has decades of experience treating patients, training therapists, and advocating for public awareness of anxiety disorders and advances in their treatment. She has given training workshops in the US, Canada, Asia, and Africa.


"Full of sage advice and enlivened by dozens of client–therapist vignettes, this book is an encyclopaedic sprint through the most common psychological problem in the world. Written in a clear and accessible style, the book is an ideal companion for the non-specialist practitioner.

—Sharon Breen, counsellor-in-training, coach and writer, for Therapy Today

"What Every Therapist Needs to Know about Anxiety Disorders is an exceptionally helpful and well-written book. Authors Seif and Winston, with their combined 70-plus years of experience in treating anxiety disorders, have gathered their enormous wealth of knowledge and experience into a highly readable and immediately applicable volume. Their theories have the solidness that only comes from long practice and research. Of central importance, they explain why many treatments (often standardly accepted) fail while freely sharing interventions they have proven to be successful. Professionals will find it informative and useful; those suffering from this cluster of disorders will be helped as well as feel understood and comforted. If you work with people with anxiety disorders, you need to read this book. If you are someone who suffers from anxiety disorders, you need to read this book. You will be glad you made the investment."

—Babette Rothschild, author of The Body Remembers and 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery

"Anxiety disorders present a myriad of distracting feelings, thoughts, and interpretations. Seif and Winston pull back the curtains to reveal the simple dynamic that maintains all anxieties and worries. You will learn how to persuade clients to drop their ‘get rid of’ mentality and adopt the powerful paradoxical responses that will serve as their ticket out of suffering. Here is the chance to learn from the wisdom of two master clinicians I’ve admired my entire career."

—Reid Wilson, PhD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and author of Don’t Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks.

"As a psychodynamically oriented therapist, I find this book brimming with useful insights and techniques that I can use to help my patients suffer less as they explore and understand themselves. The authors’ profound understanding of the workings of anxiety, based on their long experience, is illuminating and helpful to therapists of any theoretical orientation. Reading this book is like having a private consultation with the experts on anxiety and OCD. Free of jargon, the lucid and user-friendly style will make this book a frequently accessed companion for every therapist who has a sense that there is perhaps more one can do to alleviate patients’ often-crippling anxiety."

—Ruthellen Josselson, PhD, author of Playing Pygmalion: How People Create One Another.

 "You won't feel anxious about working with anxious patients and won't know how much you didn't know about anxiety—yours and your patients—until after you read this book. The authors generously and expertly share their accumulated wisdom in a way that's nuanced, highly informative, and easy to grasp. Though the book is not primarily aimed at psychoanalysts, it is guaranteed to be thought provoking and productive to read because of its applicability to various treatment modalities, its richness, its originality, and its leading-edge approach."

—Sigalit Levy, PhD, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst at theWilliam Alanson White Institute