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.
About the authors
- Unknown, ABCT Self-Help Book Recommendation
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.
“This beautifully written book will benefit anyone suffering from shyness and social anxiety. The authors have a deep understanding and compassion for these difficulties, and their book is full of interesting and helpful exercises, all clearly explained and organized.”
—Ruth Baer, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, and editor of Mindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches and Assessing Mindfulness and Acceptance Processes in Clients
“This well-written, accessible workbook describes a new approach for coping with social anxiety and shyness based on rigorous research by the authors and others. This book is an excellent resource for anyone who experiences anxiety in social and performance situations. I strongly recommend it!”
—Martin M. Antony, PhD, ABPP, professor of psychology at Ryerson University and author of The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook
“Jan Fleming and Nancy Kocovski have created a highly accessible guide to support the journey from anxiety to calm, from worry to clarity, for those who experience stress in the face of social engagements and new situations. Built upon carefully studied clinical applications and the rigorous science of focusing the mind in an open and peaceful way, this practical handbook offers health-creating relief for anyone with an anxious disposition—especially those with social anxiety and shyness—so that they can find the inner peace and interpersonal confidence needed to live their lives with more ease and well-being. Congratulations to the authors for bringing the research-proven benefits of mindfulness to the lives of so many who are sure to benefit from their empirically-proven and practical suggestions!”
—Daniel J. Siegel, MD, executive director at the Mindsight Institute, clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and author of Mindsight, The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, and The Mindful Brain
“The authors bring their expertise and caring approach to each of the well-thought-out steps that lead to reducing anxiety over a wide range of situations. The specific therapeutic techniques of acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness are translated very skillfully into exercises that lead the reader gradually, step by step, to being able to look at their own anxiety in new ways.”
—Richard P. Swinson, MD, FRCPC, professor emeritus at Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, and author of The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook
“This book captures the most cutting-edge approaches for managing one of the most common, chronic, and debilitating psychological problems. Instead of trying to manage or get rid of social anxiety, the authors offer a shift in thinking toward how anxiety is transformed with an open, receptive attitude, and how a person can make progress toward meaningful life pursuits despite the presence of doubt and social fears. Many people will be helped by the insights in this workbook.”
—Todd B. Kashdan, PhD, associate professor of psychology at George Mason University and author of Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life
“Think of this book as a great skating instructor. Shyness and social anxiety push us to stay at the edge of the social skating rink, grasping tightly to a safety bar. Vitality and involvement cannot happen there. This book takes you by the hand and teaches you how to maintain your balance and choose your direction while in the open rink of full social participation. Are you fed up with living at the anxious edge of life? Release your grip on the safety bar and grab this book instead—it’s time to go for it."
—Steven C. Hayes, PhD, foundation professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno and author of Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life
Other titles by Zindel V. Segal
CBT Made Simple
A Clinician's Guide to Practicing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Mindfulness y psicoterapia
Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery
A Step-by-Step MBSR Approach to Help You Cope with Treatment and Reclaim Your Life
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Bipolar Disorder
Using DBT to Regain Control of Your Emotions and Your Life