cover image Social Courage: Coping and Thriving with the Reality of Social Anxiety

Social Courage: Coping and Thriving with the Reality of Social Anxiety

Eric Goodman. Exisle, $21.99 trade paper (232p) ISBN 978-1-925335-75-0

Clinical psychologist Goodman’s practical workbook-style self-help guide offers a number of useful strategies for people dealing with social anxiety. With the stories of his clients as examples, Goodman shows how a lifetime of dysfunctional behavioral patterns and negative thinking can contribute to being “stuck,” and how learning to recognize and acknowledge these patterns can lead to freedom. He quotes John Wayne’s observation that courage is “being afraid and saddling up anyway.” The book starts with a self-assessment checklist to determine to what extent social anxiety interferes with one’s life, and goes on to cover how problems such as loneliness and fears of public speaking, travel, using public restrooms, and looking less than perfect can be overcome using techniques of logical, self-compassionate reframing and mindful acceptance to defuse anxiety’s power. Goodman’s approach combines three protocols—cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and compassion-focused therapy—with the overall goal not of changing one’s personality, but of changing one’s relationship to anxiety-inducing, negative thoughts, along with being kinder to oneself. Readers who struggle with social anxiety should find Goodman’s clearly explained advice to be usable and appealing. [em](Aug.) [/em]