From Panic To Power

If you’re expecting something earth-shattering, a magic bullet to transform the person held captive by anxiety into a self-confident world-conqueror, look elsewhere. Lucinda Bassett’s book, while promising in its painstakingly laid-out approach to overcoming anxiety disorder, provides no overnight cure.

Bassett, herself formerly plagued with acute anxiety disorder, draws upon her own road to recovery and the stories of countless others she’s helped since, to weave a tapestry of principles, insights, and guidelines designed to lead to healing.

Having researched and studied and discovered her path to overcoming acute anxiety and agoraphobia, Bassett began sharing her story with others, on television, in public appearances and seminars. She founded the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety where she works with individuals and corporations.

Pollyanna-ish in its dicta — “Nothing is ever as bad as you expect it will be.” “(Happiness) comes from inside yourself, right now, wherever you are.” — Bassett’s message, personal history and down-to-earth examples manage in spite of that to draw the reader into the book and its approach to a problem that affects a growing segment of the population.

Bassett puts forth pronouncement upon pronouncement about “practicing thought replacement” (translation: changing negative thoughts to positive ones), cultivating “an achievement attitude” (translation: “Just do it!”), and recognizing “resistance patterns” (translation: knowing your fears) as she leads the reader down a path to healing that sounds a lot easier said than done.

Translation: there’s really nothing new or revolutionary or particularly provocative here. Much of this has been presented before. Turning the pithy sayings into actual life-changing practice will take dogged effort, effort that at times Bassett seems almost to minimize.

Nonetheless, after a somewhat tedious first half and in spite of the rather simplistic one-two-three steps and bulleted lists of do’s and don’ts, Bassett’s approach with its “I did it; so can you!” enthusiasm is persuasive. An easy read (look for the funny asterisks, the bolding, caps and italics if you’re in a rush to make it even easier), this is a book you may want to keep on hand for lending to friends.

You may even want to keep it on hand yourself for reference when you’re looking for just that perfect positive message to get you through the day.

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