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Quick Fixes for Everyday Fears    by Michael Clarkson order for
Quick Fixes for Everyday Fears
by Michael Clarkson
Order:  USA  Can
Key Porter, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Toronto Star columnist Michael Clarkson previously wrote Intelligent Fear: How to Make Fear Work for You, which explains the emergency fear system, individual reactions to it, and how to manage it. Clarkson's 'Introduction to Fear' in Quick Fixes for Everyday Fears summarizes fear types, origins and coping strategies.

He goes on to cover over a hundred common phobias, with relevant quotes and characteristics, the background to this type of fear, coping strategies (including a helpful mantra for each phobia) and references. Fears are categorized into types: General, Physical, Ego, Home, Social Settings, School, Work, and Serious Worries. I chuckled over a list of phobias at the end, and probably suffer from ballistophobia (who doesn't?), deipnophobia, homilophobia, liticaphobia and macrophobia, but definitely not from bibliophobia!

I like John Shedd's quote in 'Fear of Taking Chances' - 'Ships in a harbor are safe, but that's not what ships are built for.' Coping strategies are sound, as in 'Fear for Your Children's Safety', in which the author advises us to teach kids to be street-smart, but not to make them grow up in a bubble. The mantra on 'Fear of Bullies' is both sensible and succinct - 'Don't get even, get help.' Some fears are recent, like fears of technology and of telemarketing, while others are as old as time, like fear of death or of falling.

We all have fears. In Quick Fixes for Everyday Fears, Michael Clarkson encourages us to put in the effort to understand them, to learn to cope with them better, and so reduce harmful stress in our lives.

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