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Anxiety, Phobias, & Panic: A Step-by-Step Program for Regaining Control of Your Life    by Reneau Z. Peurifoy order for
Anxiety, Phobias, & Panic
by Reneau Z. Peurifoy
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Shannon Bigham

Reneau Z. Peurifoy is a therapist, researcher and former teacher, who is highly knowledgeable in the field of anxiety disorders. The first edition of Anxiety, Phobias, & Panic was published in 1988 after Peurifoy's initial interest in the field led him to thoroughly research this fascinating area of psychology. At the time, there were no adequate programs to help those suffering from anxiety disorders and Peurifoy took it upon himself to develop his own step-by-step program. This second edition of the book has been fully updated by the author.

Essentially, the book offers a self-help program that has been successfully used by many people in the past to treat their anxiety. Peurifoy gently cautions the reader that his program must be used correctly to obtain good results and that the process itself must not be rushed. The book is intended to help treat the six basic types of anxiety-related problems that are recognized by mental health professionals: panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, specific phobias (e.g. fear of flying), and generalized anxiety disorder. (One of the appendices in the back of the book thoroughly describes each of them.)

Peurifoy says that in order to overcome anxiety-related problems, a person must have more than a general understanding of ideas about anxiety. The goal is for the reader to thoroughly review each lesson in the book and to internalize the skills and information within each lesson. Peurifoy feels that the Recommended Activities within the lessons play a key role in the program. There are fifteen lessons in all, some of which are: Reducing the Symptoms of Anxiety, Understanding and Reducing Stress, The Excessive Need for Approval, and Standing Up for Yourself.

In each lesson, Peurifoy explains concepts and then provides strategies and guidance to help with anxiety-related problems, depending upon the lesson topic. For example, in Lesson 3 (Understanding and Reducing Stress), Peurifoy explains what stress is and gives basic stress management principles. Additionally, there is a stress inventory for the reader to take in order to determine his or her level of stress. The lesson then goes on to provide guidelines for periods of high stress and how to develop a lifestyle based upon stress management principles.

Anxiety, Phobias, & Panic is a wonderful tool to help those who suffer from anxiety-related problems (roughly nineteen million Americans!) It's interesting, practical and easy to read. I highly recommend this book to anyone suffering from these problems, or to those interested in learning more about this fascinating field.

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