A well-explained and precise solution for anxiety from the cognitive behavioral therapy school.

WHY ON EARTH DO I FEEL THIS WAY?

UNDERSTANDING ANXIETY AND MENTAL HEALTH THROUGH CONTROL THEORY

A debut psychological work explains how Control Theory can help patients get a handle on their anxiety.

Everyone has anxiety. Defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, as simply “anticipation of a future threat,” some amount of anxiety is normal. But anxiety can sometimes manifest as anger, sadness, irritability, or nervousness, especially when people are unaware of the source. This can result in a feeling of having lost control of their lives. Anxiety does not have to reach the level of a disorder for it to become a nuisance. Arasz is interested in helping people get control over their anxiety so that they can feel in charge of their lives again: “Control Theory specifically focuses on anxiety and anxiety management because anxiety is at the root of any mental health disorder. By tackling the root cause of a disorder and learning how to control the underlying anxiety, we are able to minimize, decrease, or prevent the development of more severe symptoms.” The author describes how readers’ anxiety is often rooted in their core beliefs, which are internalized views that they form while they are children and are not necessarily accurate or true. These beliefs are often the source of their insecurities and fears. Certain triggers can agitate these beliefs, causing waves of anxiety that seem to come from nowhere. Arasz lays out methods for identifying these beliefs and triggers as well as helpful strategies for mitigating and even avoiding anxiety in readers’ daily lives. She hopes that Control Therapy will help everyone, from those suffering from mild anxiety to those with more severe disorders—since the feeling, in the author’s view, lies at the heart of nearly every mental ailment—and that it may even help curb the current epidemic of school violence. Tonally, the book manages to exist comfortably between more motivational, self-help offerings and denser psychological works. Arasz writes in a lively and accessible prose that makes it easy for readers to grasp her concepts: “Kids are master manipulators. It’s a natural defense mechanism for them as they are trying to figure things out in the world. They are trying to learn what they are able to do, what they can’t do, and what they’re not allowed to do.” The first section alone, which explains the causes and manifestations of anxiety, will be highly elucidating for uneasy readers. Control Theory borrows heavily from the popular cognitive behavioral therapy model, particularly the work of Judith Beck; Arasz credits her sources in the text and in the book’s bibliography. The author developed her theory over 17 years as a practicing psychologist working with adolescents, adults, and families, and she attests to its success among her patients. In its extreme focus on exercising control over one’s thoughts, the concept differs from more holistic approaches that incorporate considerations of diet and lifestyle. Those suffering from anxiety will have to try it for themselves to see if it works for them. If they do so, Arasz’s smooth prose and practiced communication skills will surely help shed some light on the causes of their anxiety.

A well-explained and precise solution for anxiety from the cognitive behavioral therapy school.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Manuscript

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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