Fear and Other Uninvited Guests is a book we can all use, for nowadays, who does not suffer from some levels of anxiety, fear and shame? How those “uninvited guests” often sabotage our happiness and make honest relationships almost impossible is the subject of this enlightening and empowering book. Author Harriet Lerner, a psychologist and relationship expert with several bestselling books on topics such as anger and intimacy, writes with such warmth and honesty that this book stands out amidst a sea of “self-help” books on similar subjects.
Using her many years of clinical practice as the background for her obvious command of these darker aspects of human behavior, Lerner leads us through the various types of anxiety, fear and shame that may be holding us back and keeping us from fully expressing who we are and what we want. The fact that the author does this with humor and an upbeat attitude not often found in books about anxiety and fear makes this a delight to read, and a treasure chest filled with usable information and tips to lessen the grip of these uninvited guests on our lives.
From small fears and anxieties like being rejected for a date, to the more pervasive fears about self-worth and shame from past abuse, Lerner shows us the ways and means of facing our demons and moving through them as unscathed as possible, often even coming out the other side much better for the experience. She introduces us to clients suffering from the pains of divorce, abuse, anger, lack of intimacy, chronic illness and phobic fears and details how they learned to respond with courage, determination and clarity. It’s not that they completely eliminated their fear, anxiety or shame. They did, instead, learn to get them under control. These stories are inspirational and valuable because many of the situations described are ones in which many of us will ourselves in – divorces, parental problems, fear of flying, rejection, self-image issues, etc…
It’s easy today to get burned out reading self-help books, so it’s always such a pleasure when one comes along that really makes you want to take active steps to change your life. This book succeeds on that level, and more. The tone of the writing is friendly and down-to-earth, and the content downright liberating for anyone struggling with such fear and shame-based issues. And for the millions dealing with anxiety on a daily basis, this book offers hope and a way to get the monster back in its cage, so to speak.
The author understands how and why we feel and act the way we do, and she has a knack for making us understand ourselves better, too. Buy a copy for yourself, and for someone you love.