Readings

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

Davis, Eshelman, McKay

Although the sheer size of this dense workbook might cause initial hyperventilation--280 full-size sheets of text--take heart (and a deep breath!): the many self-assessment tools and calming techniques presented in this fifth edition can help overcome anxiety and promote physical and emotional well-being. First introduced in 1980, the book received praise for presenting a comprehensive look at stress, its physical manifestations, and the multiple ways it can be managed. Twenty years later, its well-organized chapters on breathing, relaxation, meditation, thought stopping, and body awareness still guide the reader through copious self-help techniques to try and, eventually, master. Other chapters, including job stress management, goal setting and time management, and assertiveness training, focus on daily scenarios people often find distressing. Lessons in identifying key elements that trigger unpleasant responses and in reacting differently to these elements are designed to defuse perceived conflicts. For this edition, coauthors Martha Davis (psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Santa Clara, CA), Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman (licensed clinical social worker with Kaiser Permanente Online), and Matthew McKay (clinical director of Haight-Ashbury Psychological Services, San Francisco, CA) have added topics on worry control, anger management, and eye-movement therapy. New diagrams and a more reader-friendly format should appeal to readers, despite a few typos and graphical mishaps. This is a valuable tool for therapists, their patients, and the stressed-at-large.

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