Book Review by Ashley L. Peterson, Mental Health at Home


I feel lucky, honored and humbled that you and people across social media have said such kind, wonderful things about my new book Calm & Sense. And I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart.


This reflection was sparked by my first “official” book review, which follows below. It was written by Ashley L. Peterson, for her publication, Mental Health at Home. I invite you to read the review here on her site, along with the other great book reviews she writes.


That said, I know that not all the reviews are going to be so positive in the future. I know not everyone is going to like my book and I’m trying to prepare myself for how I'm going to feel about negative comments and reactions. What if a reviewer hates the book? What if someone says something mean about the book, or worse… about me? How am I going to react? I'm not sure, and that has me worried.


I suspect I'm not alone in my fear of being judged by the people I know – and by people I don't.


The truth is, when we step out into the world, we have no control over how people react to us. And that lack of control is what makes stepping out into the world so scary, at least for me. What I keep reminding myself is that I may not be able to control what reviewers write or what people say about my work – or about me. What I do have control over is how I respond, what I think, and what I do.


So, what am I going to tell myself when I'm feeling attacked? I'm not sure, but my hope is that I'll be able to remind myself of who I am, and more importantly, why I feel so passionate about doing this work.


For most of my life I've worried about what other people said and thought about me. (In truth, I still do). But somewhere along the way, I’ve decided that my work, my mission to help us all deal with our anxiety, is more important than my fear.


Let me ask you, what if you decided to move past your fear of how other people might react to you, and you decided to step out into the world? What could you accomplish? Whom could you help? What might you change? What gift might you share with this world?


What if we both decided that starting right now, we're not going to let our fear of what others say about us hold us back from living the life we were truly meant to live?


I'm in, How about you?


Here's the review, in full – enjoy!


Book Review: Calm & Sense by Wendy Leeds

Reviewed by Ashley L. Peterson on March 10, 2021


Calm & Sense by psychotherapist Wendy Leeds is aimed at women dealing with anxiety. The author takes a very realistic perspective, encouraging readers to do what works best for them. She acknowledges that what works best may include medication, and doesn’t insist that any specific strategy will work for everyone. I always find that kind of balanced perspective reassuring in a book.


The book takes a very holistic approach, incorporating a broad range of different strategies that might be helpful. Each chapter is short and to the point, which makes for easy reading. The author provides example scenarios and incorporates information from references to help illustrate key points. There’s room to answer questions in workbook-style.


The reader might initially be taken aback by the author’s assertion that “you are causing your own anxiety.” However, it quickly becomes clear that this is intended in an empowering way rather than an invalidating way.


Several chapters are devoted to concepts from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). There’s also a chapter on the irrational beliefs described by Albert Ellis, the founder of rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT). You’ll definitely recognize some of these in yourself.


There’s a chapter devoted to accentuating the positive, but without any hint of the toxic positivity that seems so pervasive these days.


The book focuses on practical suggestions, and for topics like incorporating play or getting moving there are lengthy lists of suggestions.


While the book explicitly says it’s aimed at females, and there is some attention given at the beginning to differences between male and female brains, I think its usefulness extends beyond just half of the population.


The book doesn’t feel like a therapist trying to educate you; rather, it has the feel of another regular person having a conversation with you, who just happens to have the knowledge and experience of a therapist. With the wide range of ideas offered in the book, I think any reader is likely to find things that work for them. And easy-to-read is always a winner for me.


Calm & Sense is available on Amazon.


Note from Ashley: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This article appeared first on Mental Health at Home.

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