Several weeks ago, I received an advance copy of a new book, The Road to Calm Workbook: Life-Changing Tools to Stop Runaway Emotions by Carolyn Daitch and Lissah Lorberbaum and I have been working my way through the book and its material day-by-day. In actuality, the book is not just a "book" but also an audio program, as it comes with 36 recordings of Dr. Daitch's exercises that you can use yourself or with your clients. The short sessions (sample at the bottom of the page) can be used to help reduce anxiety and emotional flooding and also work other areas such as dealing with criticism, hopelessness, explosive anger and many other issues that we and our clients experience.
I have to admit that when I first started reading the book, my first thought was, "Who would actually take the time to not only buy but also read the material and DO the exercises?" It would seem like a big task for many people. But my mind immediately went back to a time, years ago, when I bought a similar book, "Breaking The Patterns of Depression" by Michael Yapko, and out of a sense of desperation, read the book, did many of the exercises and began bringing myself back into wholeness and action and later found a good therapist to help me further. I think The Road To Calm will be a similar resource to many people: Something that gets them moving in a positive direction, shows them that change is possible, gives them hope, and that will make it easier for them to contact and work with a psychotherapist or other "people helper" if needed.
There are two big strengths to the book. The first is the audio sessions which will give people a chance to experience and work with exercises while hearing Carol's voice. That is a huge plus for people who want help. They can listen and experience a change in their symptoms and later do the exercises on their own. The second strength is the way the book helps readers make connections between their symptoms and behaviors in a way that is simultaneously non-threatening and empowering. There are a lot of complex and confusing ways of talking about "diagnoses" in the culture today. "Anxiety", "Depression", "Trauma" and the like can seem like big scary black boxes. But the Road to Calm talks about the phenomena in ways that makes it clear to a reader that there is hope and that they can change. That, to me, is a major part of the battle - giving people hope and then showing them a way out of the pain.
The Road To Calm is a book for the public, but therapists can learn a great deal from it and it would be a great adjunct to therapy. Both as a way to assign homework and have self-care options for clients and as a way for therapists to learn effective new tools that they can use with their clients.
Audio Sample: "Self-Statements To Support Practice"
Here is the audio sample I promised. It is one of 36 sessions (!!) included with the book- If you buy the book in physical form it will come with a CD with the audio sessions. If you buy it on iTunes or Amazon Kindle it will come with a link to download the audio sessions.
writing from Mérida, Mexico in the state of Yucatan.