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 (affiliate link).
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.