Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Captain’s Book Review: “Fear and Other Uninvited Guests”

“Fear and Other Uninvited Guests: Tackling the Anxiety, Fear, and Shame That Keep Us from Optimal Living and Loving” by Harriet Lerner

I checked this book out from the library after listening to an interview with the author on NPR’s Diane Rehm show. You can find that interview at:

I sometimes suffer from anxiety. Sometimes it keeps me from speaking up, or calling somebody back, or confronting a problem. So I figured this book might help overcome or at least understand my anxiety problem.

It turns out that this book is written by a woman for other women – go figure. And to make things more interesting, she is a feminist.

The book tries to give advice on how to deal with anxiety, fear and (you guessed it) shame. It does this mainly by integrating stories from her personal life and from friends and sometimes patients. Of all the stories, I recall only one male, and the rest are all female. Lerner dedicates an entire chapter on a woman’s center of shame – her private parts.

I found some of Lerner’s suggestions to be useful – where relevant - though none have seemed to have embedded permanently in my head.

For the women in my audience, this book could be useful for you. For you guys out there, look for another book – one that doesn’t talk too much about female genitalia. When I do find and read another book about the subject, you’ll be sure to see a Captain’s Book Review about it.


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