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Aug 2017 by PCI College

Bite Sized Book Review: Owning it: Your Bullsh*t-Free Guide to Living with Anxiety by Caroline Foran

PCI College Lecturer Jade Lawless Reviews Owing It: Your Bullsh*t-Free Guide to Living with Anxiety by Caroline Foran


As I was browsing a local bookshop during the week, this colourful book jacket with a no nonsense title caught my eye. I had seen this book cover popping up on many a social media news feed so I decided to pick it up and see what all the fuss was about and I was glad that I did.


Written by a successful journalist, Caroline Foran, the book details the authors struggle with and learning to live with anxiety. Within the book you will get a relatable account of what it is like to encounter anxiety from the perspective of the client. Caroline also shares her own tips, tools and techniques that have helped her understand anxiety and to live functionally with an anxious mind.


However, the book is far from the traditional pop-psychology, self-help format we might ordinarily associate with non-therapeutically trained professionals. Instead it leans into the science behind anxiety and offers evidence based approaches for managing a life filled with anxiety. What is more impressive is that Caroline manages to do this in an easy to read fashion and in a manner that would encourage me to recommend this book without hesitation to clients who are also experiencing the anxious struggle.


The book is divided into two parts: Assess and Address. During the Assess portion of the book, anxiety is explained to the reader and there are plenty of useful exercises and tools dotted throughout. Important concepts, such as the negativity bias, are relayed in a reader friendly, personalised way.


The second part of the book, Address, encourages the reader to now do something about their anxiety. It again compliments this with exercises that the author herself finds useful, these are mostly informed by CBT and have been developed in conjunction with a clinical psychologist, who also features regularly in the book.


There is a very informative section on personality vs anxiety and an interesting inclusion of Festinger’s Temporal Comparison Theory, again all relayed in an easy to understand way.


Caroline shares a lot of herself in the book and her own personality and wit shines through, as you might gather from the title. I found her chapter on relationships particularly moving and hopeful.


So now I understand why this book has been so prevalent among the news feeds of non-therapists of late. It tells the story of anxiety through the eyes of the client and it does so in a way that has already begun to breakdown stigma for those who have been living with anxiety.


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