|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews|100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian DrewA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainAdolescent DepressionAfterAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAmelia RulesAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsArtemis FowlAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond Diversity DayBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBill HensonBipolar DisordersBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoyBoysBrandedBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingCan't Eat, Won't EatCatalystChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinContentious IssuesCrackedCutDancing in My NuddypantsDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDoing ItDoing SchoolDying to Be ThinEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismElijah's CupEllison the ElephantEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEvery Girl Tells a StoryFast GirlsFeather BoyFiregirlForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillGeography ClubGeorgia Under WaterGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlsourceGirlWiseGLBTQGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGrowing Up GirlHandbook for BoysHealing ADDHeartbeatHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHollow KidsHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHug MeIntrusive ParentingIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalJake RileyJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKeeping the MoonKilling MonstersKim: Empty InsideKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLearning About School ViolenceLeo the Lightning BugLet Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLittle ChicagoLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogManicMastering Anger and AggressionMind FieldsMiss American PieMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MonsterMore Than a LabelMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNo Two AlikeNot Much Just Chillin'Odd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOf Mice and MetaphorsOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming School AnxietyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeriod PiecesPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellPretty in PunkPrincess in the SpotlightProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Psychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsRaising a Self-StarterRaising BlazeRaising Resilient ChildrenReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRineke DijkstraRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRunning on RitalinSay YesSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShooterShort PeopleShould I Medicate My Child?Skin GameSmackSmashedStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStoner & SpazStop Arguing with Your KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrong, Smart, & BoldStudent DepressionSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeen Angst? NaaahThat SummerThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Arctic IncidentThe Bipolar ChildThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Eternity CubeThe Explosive ChildThe Field of the DogsThe First IdeaThe Identity TrapThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little TernThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Men They Will BecomeThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Nurture AssumptionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Other ParentThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Shared HeartThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Thought that CountsThe Unhappy ChildThe Vile VillageThe Whole ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreacherous LoveTrue BelieverTwistedUnhappy TeenagersWay to Be!We're Not MonstersWhat about the KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhere The Kissing Never StopsWhose America?Why Are You So Sad?WinnicottWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!You Hear MeYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
by Diane Peters Mayer
Review by Anthony R. Dickinson, Ph.D. and Lucillal Lau on Oct 20th 2009
Remarkably well written, and with the average parent in mind comprising her primary readership, Diane Peters Mayer presents a superb 'primer' concerning an oft described (but usually poorly interpreted) familiar topic of general interest to many (if not all ?) parents. Of likely benefit also to those working with children in schools of various kinds, training centres, and community-support networks, this one volume affords a fuller grasp as we have seen of school-related anxieties, in the form of easy-to-read case study vignettes with interpretive discourse, accompanied by practical exercises for simple implementation in relieving them. Perhaps lacking in clear evidence for most of her claims with regards the clinical or physiological literature alluded to (references remain uncited, although the author does provide a 'Resources' section which lists several relevant books and websites), we would have liked to see a 'sources' section included for the more research-oriented reader to explore the facts as stated, for themselves.
Following an initial introductory section concerned with definitions and characterizations of a wide range of anxiety-related symptoms and contexts (being careful to distinguish anxiety from fear or stress per se), the best possible start introduces the reader to 'anxiety' as an experience not necessarily to be avoided (i.e., as 'bad'), but as a phenomenon to be managed throughout the ontological development of every child's personal growth (from day 1 at kindergarten through high school). The following chapters 3-13 each deal with a different specific manifestation of anxiety-provoking experiences common to children of school ages, including separation anxiety, worry, novel situation avoidance, homework and examination anxieties, perfectionism, self-esteem management, bullying, and parent-intrafamily conflicts. We imagine that many parents will wish to focus upon only one or two of these chapters as may be most relevant to their own child(ren)'s anxiety symptoms once identified, but for professionals working with life-skill enhancement training programs and psychometric assessment caseloads, reading Peters Mayer cover-to-cover will (we believe), reveal much of significance for use in the parenting consultancy clinic also. Each of the 10 middle chapters first outlines the relevant target anxiety-related expression symptomologies (with variations and partial-differential diagnosis, DSM-IV refs, etc.), followed by aetiology considerations, occurrence frequency data, exercise and 'treatment' recommendations, symptom management procedures and some excellent checklists. These are each presented as 'stand-alone' readable chapters (we in particular enjoyed the chapters concerned with Bullying (Ch.12) and Parental and Family Conflict (Ch.13 ) and, with ready reference to the many 'common' solutions to be found in the later chapters 14-19, which introduce and discuss the author's own preferred 'ready for use' techniques for managing anxiety, with parent(s) and child working together to experience the benefits of belly-breathing, visualization, and a variety of other physical activity-based distractions.
Although not explicitly stated, one recurrent theme extractable throughout this book (at least from the view of the current reviewers), is the author's hinting that the key to anxiety reduction lays in its management, rather than its avoidance or annihilation. Indeed, as she does later state towards the conclusion of her book (correctly in our view): "If a deep belief exists that the symptoms of anxiety [and not simply their deliberate expression*] in all their disturbing manifestations are harmless [and not life-threatening*], then it does not matter where or when they strike, anxiety and panic will decline and lose their power" (p.170, *square bracket text indicates additional reviewer commentary). Initially reminiscent of the psychodynamics of the early 1970s and 1980s, this book offers much more than the usual fare of that nature, with extensive discussion of a range of different anxiety management strategy(ies) and practical advice for immediate home-based implementation(s), with appropriate cautions also being sounded with regards the use of either psychotropic medications, or other 'alternative' forms of therapy which parents may be considering to expose their anxious child(ren) to. A final take-home (do-at-home ?) message recurrent in the text, is for parents to consider the possibility that their child(ren) might be 'learning' at least some of their anxiety-related expressions/behaviours from their observations of other family members as they may have exhibited them in stressful situations (and especially those of their own parents). Peters Mayer repeatedly states that the exercises which she proposes be conducted by both parent and child together (and of this part the current reviewers are particularly supportive), with parents remaining willing to model the very behaviours they might wish to engender in their new, and increasingly less-anxious children, as they also grow toward a more mature, and relatively stress-free, adulthood experience.
© 2009 Tony Dickinson & Lucillal Lau
Dr. Tony Dickinson & Lucillal Lau, Academic Research Laboratory, People Impact International Inc, HK.