ISBN: 9781922539366

The Mindful Freak-Out

USD $22.99 Tax Included

A rescue manual for being at your best when life is at its worst

Out now in Australia, New Zealand & the US – Coming to the UK August 24


The Mindful Freak-Out presents strategies from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) to give you the evidence-based tools you need to face highly distressing moments. The goal of these strategies is to soothe your suffering while giving you the inner strength, wisdom, and commitment needed to face the emotional pain in a flexible way. The result is an outcome where you feel good about your response, rather than deeply regretting your actions or words.

Specifications: Paperback | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6 in | 280 Pages


Join author Dr. Eric Goodman for a FREE Webinar on ‘How ACTing with compassion eases suffering during life’s most distressing moments.’ and more from The Mindful Freak-Out (LIVE Tuesday Feb 13th @ 10AM PST – recording available after the event) – REGISTER HERE

The Mindful Freak-Out is written for people who are suffering during emotionally painful moments, such as when:

  • You are facing anxiety or panic that seems to take over your life.
  • The ferocity of anger that you are feeling threatens to damage relationships.
  • Your life feels overwhelming, like you just can’t take it anymore.

When life serves you up an intensely distressing moment (and life will find a way), you are in a competition with your inner ‘threat system’ for control over you. Your threat system will try to take over and make you react impulsively. When this happens, you not only suffer from the painful emotion, but are left with distressing consequences.

The Mindful Freak-Out presents strategies from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) to give you the evidence-based tools you need to face highly distressing moments. The goal of these strategies is to soothe your suffering while giving you the inner strength, wisdom, and commitment needed to face the emotional pain in a flexible way that you feel good about (rather than deeply regretting your words or actions later on).

Loaded with practical advice, exercises, and information, this book will help you harness the power of mindfulness and compassion to live your best life, even when intensely painful emotions show up.

Eric Goodman, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and anxiety disorders and OCD specialist. His private practice is in San Luis Obispo, California and he is a lecturer at Cal Poly State University. He is the author of Your Anxiety Beast and You: A compassionate guide to living in an increasingly anxious world and Social Courage: Coping and thriving with the reality of social anxiety, both published by Exisle. He lives in San Luis Obispo, California.

Dr. Goodman has specialized in treating anxiety disorders and OCD since 2004. As he describes it, much of his time is spent doing exposure-based therapy, which is ‘basically scaring people in their imagination, in real-life situations, and using a very high-tech virtual reality system — in order to help them face their fears.’

In the last couple of years Dr. Goodman began to identify a new type of need in his clinical practice. Crises such as Covid, political strife, and social injustices were resulting in ‘seemingly unprecedented emotional suffering. More and more people were coming to me reporting feeling overwhelmed by distress and often reacting in ways that they would like to change. Clearly, there is a need for skills on navigating highly distressing moments in ways that lead to easing of suffering and negative consequences.’ Dr. Goodman sought to address this problem, and The Mindful Freak-Out is the result.

How to use this book 1
Quick-start guide for responding to highly distressing moments 3
Introduction 9
PART 1:
Getting off emotional autopilot
(compassionate awareness)
1. When your emotions hijack you 23
2. Notice suffering and slowing down 27
3. Setting an intention to do what is helpful 31
4. Anchoring your attention in the present moment 39
PART 2:
Facing painful moments with compassion
(compassionate acceptance)
5. The problem with fighting your feelings 61
6. Engaging your compassionate mind 69
7. Compassionate mind training 95
8. Noticing and releasing struggle 115
9. Unhooking from unhelpful thoughts 123
PART 3:
Responding based on your Best Self
(compassionate action)
10. Noticing and naming urges 141
11. Choosing your Best Self response 149
12. Committing to taking action and noticing the outcome 173
13. Navigating common freak-outs 191
PART 4:
Overcoming challenges to acting with compassion
14. Fears, blocks and resistances to compassion 223
15. When things don’t go well: compassionate self-correction
vs punishing self-criticism 233
Beyond freaking out
Appendix 1: The emotionally distressing moment rescue exercise 245
Appendix 2: Exercise record form 250
Appendix 3: Rescue strategy for being at your best when life is at its worst:
brief outline 255
Acknowledgements 257
Endnotes 259
Index 265

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