Books that might help: Things might go terribly, horribly wrong – Kelly Wilson and Troy Dufrene

“…we often prefer predictable, obvious suffering to suffering that may or may not happen at any given time”

Kelly Wilson – Things might go terribly, horribly wrong.

If you experience anxiety, read this book. It’s the best I know and it is full of great exercises to living life, even when things do go terribly, horribly wrong.

What is it about?

Don’t be fooled by the title. This is a wonderful and gentle guide to anxiety and not letting it rule your life. Following some stories and information about what anxiety is and why humans have evolved to be so bloody worried a lot of the time, the book walks you through ACT (an evidence based psychological approach). Each chapter focuses on one part of ACT, such as being willing to feel difficult stuff, or doing things that are hard because they lead to a more meaningful, fulfilling life. And that is ultimately what the book is about.

“If suffering is ubiquitous in life, the withdrawal from and avoidance of suffering is accordingly the withdrawal from and avoidance of life. ”

Kelly Wilson – Things might go terribly, horribly wrong.

What do you mean “exercises”? The book is about learning how to do things a bit differently, to deal with anxiety. The concepts in it are well worth reading about, and explained very well with metaphors and stories. BUT, reading about them is not enough. Kelly wants to show you. That’s because we can only really learn these things through experiencing them.

The exercises are things like thought-experiments or doing stuff that brings up a bit of discomfort, just so you can sit with it. Some of them also bring up the delicious things too. It can’t be fully explained, so do the damn exercises – when you are ready. The good thing about the exercises is they are graded, with an estimate of how easy or hard they are – so you can start with the easy ones first – or not. It’s up to you.

“Learning to sit with ambiguity can be a very important start at a life liberated from anxiety—and the way to do it is to resist the urge to chase answers to questions that may actually be unanswerable.”

Kelly Wilson – Things might go terribly, horribly wrong.

BTW: I first became aware of Kelly and his work in 2013 when he gave the closing speech at a conference. He told his story, talked about the science and evolution of human suffering, felt some things, then finished by showing where he was at with yoga by doing a partial headstand. He was doing yoga everyday as a birthday gift to himself, I think he can do the full headstand now.

“It’s part of the human condition that we create stories about ourselves and about the world around us. Our stories are often filled with limitations, and we proceed to live our lives inside those limitations”

Kelly Wilson – Things might go terribly, horribly wrong.

In over ten years as a Clinical Psychologist, the approach described in this book is the one I’ve personally found most helpful. So it’s the one I follow in my work too. If you want to know more about that, click the button.

Who is this book for?

Everyone who sometimes struggles with anxiety or other uncomfortable feelings (i.e. everybody). Especially helpful if you want more from life than overcoming anxiety.

“…anxiety is out of place in the present moment. It depends on the past and the future for its existence. This understanding matters if you hope to let go of your struggle with anxiety.”

Kelly Wilson – Life might go terribly, horribly wrong.

Two Clicks Psychological Services is the website of Dr Laura Walton, a UK registered Clinical Psychologist who is qualified to provide consultation and psychological therapy, via online videocall. For more details, visit the main page and make a request.