3 out of 5 stars
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Phobia Relief by Kalliope Barlis is a self-help book that invites you to look at your fears in a different light in the name of a better lifestyle. The book introduces the theory that underpins the treatment method for phobias. The author has apprenticed with one of the two creators of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and she applies the skills she learned in her technique. It also provides a set of exercises with step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions that will guide you to free yourself from your phobias. With this approach, the author vows to teach you how to look at your fears differently, take back control over your thoughts and feelings, and you will gain a lot of free time you were spending on worrying. Finally, the author encourages you to use your new perspective on life and free time to build your wished life.
This book piqued my curiosity right from the start. The cover is appealing, and the title is very inviting. I always felt interested in reading about phobias and how to help people relieve themselves from them. I liked the author provided some information on how the brain operates, how it affects how we perceive our fears and how they control us. The exercises provided are brief, but it is a positive addition to the book and readers that the author provided them. They not only allow the reader to navigate better through the information but also to have a more accurate idea of how they can apply the skills and techniques by themselves or a trainer if they decide to go that direction.
In theory, everything sounds very appealing. However, it was concerning how the author promised to deliver the technique and how it promised to change your brain to relieve your phobias. According to the author, credentials are irrelevant; only common sense is. My common sense says I should not trust this as the truth. The author writes about some of her sessions. She makes it seem very easy to cure a phobia, that everyone is foolish in the first place to be scared. She then turns things light by throwing some light jokes. However, the laughs are at the clients’ condition expenses. It sounded more condescending than fun. The further she describes how she plans to cure the phobia, the more you realize the technique is potentially brainwashing. As for the writing technique, it was repetitive, and it lost track of thought a few times.
I believe the technique may achieve results, but at what cost? It feels that I would be gaslighting myself and taking a short-term solution. People suffer from phobias, and they are not a light matter, even if it seems to not make sense to us. However, I can see this technique being helpful in an emergency. For example, if you are afraid of flying and you have to fly somewhere on short notice, you may need a quick solution to get through it.
I recommend this book to someone who wants to know more about Neuro-Linguistic Programming since it has an overview of the theory and its origins. I recommend it to anyone seeking a technique to use in an emergency or during a panic attack. The reader must be cautious when using this technique. As a result, I recommend this book only to adults to avoid susceptibilities and to judge whether to use the learned skills.
I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. I deducted two stars, primarily for two reasons. First, the writing style is repetitive and confusing to follow. The author derailed at various times. She would introduce a topic without explaining why before moving to the next one. And second, the author understates the phobias and invalidates the feelings. I believe that to be corrosive to people’s well-being and progress.
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