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The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code: The extraordinary life of Dr Claire Weekes

Judith Hoare

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Scribe Publications
04 October 2019
Biography; Biography: science, technology & engineering; Mental health services; Coping with anxiety & phobias; Coping with stress
The true story of the little-known mental-health pioneer who revolutionised how we see the defining problem of our era- anxiety.

Panic, depression, sorrow, guilt, disgrace, obsession, sleeplessness, low confidence, loneliness, agoraphobia ... Dr Claire Weekes knew how to treat them, but was dismissed as underqualified and overly populist by the psychiatric establishment. In a radical move, she had gone directly to the people. Her international bestseller Self Help for Your Nerves, first published in 1962 and still in print, helped tens of millions of people to overcome all of these, and continues to do so.

Weekes pioneered an anxiety treatment that is now at the cutting edge of modern psychotherapies. Her early explanation of fear, and its effect on the nervous system, is state of the art. Psychologists use her method, neuroscientists study the interaction between different fear circuits in the brain, and many psychiatrists are revisiting the mind-body connection that was the hallmark of her unique work. Face, accept, float, let time pass- hers was the invisible hand that rewrote the therapeutic manual.

This understanding of the biology of fear could not be more contemporary - 'acceptance' is the treatment du jour, and all mental-health professionals explain the phenomenon of fear in the same way she did so many years ago. However, most of them are unaware of the debt they have to a woman whose work has found such a huge public audience. This book is the first to tell that story, and to tell Weekes' own remarkable tale, of how a mistaken diagnosis of tuberculosis led to heart palpitations, beginning her fascinating journey to a practical treatment for anxiety that put power back in the hands of the individual.

'It's truly astonishing that Dr Claire Weekes is not a household name ... this book shines a light on her considerable achievements with great respect and meticulous detail.' -Leigh Sales 'By thinking outside the box, and exercising extraordinary clinical sensitivity, the brilliant physician Claire Weekes created a treatment protocol to the unending benefit of tens of millions of patients over the years.' -Dr David Barlow, professor emeritus of psychology and psychiatry at Boston University 'A vivid portrait of an intriguing woman ahead of her time, this is a story of hope, empowerment, and vindication.' -Gina Perry, author of Behind the Shock Machine and The Lost Boys.
By:   Judith Hoare
Imprint:   Scribe Publications
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 31mm
Weight:   560g
ISBN:   9781925713381
ISBN 10:   1925713385
Pages:   432
Publication Date:   04 October 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Judith Hoare is a journalist who worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Australian Financial Review over several decades. She started her career on Chequerboard, a trailblazing social-issues television program in the 1970s, and then moved to the AFR, reporting on federal politics in Canberra. She shifted to features writing, to eventually specialise in editing long-form journalism for the newspaper, and was appointed deputy editor in 1995, a position she held for 20 years.

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