Attacking Panic: The Power to be Calm by Russell A Hunter, Psy.D. is touted as being a book to help individual concur panic attacks once and for all. The book is a rather easy read. At 147 pages it will also not take too much of your time. The writing is a bit dry at times, but it is easy to understand and flows in a good manner.
The first three-fourths of the book is about panic attacks. A good portion of the book is taken in giving the DSM-V definitions of various panic disorders. The DSM-V is the diagnostic tool that clinicians in the United States use to diagnose their patients. While it is a helpful tool, it is not one that someone untrained should be reading to diagnose themselves. The inclusion of all this information, without once suggesting to the reader that they should contact a licensed clinician, is a bit concerning. My main concern of the book is that not once does the author suggests that someone who is suffering from panic attacks should contact a licensed professional to help them implement the strategies in this book.
So, my disclaimer. If you are suffering from severe panic attacks, like those described in Attacking Panic: The Power to be Calm, I highly recommend that you implement the strategies in this book under the care of a licensed clinician.
While I found the information in this book to be helpful, and to the best of my knowledge to be credible, it also lacks an emphasis on evidence-based practices. The author, Russell A. Hunter, has a Psy.D. This is doctorate level training specifically to be used in clinical settings. A main difference between a Psy.D. in psychology and a Ph.D. in psychology is that a Ph.D. program places greater emphases in research. This book does contain some references back to research. However, the bulk of the book remains uncited. From my limited knowledge of panic disorders, the information presented is correct. Although, there are several concepts included in the book that I had never heard of. It is concerning that there are no references to point back to the original research on these items.
This book would be useful for someone who is interested in learning a general overview of panic attacks. Paired with a licensed clinician the strategies included in the book could be helpful in overcoming panic attacks.
(Note: While I do have an M.S. in Developmental Psychology I am not a licensed Psychologist. I make no notes about the effectiveness of any therapy presented in this book. I do recommend that any reader who is currently suffering from panic disorders, or other mental health concerns, contact a licensed clinical provider. If you are currently having mental health issues and need help you can contact the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI.)
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