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Hypochondriasis and Health Anxiety

von Jonathan S. Abramowitz, Autumn E. Braddock

Reihe: Advances in Psychotherapy – Evidence-Based Practice - Band 19

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An essential resource for anyone providing services for individuals with somatoform or anxiety disorders
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is now the treatment of choice for individuals with health anxiety and related problems. The latest research shows that it results in reductions in health-related worries, reassurance-seeking behavior, and phobic avoidance, as well as increases in life satisfaction and everyday functioning.
This compact, easy to understand book by experts Jonathan S. Abramowitz and Autumn E. Braddock opens with an overview of the diagnostic issues and assessment of health anxiety, and delineates a research-based conceptual framework for understanding the development, maintenance, and treatment of this problem.
The focus of the book is a highly practical guide to implementing treatment, packed with helpful clinical pearls, therapist-patient dialogues, illustrative case vignettes, and sample forms and handouts. Readers are equipped with skills for engaging reluctant patients in treatment and tailoring educational, cognitive, and behavioral techniques for health-related anxiety. The book, which also addresses common obstacles in treatment, represents an essential resource for anyone providing services for individuals with somatoform or anxiety disorders.

From the Reviews

"In their book Hypochondriasis and Health Anxiety, Jonathan Abramowitz and Autumn Braddock present a comprehensive, evidence-based psychological approach for treating health anxiety that can be modified to address individual treatment needs.
The book is geared to professionals in the mental health field to use as a treatment protocol for hypochondriasis and health anxiety presentations. Students in these areas would also find it a valuable resource.[...]
The breadth of coverage in this book is excellent [...]. A suggested 16-session protocol structure provides the clinician with a guide for implementation of the treatment strategies, including functional assessment of health anxiety symptoms, self-monitoring, psychoeducation, cognitive therapy, and exposure and response prevention. These techniques are described in a practical manner that provides the clinician with specific details on how to carry them out….The format and writing of this book are specifically designed to enhance development of clinical skills. [...]
A major strength of this book is that it is comprehensive yet concise [...]. It offers a wealth of practical information yet is a very quick read. [...]
Overall, Hypochondriasis and Health Anxiety provides a concise "how to" guide for treating heath anxiety using motivational interviewing and CBT strategies. This book provides a valuable resource for clinicians who encounter individuals with health anxiety in a clinical setting."
Randi McCabe in PsyCRITIQUES, Vol. 57, 2012

"Chapter 8 is "Appendices: Tools and Resources." The appendix is one of my favorite aspects of this work, and is well worth the modest price of this book. The authors include worksheets for assessment, self-monitoring of body symptoms form, a symptom record, exposure hierarchy form, and an exposure practice form. Handouts for the palient include information on "our noisy bodies," the fight-or-flight response, common thinking patterns in health anxiety and tips for successfull exposure. These handouts are invaluable for clinicians to use in a busy practice. [...] In summary, I thought this book was very easy to understand for clinicians [and] in a very concise, easily digested format."
Mary Jo Fitz-Gerald, MD, in Psychosomatics, Vol. 53 (2), 2012

"This volume in the Advances in Psychotherapy series is a practical guide to cognitive-behavioral therapy for hypochondriasis and health anxiety complete with illustrative case vignettes.[...] The authors provide a surprisingly in-depth look into the state of the field. The books in this series are great supplemental tools, references, and primers. All mental health professionals will find this book worthwhile, and primary care physicians may find it especially helpful if they have patients with health anxiety. The series is well regarded for both its academic and clinical applications."
Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM(Abbott Laboratories), 2011

"Health Anxiety by Jonathan Abramowitz and Autumn Braddock is a concise, informative, up-to-date and immensely useful clinical guide to understanding and treating people suffering from worries and catastrophic fears of illness. The authors provide a focused review of how health anxiety is manifested in various disorders and how differential diagnosis can be made (e.g., somatization disorder, OCD, generalized anxiety disorder, etc.). I particularly liked the description of assurance-seeking, body checking, safety signals and avoidance that help perpetuate this often refractory condition. The reader will find several useful self-report forms, recommendations for medication (and the downside of medication), clinical pointers in diagnosis and conceptualization, an excellent sophisticated cognitive-behavioral model of health anxiety, and a detailed case example. Throughout this concise and clearly written book the reader will find user-friendly tables that quickly summarize the "go-to" approach that CBT allows. I highly recommend this book and will use it in training therapists in dealing with this often intransigent problem."
Robert L. Leahy, PhD, Director, American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, New York, NY, Associate Editor, International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, Clinical Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Weill-Cornell University Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY

"In this much needed volume, Abramowitz and Braddock share their masterful knowledge of health anxiety using an easily accessible yet exquisitely elegant framework. State-of-the-art essentials of providing empirically-based treatment for this often difficult to treat condition are covered in a clear and concise manner that is certain to facilitate positive outcomes. Clearly an invaluable resource for all clinicians providing care to those struggling with excessive anxiety regarding their health."
Gordon J. G. Asmundson, PhD, RD Psych, FRSC, Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, Editor-in-Chief, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

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