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Still a classic

The Antidote -- Thom's response to "The Secret"
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Thom Rutledge LCSW, psychotherapist, author and speaker has experienced both sides of the therapeutic relationship -- as clinician and as client. He blends his personal recovery from depression, addiction and excessive self-criticism with 20 years of professional experience to guide his clients, readers, and audiences from self-judgment and perfectionism toward genuine self-compassion. Thom's trademark sense of humor, a down-to-earth practicality, and his own compassion are the common threads that run throughout his unique brand of self-help psychology. (INTRApersonal Therapy)

The author of several books, Thom also writes regularly for self-help/recovery publications around the country, including Steps for Recovery (Los Angeles), The Phoenix (Minneapolis) and Recovery Today (national). His political commentaries have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and on many web sites, including CommonDreams and CounterPunch. (Just Google Thom and see what comes up.)

Thom is a frequent guest on talk radio shows from coast to coast and he has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, Fox News, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.

Thom is the author of Embracing Fear: How to Turn What Scares Us into Our Greatest Gift and co-author (with Jenni Schaefer) of Life Without Ed. If you are interested in bringing Thom to your community or organization for a keynote speech or a workshop, call 615-327-3423 or e-mail.

Praise for Thom Rutledge and Embracing Fear:

The most amazing thing about Thom Rutledge is that you learn from him, you grow from your experience, and all the while you remain totally entertained. This is true whether you are sitting with him in a therapy session, a member of an audience, or reading his books. Besides his formidable skills and talent as a clinician, Thom is a hell of an entertainer and a tremendous writer.
- Jay Tyler, Creator of Meditation Monthly

An insightful, moving and gracious book! Thom Rutledge understands that fear, like self-consciousness, is part of what it means to be human, so he engages it creatively as a force in life. Reading Embracing Fear was, for me, a deeply enriching experience.
- John Shelby Spong, author of A New Christianity for a New World.

Thom Rutledge has written a clear guide that shows how to turn fear into a powerful resource in our lives. He draws on his expertise and life experience to help us avoid the destructive consequences of anxiety and unwarranted fear while finding the valuable lessons true fear holds for each of us. Readers will live life a bit more fully with each chapter.
- Gavin de Becker, author of The Gift of Fear

Thom does not pretend to have all the answers, nor does he tell us that he is leading a perfect, fear-free life. That makes him one of us: a fellow human being, looking to live life fully awake. That is the kind of teacher we need.
- Oriah Mountain Dreamer, author of The Invitation

Take a wonderful journey through and beyond your fear with Thom Rutledge. You'll enjoy your time with him and learn something very valuable about one of our greatest enemies in life ---- the bogeyman in our heard.
- Melody Beattie, author of Codependent No More

Book Description

Fear takes many forms --- dread, worry, panic, anxiety, self-consciousness, superstition, negativity --- and manifests itself in many ways --- avoidance, procrastination, judgment, control, agitation, and perfectionism, to name a few. Fear is our constant companion. It haunts us day and night and prevents us from living to our potential. Whether we are afraid of the dark or of being alone, failure or commitment, public speaking or flying, fear dominates our lives, affecting nearly every decision we make.

Embracing Fear challenges us to confront and move beyond the destructive control of unhealthy fear. Utilizing the acronym F-E-A-R, psychotherapist Thom Rutledge maps out a step-by-step methodology:


Instead of repressing or ignoring the voices of panic and dread, we learn that it is only through facing, exploring, accepting, and responding to fear that we free ourselves from its paralyzing grip. Combining compelling stories from the author's twenty-year practice, examples from his own struggles with addiction and depression, and practical exercises and tools, Embracing Fear does not pretend to teach the impossible (eliminating fear), but rather shows us that once we understand it we can live beyond its tyrannical control. This powerful life-transforming guide is for everyone who worries about the what-if's, but is ready and willing to triumph over fear's pervasive presence once and for all.

From Embracing Fear:

Sometimes fear is part of the problem. Sometimes fear is the problem. And when we are really paying attention, fear is usually part of the solution. Fear is an essential part of our nature, installed in our DNA, no doubt for very good reason. Fear is an alarm system. It is there to get our attention, to push us in one direction or another, out of harm's way. Fear is not pathological; it is part of our intelligence, part of an ingenious guidance system to help insure our survival --- as individuals, as communities, and as a species.

How we face and respond to our individual personal fears is integrally related to how we respond as communities, as nations, and as a species to the external threats that we have faced, that we face now, and that we have yet to face. I believe that when we make the decision to stand and face our individual demons, we are contributing to the potential for peace throughout the world. The ripples emanating from our individual efforts may be small, but they are real. You cannot drop a pebble in the pond without creating a ripple effect. The personal growth work you do is the pebble in the pond, creating its own ripple effect. How you treat your family, friends, and even the person standing next to you in the supermarket line are your pebbles in the pond.

Download Chapter One of Embracing Fear


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