I am a disciple of Claire Weekes, her 'Self help for your nerves' is my bible.

Anxiety is reaching epidemic proportions in the world today. Life is much more demanding and complex and the traditional support systems of family, religion, community and work place have weakened. The power of big pharmaceutical companies has seen to it that the medical world responds to anxiety primarily with chemical cures. They're helpful, they help us cope when under pressure but they don't offer recovery. Talking therapies can be very helpful but they're under resourced in a medical world devoted primarily to physical illness.

When Doctor Claire Weekes wrote her life-changing book 'Self help for your nerves' (re-titled 'Hope and help for your nerves' in the United States) there were only barbituates that made you sleepy and benzodiazepams were only just being introduced. So her first book back in the 1960s was an immediate hit: it offered a cure for anxiety that worked no matter how long and how badly you have suffered.

It was written in a society very different from today, a few people criticise her books because of this. But the Holy Bible was written 2000 years ago and the Holy Qu'uaran 1400 years ago and nobody holds that against them. Indeed, Claire Weekes' books have stood the test of time: among the reader reviews on Amazon someone wrote only last month 'Most important book I've read' whilst another claims 'It saved my life'. Although she died 27 years ago at a great age those words should be her epitaph.

Claire Weekes took the trouble to explain to us how constant worry, stress, overwork and disappointment can cause our nervous system to becone over-sensitised. She describes all the symptoms that this causes, many of them almost identical to physical illness. Anxiety takes many forms but it is always still anxiety.

She then went ahead and explains her cure contained in the mantra 'Face - Accept - Float - And let time pass.' Simple to understand but requiring persistance and practice, no quick-fix but it works and has helped hundreds of thousands to recover and reclaim their lives. And yet in professional medical and psychiatric circles her name is only known to a few. Shame on the rest, I say!

Claire Weekes' teachings have formed the basis for many other self-help authors' books, they stand on her shoulders. Surely it is time for the medical profession to cease its neglect and to examine her methods and base their therapies around them? They could well start their examination by reading the 350+ reader reviews of he first book on amazon.co.uk and the 550+ reader reviews on amazon.com

Claire Weekes' Acceptance Therapy will continue to restore people's peace of mind despite the neglect of many doctors and psychiatrists. Perhaps after all the strength of her method is contained in the first two words of her first book.

Self help.


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54 Replies

  • Well said, Jeff! You're so right. They're not teaching it. Her book should be a required text for any degree in psychology. There is no better method. Not only does she teach you what to do, but she explains why you are in this state, and what your bewildering symptoms really are, so you breathe a sigh of relief. A light bulb comes on, there is hope, you can stop planning your funeral now. I have yet to come across a professional who understands anxiety like Dr. Weekes.

  • "You can stop planning your funeral." Yes, I like that, thankyou, Usagold.

  • Amen to that Jeff1943. You are preaching to the converted as far as I am concerned!

    Dr Weekes' books are not about teaching techniques to get rid of anxiety, running away or avoiding. Her teachings are about changing the sufferer's attitude towards anxiety and removing fear of all the symptoms that worry people so much and keep them stuck in the fear-adrenalin-fear cycle. Her books explain everything a sufferer needs to know about anxiety in all its manifestations and is the first big step in developing that new attitude that will eventually bring about cure. Instead of running away from the symptoms, avoiding them, distracting yourself from them or basically doing ANYTHING to not feel the anxiety, its about letting the anxiety come and do its worst and doing absolutely nothing about all the symptoms. Fear is the only reason anxiety hangs around and the books teach you how to overcome the fear, or fear the feelings of fear which is so often the case for many sufferers. To overcome, knowledge is key. If you understand anxiety, you remove the fear but in a nervous system sensitised through constant worry and stress over many months or even years, it will take time before your new attitude brings peace of mind and body but it will happen. Learn to face your fears, not run or hide or avoid. Accept all the symptoms which means allowing your mind and body to think and do whatever it wants to do without resistance. Dr Weekes referred to it as like willow bending with the wind or putting it another way, rolling with the punches. Float past the symptoms. Don't get involved with them. Be an observer of the symptoms, looking down on them with curiosity instead of adding more fear which keeps feeding the anxiety. Finally, it's about letting time pass. Time is the great healer as it will take time for the body's natural healing process to fix the mind and body in exactly the same way it fixes a graze or broken bone. If you practice acceptance the way described by Dr Weekes with as much willingness as you can muster and live your life, taking the anxiety with you, you will recover.

    You see, it is all the fighting that keeps people stuck in the anxiety cycle when all along, cure lies in giving up the fight. It pains me when I read messages saying I'm going to fight this thing or they are exhausted from fighting and don't know what else to do. The answer lies in doing the exact opposite and surrendering yourself. Nothing will happen to you when you loosen your grip on anxiety and learn to let go of the symptoms. It's not easy at first but the more you practice letting go, the easier it becomes.

  • Thank you Beevee, for this excellent description of accepting and floating.

  • Fantastic explanation beevee. Waiting on delivery of the book. I've begun to use the acceptance method just by reading your posts. I've had 1 really good day & yesterday was ok. But I've woke this morning in a terrible fit of fear & anxiety. I'm almost unable to function normally and I don't know or understand where this has come from. It feels like I'm worrying over every tiny thing and I'm trying to accept the feelings but there's so many it's like I'm running a full marathon of anxiety. Overwhelmed by it.

  • Mooner04, you're expecting results from acceptance far too soon, sorry, you have to do the accepting for many days even weeks before your nervous system recovers from the long period of over sensitivity.

    It's a good thing that you're feeling rough today, you can't practice acceptance when you're having a good day, only on a bad day when you're experiencing anciety and bad feelings. Worrying about every little thing is a classic symptom of anxiety and one I can identify with, you must accept it knowing full well you're going to still feel anxiety whilst accepting gor quite a while before you see results.

    Let the fearful feelings come but practice not adding second fear to them, just surrender to the anxious feelings. Imagine every muscle in your body going limp and relaxing, imagine there's a large muscle in your brain and feel that relaxing and going limp too.

    From the book you will note that this is the 'floating' stage, you need to understand floating, it's like switching onto automatic pilot and getting on with your day anyway. Then it's 'Let time pass', it's all in the book, keep practicing and be persistant.

  • Thanks jeff1943. I was thinking that earlier. I'm expecting too much too soon I know and I am putting pressure on myself which by itself is making me anxious. Hopefully the book will arrive tomorrow. Then I'll take the day off and curl up with it. It's great to have your feedback & advice. I spend a lot of time feeling I'm alone with this and it's real comforting knowing you & everyone else is there.

  • Can I recommend a Buddhist book to you my friend. You clearly have a learned claire weeks' methods and I think you would take a great deal from it.

    The pocket Thich Nhat Hanh.

    Wonderful wise Vietnamese monk whose teachings are world renowned.

    I love going to the far east. The culture is amazing. You step off the plane in Bangkok and your on a different planet.

    Thanks again

  • Please do.

  • The Pocket Thich Naht Hanh.

  • mooner04, thanks for sharing the name of this most inspiring book. I will be purchasing it and put it along side the book of Quotes by Kahlil Gibran. Who has been an inspiration to me over the years. We learn through other's wisdom.

    May you have a peaceful and calm day.

  • God helps those who help themselves. I am not religious but my mum used to tell us kids this all the time especially when we would complain about things not going our way.

    In addition to all of your observations about stress we have in our lives, I also think that we have become a generation of self indulgents who require instant gratification and results with expectations way above our qualifications. The have-it-now mentality leads to disappointments and an inability to deal with setbacks. In addition, the social media that bombarded us, all portrays halcyon lifestyles way beyond our reaches but one that we all aspire to achieve and this leads to a sense of entitlement.

    Values such as manners and hard work for reward don't seem to be dominant and all of this leads to diminished self esteem. The root of anxiety is the need for love and acceptance. When doubts enter our psyche, we become sentitised and when we are sentitised we enter the panic and anxiety cycle.

    Jeff, I love your Claire Weekes' posts and while I know it goes over the heads of almost all of the people who post on here, maybe you will get through to one person. And if one person can benefit that that is worth it. It is all down to self. Accept. Float. Let time pass. Face the fear.

    Don't get hung up on causes or names of diagnoses. Trust in your body. It is only doing what it thinks is the right thing for you and in giving you all the unpleasant sensations the message is " slow down, look after yourself, I've got you, now just let it all go" . One of my favourite lines from Dr Claire Weekes is "let yourself go loose, loose, loosen it all" and the second you stop holding yourself tight is the moment you send your body the message " i am safe". All about the tge parasympathetic nervous system. No sabre tooth tiger here, so turn the alarm bells off!!

    Thanks again Jeff, keep on posting


  • You are a true disciple of St Claire ☺, Vbee, yes, whoever saves one person saves the world.

  • Ha ha Saint Claire!! Plus she's an Aussie!!🤣🤣

  • I've ordered it today thanks to your advise Jeff.

  • I'm definately getting it. Thanks.

  • Advice please. Facing fear. Jeff1943 how did you go about this? I'm sure we're all the same but for some reason I have built so many fears I don't know where to start and that fact makes it daunting. I coached kids football a few years back and I swear I always told them 'fear is the only thing to be affraid of'. And I still know it's true. So why am I nervous and worried about it so much?! I've got myself into a real lonely situation but I don't really have a problem being alone! But.....it is constantly on my mind that I'll always now be alone! Help!!!! Ha ha. Love and warmth to you all.

  • Well, mooner04, it's all in the book about how we get sensitised nerves in the first place, about the fears this produces in us and how we can escape by not adding second fear to first fear which pacifies our nerves which could have been sensitised and playing tricks on us for years. Hope you enjoy the read.

  • Thanks jeff1943.

  • Cheers. And yes, 1 fear becomes a platform to fear most everything else.

  • I'm going to waterstones to order book.

    I'm struck by the term 'letting time pass'. I think for us suffering depression and anxiety this is the hardest thing of all. But already I see it is paramount to leading an ordinary mental life. For we spend so much time worrying about the future we never give the day a chance just to be. We forget to allow the day to be itself & let that day carry us wherever it decides to go. I know the freedom of a day, the sky, a forest, a good football match, a 3 iron to the heart of the green. In my depressed confused anxious state I've forgotten HOW to enjoy the day and the beauty it can bring.

    So now I realise that I'm going to stop trying and let the day come to me in whatever shape or form it decides.

  • Facing fear is about carrying on with your day despite how you may think or feel. When the mind and body is screaming at you not to do something, go out and do it. It is uncomfortable but entirely harmless. Anxiety is just trying to protect you so you need to demonstrate to your mind that there is no threat. This means grabbing that 3 iron, going to the match, going for those walks, coaching the kids, even when you don't feel like doing it. Recovery lies in those places, it's about "keeping on trucking ", making your day and life bigger than your anxiety. Take it with you.

    Those stuck in the cycle don't realise that all those thoughts and feelings are the body's attempts at releasing all that negative energy trapped inside the body. I learnt that all the negative energy wants to be free of us as much as we want to be free of them but when we worry and battle the symptoms, that energy stays trapped and is topped up. That energy needs an outlet which are all of the symptoms of anxiety which is why acceptance works. If we allow ourselves to fall into any state by surrendering to it all, that energy can be released. Recovery won't happen overnight, there will be lots of ups and downs, lots of setbacks which will make you think and feel that you are back to square one but this is entirely normal and integral to the healing process. Setbacks show that you are on the road to recovery and should be treated in exactly the same way by allowing it all without resistance, without adding more despair wondering why you have gone backwards. Just accept every single bit of it and recovery will come to you. Don't go searching for it because you won't be accepting.

    Hope this helps.

  • Wow I'm so glad I just read this . My new to me anxiety is through the roof today after a very bad night of dreams. I to have my son's football match today and cook a roast dinner but fighting this horrible fear going through my body and head. It's so horrible had a good day yesterday but over thinking today.

  • Just accept the bad days in the same way you accept the good days. Recovery is not linear and very much an up and down affair. Shift your attitude towards those symptoms from "What if?" to "So what!" Then literally fake it until you make it (mean it) because it takes time.

  • Just switch onto automatic pilot (floating) and do those things, Cas2802, all will be well.

  • There speaks the voice of experience and learning, thank you Beevee.

  • Thankyou beevee. I get it and must get the book. Sunday is my real bad day. Today I've had ups & downs. Went shopping and tried to let things float over me. It's tough but I've made a start. Your so right about the fear. It's so debilitating and I must learn to accept it and not live by it!

  • As well as Dr Claire Weekes' books, check out a website called AnxietyNoMore which was set up by Paul David who suffered anxiety for many years. He has also written a couple of books ( I bought the first book called At Last A Life... I didn't need the second book 😎👍) which follow the exact same teachings of Dr Weekes)

    There is also a blog with lots of useful posts from those who have recovered and on the road to recovery. Reading those posts allowed me to see that all the thoughts and feelings I had were purely down to being anxious all the time and completely false. This made it easier to face those fears and let it all go. Knowledge and understanding will defeat fear because it takes away the unknown, the doubt, the uncertainty of it all.

    To quote from Paul's first book which sums it up perfectly.

    "You won't get better until you stop trying to get better."

    Once you understand this, your attitude has shifted from one of continually resisting the way you think and feel to one of surrender and well on the road to recovery.

  • Thanks so much when I'm struggling I come on here . What wonderful people you all are and when you take time to reply it really means a lot to me.xx I've ordered the book

  • Cas. Don’t forget to browse the website I mentioned...AnxietyNoMore.co.uk. It really helped me to recover. No gimmicks and free of charge and created by an ex-sufferer who just wants to help others. It contains very useful information to recover from anxiety naturally so you don’t have to keep looking over your shoulder worrying if anxiety will return because you will have learnt how to cope with it the right way and not fear it. Fear is the root cause of all anxiety related disorders. Knowledge about anxiety will give you all the power you need to recover!

    The only thing I changed about myself to recover from debilitating anxiety was my attitude towards the symptoms. I learned to let go and do nothing about them. If you know what is happening and why, it takes away the despair, it removes the fear and gives your mind and body the space it needs to recover.

  • Thanks again. I've ordered dr weeks book online. For anyone who is looking to get it, you will have to buy 2nd hand as it is out of print. There's loads available online.

  • Absolutely NOT true that Claire Weekes book is 'out of print'. 'Self help for you nerves' is available from amazon.co.uk as a paperback for £6.50 and a Kindle version for £3.50. It's also available used for £3.50 including postage.

    In the United States the same book titled 'Hope and help for your nerves' is available from amazon.com as a new book, audio book and used.

    I have just checked these facts. I am spending a lot of time publicising this book purely to assist others, please don't negate the work that I and others do to promote Claire Weekes Acceptance Therapy by stating that her books are out of print and cannot be bought new from Amazon.

    Amazon books are 'print on demand' so they are NEVER out of stock.

  • Sincere apologies. I went to Waterstones & they told me it was out of print. Glad you put that straight. Clearly its a very important book for all of us who are suffering. And I appreciate all you are doing.

  • I quite understand, mooner04, Waterstones should know better. Thanks for explaining, I know not everyone uses Amazon.

  • Don’t get hung up on letting time pass. If recovery is slow, it gives you plenty of time to practice acceptance. The more you practice, the better you will become. It becomes second nature and something you will carry with you for the rest of your days. Once you know how to recover, the confidence gained will never be lost and you won’t fear the symptoms that may be haunting you now. Once your nerves have de-sensitised, anxiety levels will be normal for the circumstances but you probably wouldn’t notice too much because you lost interest in caring about it because you no longer fear the symptoms. Lose the fear and it all gradually melts away.

  • Thanks. It's difficult accepting at first because you have been telling yourself so long that the negative thoughts and feelings are real. Did you find that?

  • Absolutely and probably the single biggest reason people stay stuck. Negative thoughts are just a by product of anxiety and one of the ways in which the mind releases negative energy. If you buy into them, you add more fear and end up fighting with yourself and going round in ever decreasing circles. Those thoughts only grab your attention because your anxiety attaches a false importance to them, causing a fearful reaction. Once fear is removed, those anxious thoughts will melt away or simply not bother you in the slightest. Just a passing thought, if you like.

    It does take a leap of faith to let the thoughts go and to resist the temptation to get involved but it is possible. You only have those anxious thoughts because you have anxiety!

    By all means acknowledge them when they come (you will never stop them coming while you are anxious so don’t even bother trying) thoughts when and learn to observe them with curiosity and let go. I suppose it’s a bit like eavesdropping in on someone elses conversation! The thoughts will continue to sting for a while (takes a little while for the brain to reverse the habit and form new neural pathways) but the sting will be drawn the more you remain passive towards the thoughts.

  • Thanks again. Spot on. Touch wood I've been better today (just with your invaluable input & advice - I haven't read the book yet). I can already FEEL the difference just by accepting the falseness of the thoughts caused simply by the anxiety & nothing else. I can see the twist my anxiety puts on my thoughts and am really aware of that effect on my feelings. It's still there but beginning to be in the background, kind of like I can now look at those thoughts and feelings but without the automatic trigger of fear. I know it's a long road but I haven't felt this optimistic for such a long time. I feel I have some tools now to deal with the anxiety & move forward. I can't thank you enough and just hope many other sufferers check the book and it's methods out.

  • Sleep deprived after one of those nights! Woke up to the unwanted thoughts and I'm exhausted. Using the accept methods and they are managing to keep a lid on things. But oh its a fight. Anyone else experienced a sleepless night that ruined a very good previous day? And that awful nagging worry - back to square one?

  • what was it - face accept float past do this and you MUST get well.. brilliant lady her books have come along with me throughout my life and are invaluable the modern day mindfulness is what she was suggesting ahead of her time simple logic which works :)

  • I have my copy right here by my side, Jeff - as always.☺ I've also just bought a copy for my MIL who is 78 and a long term anxiety sufferer. She thinks it's just marvellous! It's never too late.......😉

  • I added it to my amazon wishlist. Hesistant to get it because I get dizzy looking at my phone these days but anything is worth a try.

  • Take that first step Christory and use your phone to order the book. Anxiety simply thrives on avoidance or any other technique you might use to not feel it. Like I said in an earlier post, recovery lies in those places or situations that you choose to avoid. Avoidance keeps the fear alive which fuels the anxiety fire. To banish those fears, move towards them with a “so what, I don’t care” attitude and accept all the feelings that come. So what if you feel dizzy? Do it anyway! Keep moving forward, keep putting yourself in the firing line and your brain will begin to see that no threat exists and immobilise your instinctive physiological response. It wont happen right away because your nerves are so sensitised and will take time for them to calm down to their default setting (chilled out). Whilst your nerves are in a sensitised state, anything and everything can trigger surges of adrenalin making you feel scared (your fear/flightresponse is designed to scare you in order to provoke a reaction i.e. fight or run away) If there is no obvious threat, the brain starts searching for one and the reason why irrational fears are created including a fear of the symptoms. Just label it all as anxiety and keep moving forward with your life.

  • This is a brilliant explanation, thanks so much Beevee.

  • When a bout of anxiety/ depression strikes me all I want to do is stay at home, not see friends, text instead of talking on phone and wait for it to pass. But last time I decided to get out and mix with friends and go for coffee, sing in Choir, go walking with friends and that helped so much. It’s hard as you feel so unsociable but that is how I cope. Claire Weekes says Don’t fight it, accept it but I feel as if I am fighting it by making myself busy instead of turning into a recluse until it passes. From Lin

  • Hi Lin1944. In my opinion, you are fighting it if you are making yourself busy to NOT feel anxious. If you choose to keep busy in spite of how you are feeling and with no expectation of it making you feel better, that is acceptance and where recovery lies. Can you see the difference? If anxiety was telling me to avoid something, I did it anyway. I didn’t wait for it to die down ( it was pretty much full on 24/7 for me with no safe areas so I couldn’t hide) and carried on regardless. You will make lots of mistakes but that’s ok. Just keep practising acceptance and develop a relaxed attitude towards all the symptoms and let it all go ( e.g. oh well, I feel rubbish/scared but I’m going out anyway).

    Resistance is futile. You have absolutely no control over anxiety so there is no point in trying to control it. It will leave you when you give up trying to do anything to get rid of it.

    Best wishes ♥️

  • Could never be without my Dr Claire Weekes book she is a saint

  • So true! The 2 phsychologists I saw wanted me to talk about my life and childhood and where it came from etc which I think is pointless and sometimes makes you feel worse! Acceptance is key but very hard indeed to read her book again. Great post 😀

  • Thanks for advice. I like Ruby Wax. She said if you are invited somewhere and you know it will cause you distress don’t go. I have missed Weddings, parties even weekend breaks as didn’t want to give myself more stress.

    Staying in the house when I am anxious doesn’t help me but being with friends having coffee does. I agree I can’t see point in talking about the past as all these so called experts think we should do.xx

  • Ruby Wax is wrong, you don't conquor anxiety by staying in your comfort zone, you conquor it by going places where you will feel anxious and accepting the feeling. That's something anxiety can't stand, being accepted, and if you do it enough times anxiety gives up and leaves you alone.

  • For me it's not that I'm facing any fears or am in constant worry. It's more the physical symptoms like feeling jittery and and shaky. That's my 'anxiety'

  • Feeling jittery and shaky are indeed symptoms of anxiety, the result of over-sensitised nerves. You recover from thosr symptoms exactly the same way as people who feel fear. You surrender to it, refude to fight it, you accept it completely for the time being. Do that long enough and it goes away.

  • Hi Jeff, does this work with thoughts too? Acceptance I mean. I’ve desensitised myself and guess I’m left with the memory of what once was. Practising accepting these memories / old thoughts will in time also fade them? Thanks.

  • Yes Carlos, Weekes writes thst acceptance also applies to strange, bad or unwanted thoughts. Also shadows from the past will be felt but they are of no importance.

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