Dare to be Seen – Book Review

Elisa Di Napoli is an integrative hypnotherapist and life coach who has taken the psychological principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Positive Exposure Therapy, the LAMA Method (Let go And Move Ahead), and combined them with other theories and techniques to create a powerful course in overcoming performance anxiety. Her method uses self-hypnosis, and while this may sound a little like hocus pocus, it is based on scientific understandings of the human brain and how it works. If you’ve ever gone to a therapist, you will recognize a lot of what she says. The difference is most therapists will use these techniques without explaining what they are or how they work. Instead of reiterating the same old psychological catch phrases we hear in pop psychology every day (“Face your fears”, “Be here now”, “Let it go”, “I’m okay, you’re okay”, “Grant me the power to accept the things I cannot change”, etc.), Di Napoli explains the mechanics behind those catch phrases so that they regain their power.

For instance, she explains that Anxiety is a coping mechanism, a habit fed by insecurity and self distrust. I had never thought of anxiety in quite that way before, but if you think about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (which is an Anxiety Disorder), it is exactly that – an attempt to control the uncontrollable, a habit that has formed in the face of worry, built on a distrust in ourselves to handle whatever comes our way. Di Napoli explains how to use self-hypnosis to change your perspective and trust yourself to be okay no matter what happens.

In talking about “Rewinding” she explains how PTSD (post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is an extreme form of pattern matching (the basis for human learning), and how to release the “stuck” trauma from the Amygdala (the alarm system of the brain) so that similar stimuli is no longer a trigger. To do this, you must detach from the source trauma. This moves the memory out of the Amygdala and transforms it into a narrative. This is how EMDR works (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), a technique that has gained popularity in PTSD treatment in recent years.

Dare to be Seen is filled with examples, exercises, and valuable information. Di Napoli talks about the use of Hypnotic Anchors (like a talisman or a sigil), and how neuropathways in the brain are strengthened according to what we focus on (where attention goes, energy flows). This is very much akin to The Secret and the Power of Attraction, and the lesser known teachings of Abraham Hicks. She talks about Mindfulness and cognitive distortions and how our past experiences shape how we behave. She talks about Behavioral Rehearsals (similar to the “Act as If” method used by psychologists).

Anyone determined to overcome not only performance anxiety, but any kind of anxiety or trauma, can benefit from this book. 

Learn more about the author, and see my review and a synopsis of the book at Reedsy.com