What to do in the 30 minutes session


Are we supposed to read a handout with slow talk for the whole 30 minute session everyday? throughout all the sessions? I can read 2 or maybe 2 1/2 handouts in one session even doing it slowly. I’m wondering if just concentrating on one a day is more helpful even though it doesn’t take the whole 30 minutes.


When I first started out I was reading one handout repeatedly until the 30 minutes was up. Then at some point I changed it to reading all the handouts for the session. Then I changed again to going over the highlighted sections of the previous sessions first before reading at least one handout from the current session.

I don’t know which way is the way we’re “supposed to” do it, but I also don’t think it particularly matters, so long as you’re spending the full 30 minutes, covering all the new material at least a couple times each week, and doing your best to review areas where you feel you need the most review. That’s what I would tell myself, anyway, when I started to worry that I wasn’t doing things the right way.

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good!


@smashingnapkins I liked your analogy about the perfect and the good. Thanks for sharing your progress through session 02. I did understand the importance of this second session from Dr. Richards emphasis in his taped mp3, of the importance of a strict 30 minutes a day of a slowly reading-out-loud session (possibly 2 15" sessions). It did sound to me like there was a certain “suppose to” do message there and I just wanted to have it clarified before going further. If I understood correctly, these handouts are to be read slowly everyday for 30 minutes (is there a min and a max?) and this daily practice is to be carried out through lesson 25?

When I listened to the introductory tape on the second session, I understood it to be a very important piece in the building of a strong stable foundation for the anti anxiety


I also enjoyed listening to Dr. Richards description of slow talking and how people who use it are surprised by its effectiveness. He cited the woman who couldn’t get her husband motivated to do something and when she tried slow talking he perked up his ears and for the first time did it right away! I will report what happens when I try this as I have a problem getting my hubby motivated also. I think I will be spending more than a week on practicing slow talking to get the “hang of it”. I did notice recently, as I tried slow talking with my husband, when relating something I thought was of interest, he did actually quit what he was doing and looked up at me attentively. I sort of “smirked” inside when this happened and was a bit incredulous.

I have noted I have a tendency to speak fast in order to “get it over with” since I don’t think what I have to say is all that important. While doing this exercise I have glimpsed into where this all started which I may one day share also as it is most likely a common occurrence in those of us with SA.


Unfortunately I can’t answer your question. I think maybe only Dr. Richards can. In my opinion what Dr. Richards says to do with your 30 minutes changes during the course of the program. I don’t know if this is a mistake, or if we’re supposed to actually change what we do, or if I’m just misunderstanding things, or what. Maybe someone else can comment on this. (Unfortunately this is one of the downsides of using an audio based program instead of doing live therapy. You don’t get answers to all your questions, and you don’t get a program which is tailored for you.)

(As far as my analogy, I admit that it’s not one I came up with myself. Apparently it’s over 400 years old! See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_is_the_enemy_of_good . It’s a very useful aphorism for those of us dealing with maladaptive perfectionistic tendencies, which seems to be a lot of us who deal with SA. There’s a handout somewhere during the program about perfectionism.)

Something else I should probably mention is that you say it takes you 30 minutes to do 2 or 2 1/2 handouts. It depends a lot on the size of the handout but I usually do about 3 to 4 in 30 minutes. So probably either I’m going too fast, or you’re going slower than you need to. I don’t know which though.


@smashingnapkins Regarding reading the handouts, I am reading and absorbing each word like a first grader just learning to read. I am doing this for a another reason also as I tend to not pronounce certain letters like the s and t. I try to tape it also to see if my pronunciation is improving. Just trying to make new habits. Last night I spoke with a friend on the phone I hadn’t heard from in a while and I used slow talk (not as slow as practice), expecting she would notice, but it seemed she was being attentive. This is encouraging.

I’m thinking that reading a handout daily using slow talk applies for the whole course. Maybe its the 30 minutes and how it is to be used that is befuddling me. I had wondered if the whole 30 minutes was to be devoted to reading in slow talk daily or is just a portion of the 30 minutes. At present, I quit reading at about 17". I get up early to practice right now but am afraid my husband will hear me reading even though he is usually sleeping beyond my practice time. I think my self consciousness about reading out loud would be anxiety producing if he woke up and heard me. It would be easier if I made speeches for a living than I’d have an excuse for speaking out loud to myself. :sunglasses: I can empathize with those who have trouble finding a quiet spot where they are not intruded upon. The key here is a quiet spot. If there was background noise such as a radio, it might be a little easier to camouflage my voice.

No. 3 of what to do this week #2-- “3. Read over some handouts in slow talk OUT LOUD to yourself every day. You need to become comfortable and familiar with using slow talk. Read some of these handouts out loud to yourself in slow talk every day, until you feel comfortable using it.”

So does that mean comfortable using it and then stop? Not sure here. Maybe we SA-ers are literalists also, perhaps with a touch of Aspergers? :confused:

As far as your/wikipedia analogy, which is apropo, I’m not wanting to do it perfectly, I just want to do it right - :innocent:


Hi guys,

I just wanted to add my input here that i personally have found helpful…

I find that focusing on a single strategy (or single session) for a week, without recapping, really helps me focus on it and properly learn it within my brain.

If i try to focus and read too much (recaping on pervious strategies) then I find i get more worried, confused and my mind gets a bit muddled up as the sessions build up.

Say i focus on one specific strategy (within the current session i am on) until i feel happy i understand it and then move on to the next strategy - then my brain automatically uses the previous strategy without me consciously thinking about it.

I found this relieves alot of pressure i was putting on myself to remember lots of strategies.



My interpretation was that we are supposed to read one handout one day for thirty minutes. Your supposed to soak in all the words and calm yourself down (like meditation). Then your supposed to reread it till you have the message stuck in your head. He does say that you don’t have do it in a straight 30 minutes time period but you can read it once, then reread it again latter. I could be wrong though.

Lol, this is supposed to be calming us down, not frustrating us but I’m sure he will clarify it latter.


How do I get the handouts you guys are using?


When you sign in, it will give you links for each session. Click the session that you are in and there should be more links that under the title of handouts. If the links are failing to open, then I guess you’d have to contact the tech support and I’ve no idea how you would do that. You’d probably just need to upgrade you web browser or something (I don’t think they are using adobe reader so you don’t need that upgraded or even need it).

Hope that helps or I hope you already figured it out.


Thanks for the reply


This might be a dumb question, but if Dr. Richards said I’d need to do minimum 30 minutes of practice each day for a week for each session, but instead I would do let’s say 1 hour practice each day, would that mean I could move on to the next session faster ? I know I shouldn’t rush things and I wont, but I’m just wondering.


Hello silence,

Dr. Richards strongly recommends that anyone going through the therapy sessions to not skip ahead and go onto the next session before spending a week on the session you are currently on. This is for reinforcement purposes, and for going at a nice pace instead of pressuring and rushing yourself to get better. If you spend the recommended week per session and do not move on to the next session too fast, you will actually make more progress than if you were to move forward too fast and have to go back and repeat previous sessions.