In a herculean, successful attempt to integrate theory, research findings and applied strategies, Conquering Trauma and Anxiety
to Find Happiness will empower its readers to understand themselves and get unstuck from the tyranny of their traumatic memories
and fragmented sense of self. Dr. Ellen McShane’s unique approach to illustrate how Affect Theory and Affect Labeling account
for her valiant, life-long journey to overcome child abuse and find happiness is a generous sharing act that reveals the loving
teacher within Ellen. Conquering Trauma and Anxiety to Find Happiness may become an indispensable resource in the therapist’s
Dr. Antonio Cepeda-Benito, Professor of Psychological Sciences, University of Vermont
Ellen McShane offers the reader a fearless analysis, a personal case study of her experience of trauma, and its effects on
her development, life and relationships. Thoroughly researched, the result is a courageous presentation of approaches to
healing from trauma, focusing on Sylvan Tomkins’s Affect Theory. Readers will find in this book deep insights regarding trauma’s
effects on our development, the process of therapy, and healing. McShane describes the variety of tools she used to understand
and heal the results of her trauma, encouraging others to consider ways they might also create healing and happiness in their
lives. This work is highly recommended for everyone who has experienced trauma and those who work to help them recover.
Lawrence G. Shelton, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Vermont
This is one woman’s brave journey into healing herself, and finding the focus and methodology to flip the experience, creating
a tool to help so many others in their personal journey to self -healing from past trauma. Though the focus is overcoming
the anxiety through affect work and neuroplasticity conjoined with epigenetics, this is a no nonsense tool for the therapist
and for the past victim of trauma. It is also a wonderful teaching and learning program guide for a successful internal life
for virtually everyone, as some form of childhood trauma is almost universal in society.
Dr. Dominique Desrochers, Chiropractor, Co-Creator of Bio-Dynamic Resonance ®
When FDR said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” he could’ve been referring to Ellen McShane’s book, Conquering Trauma
and Anxiety to Find Happiness. Fear had been a recurring theme in my life until Dr. McShane showed me that my old negative
brain connections could be broken up and rewired into something constructive. Affect theory has helped me become both more
productive and happier.
Linda Lane, Author, Laser Lady Meets the Light Junkies
I’m so grateful to all of the help and generosity Ellen showed me during my time at the University of Vermont. Learning about
the different affects and associated physiological reactions have helped me identify the emotions that come up in my body,
as well as the associated scripts that I carried with me from my upbringing. It also helps me shift from a negative affect
to neutral and gradually positive through naming the affects and changing my physical activities, while honoring my feelings
and developing more empathy for the trauma I have experienced. It has been an invaluable tool to my growth.
Roxanne Chang, University of Vermont, 2016
Going above and beyond her duties as my mentor during college, Ellen has been an unwavering source of support and kindness
over the last ten years of my life. Affect theory, as outlined by Ellen, has provided me with a framework for recognizing
and managing my inner self and emotions. Naming affects out loud is a valuable tool for increasing awareness of the moment,
the self, and the mind-body connection and has made me more resilient in the face of hardships throughout my life journey.
Yao Tan, University of Vermont, 2014