Helen Rivas-Rose's award-winning publication of Brave: A Painfully Shy LifeMemoirist Helen Rivas-Rose’s award-winning publication of Brave: A Painfully Shy Life is the powerful and illuminating account of her own severe shyness and path she took to overcome it. This is a must read, not just for the severely shy, but also for counselors, parents, and educators who are seeking to understand this “invisible” problem that afflicts about one out of every twenty people.

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Helen Rivas-Rose lived with severe shyness for 50 years. It truncated her education, denied her a career, oriented her two marriages, and affected her parenting. In midlife, she decided to do what was necessary to overcome it, taking self-directed steps that included: singing solo in public, delivering her own talks at Unitarian-Universalist churches, joining drama workshops to expose her childhood pain, and joining a typical socially oriented garden club.

With help from SCORE of Portland, Maine, and Dr. Kevin Crowley, school principal in Kennebunk, Maine, Rivas-Rose founded The Center for Social Isolation Relief, (CSIR) a non-profit tax-exempt organization. Its mission is to provide relief to socially isolated children and youth so they can unite with their peers. Rivas-Rose serves as program manager and CSIR works on designing and implementing projects for schools that will help children develop more self-confidence and social connections.

Following is an excerpt of a book review by Velandy Manohar, M.D. as featured in Psychiatric Services: The American Psychiatric Association Monthly Journal. 

The author describes her experiences with shyness with exquisite sensitivity… I have begun to encourage my colleagues to peruse this book to enhance our assessment and treatment skills, and I have recommended it to some patients who are working on a recovery plan to promote self-development and social connectivity.

Click here to read the full review.

Long enough have you timidly waded, holding a plank by the shore, Now I will you to be a bold swimmer…
— Walt Whitman, Song of Myself