My Book

Embracing Unrest
Coming Soon! October 2022
Dr. Sandra Parker

I’m excited to announce my first book has a launch date! Out October 18th, 2022, Embracing Unrest: Harness Vulnerability to Tame Anxiety and Spark Growth answers the question: why is it so hard to “be here”?

Stop bracing against life and feel more alive to the moment. 

Whether you feel disconnected, distracted, overwhelmed, or anxious, or if you never worry but instead push yourself too hard and sometimes wonder what it’s all for, Embracing Unrest shows you how to use unrest as an invitation to come home to your body and matter. Despite abundant advice to be mindful, many of us still struggle to “be present”. Experience avoidance has created an epidemic of anxiety, apathy and disconnection. Why is it so hard to experience our inner lives? The answer is in our bodies: an almost imperceptible spike in our nervous system ejects us precisely as growth is calling. We all have unrest. When confronted with vulnerability our nervous systems spike to call us home. But rather than heed that invitation to tune in, we unconsciously orient outward, looking for danger.

Embracing Unrest will help you catch yourself just as you are being ejected from the moment. You’ll learn when and how to tune into your body to counter the reflex to avoid inner experience. You will be able to differentiate unrest from healthy fear and unhealthy anxiety and use unrest as your doorway to feeling deeply, living bravely and becoming all you are meant to become. 

To learn more about how you can transform anxiety to confidence and apathy to aliveness, please watch the “Why is it so hard to “be” here? video.

Why is it so hard to “be” here?

Meet Dr. Sandra Parker

Helping grow capacities for bearing the beauty and pain of our human vulnerability is my passion and calling. For over thirty years, as a psychologist, I’ve helped people turn toward their inner experience with compassion and curiosity. My book, Embracing Unrest: Harness Vulnerability to Tame Anxiety and Spark Growth, reveals an almost universal and often undetected signal meant to call us into the moment but, paradoxically (and unfortunately), ejects us from it. In facilitating groups for people who struggle with panic episodes I came to see that “fear of fear” is the root, not only of panic disorder, but of all the suffering we endure. We unconsciously move away from what we feel when our nervous system spikes, and that experience avoidance is at the heart of what creates our suffering. 

Integrating my clinical experience with ideas from developmental psychology, neurobiology, psychodynamic therapy, experiential processes, and mindfulness practices I’ve discerned an inner reflex that I have named “unrest”. Unrest is a call to come home to the body in moments of vulnerability, but it is a call that most of us are unconsciously bracing against. My book helps people see and soothe unrest, embrace themselves in moments of vulnerability, and grow through experiencing the rich truth of their emotion. While I love exploring our inner worlds, I also love to spend time with my hands in the earth gardening, hiking in the woods, bicycling around the city, and can (not often enough) be found curled up on a sofa with a stiff cup of tea and a good book. 

I earned my doctoral degree at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, and am a member of the BC Psychological Association, Canadian Psychological Association, and Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology.  I live by the ocean in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, with my husband and three feisty little dogs, who teach me daily about risking feeling everything.

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