“If you’re in a quandary about which book to pick in the library or bookshop to read on ‘Stress’, this slim volume by Dr Douglas Kong has to be your choice. 

It begins with ‘Stress sucks!’ and ends with ‘Make stress fun for yourself!’ In between are chapters on neuroscience, nutrition, fitness, social support and of course psychotherapy which is the forte of the author. 

From his more than 40 years as a doctor, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, he enlivens this book with brief case studies of his vast experience. If you read between the lines, you will realise that his approach is person-centred and he advises on diet, food and exercise. 

Although trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy, Dr Kong is not dogmatic and advocates other techniques including cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness practice and Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation. 

In short, his approach in stress management is personal and integrative – this is the psychotherapeutic zeitgeist of the 21st century. Because the 21st century is also the Asian century, in the next edition of ‘Conquering stress’ the author may wish to include more references from research in Asia. 

In understanding and coping with our stress, we may want to heed the advice of the 6th-century Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu: Knowing others is wisdom, knowing the self is enlightenment. “

– Kua Ee Heok,  Tan Geok Yin Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Department of Psychological Medicine, National University of Singapore

Contact me at douglas@optimalzoneperformance.com if you’d like a copy. This book is also available on Book Depository and Amazon.


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Dr Douglas Kong is a Certified Executive and Life Coach specialising in helping individuals, teams and organization to function optimally with peak performance in the workplace. He helps people by assisting them to overcome their personal performance barriers and by increasing their social and interpersonal functioning and communication skills. He is a retired psychiatrist whose past training and experience are focused on Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Developmental Psychiatry and Group Dynamics.