Johan S. Reveseth: “Psychologist carrying a sleeping bag. Harder than you think.”

Johan S.  Reveseth: “Psychologist carrying a sleeping bag. Harder than you think.”

Psychologist with sleeping bag. Harder than you think




«An easy-to-read and informative self-help book about fighting your inner demons.»

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Save us from our own horror

“In short, fear is an emotion that was evolutionarily developed to keep you alive,” Revseth writes in the most interesting parts of the book, as she gives us the facts about what fear really is. For example, humans' inherent fear of the dark, which may seem irrational, but has actually enabled us to survive as a species.

This is because we are not well equipped to survive in the dark due to our poor hearing, poor eyesight and poor sense of smell. This is demonstrated by one of the many quick and good images in the book: “Maybe you had a distant relative who was not afraid of anything and was admired for his fearless existence. Unfortunately, he was never able to reproduce since he was eaten by a saber-toothed tiger. On the other hand “His hypersensitive brother, your great-grandfather, was trembling all his life and was afraid of everything from snakes to the dark. This sissy had seven bisexual children and passed the genes all the way to your branch. Congratulations.”

It defuses our trauma

Refseth says it was these “pesky genes” that once prevented her from achieving her big dream, which was to live alone in the wilderness – more specifically to dry out and sleep alone in a tent in Nordmarka. Anxiety she overcame on her own through techniques taken from psychology and so-called exposure therapy. For example, something as simple as the fact that she had an aversion to sleeping in a sleeping bag and therefore slept with the sleeping bag in bed every night. Not to use it, but to get used to associating the smell of down with good sleep.

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This simple – some would say trite – use of psychological techniques is the source of Rvseth's strength. A combination of plain language, private life experiences, and communication of very complex psychology, couched in a simple and harmless way.

She explains how fear manifests itself physically, with heart palpitations, restlessness, stomach problems, and tremors, and that it is the body's reactions that cause our often repressed emotions to come to the surface. It works to remove trauma and risk, for example by showing that fear and anxiety are not necessarily the result of childhood trauma, but are often quite real and result from external causes such as worry about poor finances, or a natural fear of driving. Because you already have inferior winter tires.

bring it!

So the book's goal is to make us braver than we are, by helping us dissect our reactions, pick up on emotions, and expose ourselves to the scary, but only in the right doses so it doesn't paralyze us.

The book aims to embrace every unfulfilled dream we might have in this life, but for Revseth, dreams were largely about the outdoors and sleepovers in nature – and in this sense, the stories from her many travels become dominant.

This makes this book an outlier, which somewhat overlaps with her previous publication “Psykolog i sovepose” (2022). It was again based on Refseth's popular Instagram account of the same name, which in 2020 won the Norwegian Psychological Society's award for the dissemination of psychological knowledge.

Promotion comes at a price, and it amazes me that the self-help genre has developed a quite distinctive, somewhat difficult, teenage-like language.

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This is very much true of Laine Teller's book on ovulation, “Superuka,” and it applies – not intrusively – to Revseth as well: “Life is this way, keep it going! And then came life. Damn life.”

Or when you talk about an article you published with three well-known professionals. “Most people have no idea who these people are, but they are among the fattest people in the world in this area. The article was published in JAACAP, which is also a reasonably fat magazine.”

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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