For "highly worried people," or those who suffer from the "what-if disease," Leahy (president of the International Association of Cognitive Therapy and author of Cognitive Therapy Techniques: A Practitioner's Guide
) presents a systematic, accessible self-help guide to gaining control over debilitating anxiety. Leahy is an expert in changing thought processes, and he walks worriers step-by-step through problems in the way they think, with pointers on how to change these biases. For self-assessment, he provides several questionnaires to take your worry profile, including estimations of your, personal beliefs on self and relationships, and your ability to tolerate uncertainty. The author then outlines a seven-step worry-reduction plan: beginning with identifying productive and unproductive worry, progressing to improving skills for accepting reality, challenging worried thinking and learning to harness unpleasant emotions such as fear or anger. With numerous examples, Leahy also covers the broad life anxieties that may spark dysfunctional thinking: relationships, health, money and work. Following Leahy's steps involves keeping emotion diaries, answering a battery of questions to monitor and challenge worries and maintaining regular vigilance over your thoughts. Those who can summon the discipline and commitment to stick to Leahy's program might find some relief.
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Selected as one of the top 8 self-help books of all-time in SELF Magazine
“Dr. Leahy’s The Worry Cure
should have been titled, ‘Seven Simple Steps to a Stress-Free Life.’ This book offers practical and powerful tools to reverse your worry and transform the quality of your life.” —Anthony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within
and Unlimited Power
“Highly instructive and accessible . . . Worriers will find relief here.” —Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D., author of After the Affair
and How Can I Forgive You?
“I heartily recommend this book to everybody who is worried . . . and that includes practically all of us. Eminent psychologist Dr. Robert L. Leahy has designed an easy-to-follow program pinpointing unproductive worries across the broad spectrum of relationships, work, health, and finances. In elegant style, he shows how to neutralize and even eliminate them.” —Aaron T. Beck, M.D., president of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research and university professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania
“An excellent book. The self-assessment questionnaires narrow down each reader’s personal domains of worry, giving them a leg up on making life-altering changes, and the easy-to-understand step-by-step procedures for overcoming worry provide useful tools that are research-based.” —Monica Ramirez Basco, Ph.D., author of Never Good Enough
and coauthor of Getting Your Life Back
“Clear and easy to follow . . . like having Dr. Leahy, one of the foremost psychologists in the world, as your personal therapist. His superb insights and understanding of worry allow him to reasonably and logically address this often unreasonable and illogical problem.” —Arthur Freeman, Ed.D., A.B.P.P., coauthor of Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
and The 10 Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make and How to Avoid Them
“Compelling, informative, and highly accessible. This book is certain to become the standard in assisting those who worry achieve fuller, healthier lives.” —Douglas Mennin, director of the Yale Anxiety and Mood Services
“A must-read . . . During a time when society is under more stress than ever comes this comprehensive book written by one of the world’s most noted authorities. Packed with clinical advice in a practical style, it addresses everyone from the occasional worrywart to some of the most severe types of ruminators.” —Frank M. Dattilio, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., department of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
"Engagingly and persuasively [Leahy] coaxes self-tormentors to have mercy on themselves. Rather than offering palliatives, like 'be more positive,' or 'try to get your mind off it,' he acknowledges that many chronic worriers—including the subset he calls 'defensive pessimists'—want to worry, and are superstitious that, if they fail to worry, they will jinx themselves. Instead he recommends that they manage their fears by scheduling regular freakout sessions, and gives pointers on how they can realistically deal with their concerns.
[The Worry Cure
's] seven chapters offer self-testing personality profiles, case study parables, and Dr. Leahy's analyses to help readers identify their stumbling blocks and learn how to hurdle them. This crash course in gnosis is followed by five chapters on common fixations like 'What if nobody likes me?' 'What if my lover leaves me?'and 'What if I really am sick?'
You may or may not turn out to be the unlovable outcast you fear you are, but that's beside the point. 'Worry more effectively,' the author says; and remember that it's your parents who really ought to be stressed out. After all, you are their fault." —New York Times Styles