Customer Reviews: The Worry Cure: Seven Steps to Stop Worry from Stopping You
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on November 9, 2006
I was going through a difficult time in my life and someone recommended this book to me. I must confess I let it sit on my shelf for three months---I think because I was afraid I would find it too hard to use. But when I began reading the book--especially the first chapter-- I knew immediately that Dr. Leahy understood what I was going through. His style of writing made it easy for me to see myself in a new light. I also learned a lot about why I worry---and I am thankful that people have done research on this. Just as he says, I assume that if I don't know something for sure then it must be bad and I am constantly jumping to conclusions. Dr Leahy gave me a seven step program to handle my worries. The first step that I immediately found helpful was to realize that there is a difference between productive and unproductive worry. This was a relief because he wasn't telling me to stop worrying and be happy. And he gives a list of things to do when my worries start coming to me. I began to use the seven steps and I began feeling a little better in a few days. and then I began feeling a lot better. It wasn't perfect--which is another thing I realized was behind my worry. Dr. Leahy also discussed a fascinating area of research on worry---that people who worry are actually avoiding emotion. I began to recognize myself in that step, too. I was afraid of having bad feelings--I was afraid that I would get so depressed I couldn't stand it. I realized that I might have some good reasons to feel sad or anxious at times--but I didn't need to worry to get rid of those feelings. Another thing that was helpful is the chapter on how to handle failure. Being a perfectionist I always was afraid of failure. The author gives twenty things to say to yourself when you think of failure.

I also enjoyed the direct and fun style of writing. I felt that he was sitting here talking to me and that he seems to have a sense of humor but also a sense of understanding how people struggle.

There are so many helpful techniques and ideas in this book that I actually bought the paperback after I had the hardcover because I wanted to carry the book around with me. I keep reminding myself that worry is something I've been doing most of my life (I'm 43), but that I now have a lot of tools that I can use. Thanks for writing this book.
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on December 12, 2006
Dr. Robert Leahy is an emminent cognitive-behavioral therapist who has written a number of highly-acclaimed professional texts on the subject, to include a workbook on techniques for the practioner, a work on overcoming resistance, and dealing with "roadblocks" in therapy.

That being said, The Worry Cure is a distillation of his works for mass-market publication, and in doing so, has performed a valuable public health service.

While Dr. Leahy does not distinguish between "worry," which is not a clinical diagnosis, and "anxiety," which is, I came away from this book feeling strongly that it would greatly benefit those who, like me, suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Dr. Leahy begins the book by having the reader take a self-assessment. A number of questionnaires are designed to create your "worry profile, to include estimations of your, personal beliefs on self and relationships, and your ability to tolerate uncertainty.

Dr. Leahy then lays out a seven-step worry-reduction plan, which begins 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.

Leahy uses a number of case examples to cover 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.

This is not a typical, frothy, feel-good, self-help book that you can run through and "tada" feel better. You will need discipline and commitment to your recovery to fllow Dr Leahy's perscriptions.

Then, and only then can you expect relief to be on the way!
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on December 14, 2005
Bob Leahy has managed to write something unique and important in his newest book. "The Worry Cure" is grounded in the science of psychology, while written in a breezy style that will be accessible to professional and lay audiences alike. Dr. Leahy's book succeeds in being wise and at times very, very funny. His profile of how to make your worry worse, for example, is based on the most current research findings about worry, but with a presentation that made me laugh out loud at times. Dr. Leahy cuts through the maze of scholarly studies and teaches the public practical strategies for coping with life's difficulties, without the added misery brought on by out-of-control worry. It is rare for a scholar to write so well for the general public; it is even more rare for today's many popular psychologists to ground their work in good science. Bob Leahy does both, and an increasingly worried public will benefit from this very fine work.
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on February 22, 2007 let me just say this..your looking for a book to help you stop worrying and control Anxiety? Then get this book!

I bought 5 books off of amazon..and this was the only book that made complete sense..and actually worked! This guy is a genius! LOL! He goes over problems your too scared to talk about,or even think of! Goes into details of why you worry..for what reasons..and reasonable answers and ways to stop! I am so happy,and thankful that i have this book..i have stopped my daily worrying instantly right after i read this book! Please buy if you want help to stop worrying!! Its an A+++++++ book!
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on November 6, 2006
Dear Friends: I am about half-way through this book and am somewhat disappointed by it. I have a master's in counseling -- and no, I have never met Dr. Leahy -- but I was really hoping for more than this book has to give.

I am a big fan of cognitive therapy, and own several books on it. Also I worry a lot. So I was hoping to benefit from this book :)

The first four chapters are reasonably well-organized, and I learned a lot of new information about dealing with worrying from them. I really appreciated them, and thank Dr. Leahy for writing them.

But, after the first four chapters, I found this book frustrating because it has many useful insights on worry, but they are poorly organized, sort of flung at the reader. There are many vague case histories of "Ted," "Darlene," etc. of whom the reader quickly loses track.

In fact I began to feel resentful of "Ted" etc. -- it was like I was sitting in a group therapy session where I knew no one, and my problems were being completely ignored.

Also, the style of the book is very breezy and dismissive of its worried readers -- kind of, "hey, foolish reader, we'll rid you of those silly worries" -- many of us have real, major life problems, and this book seems to be focused on what is called the "worried well" -- people who have high incomes, good jobs, and some neurotic worries. Their biggest problems seem to be overwork, or trouble finding a date.

For someone who has major life worries, or serious anxiety, or major health and/or emotional problems, or is struggling with their finances, the book feels patronizing. Every case history is resolved with Dr. Leahy showing the person they have nothing to worry about -- they have a good income or they are attractive and can find dates, etc.

And in parts where it is announced, again in a breezy style, that most worries never come true -- well, I guess Dr. Leahy has led a very sheltered life.

Also, there are things missing -- the reader takes a test "scoring key, personality belief questionnaire" -- which then shows your alleged levels of Obsessive-Compulsive, Narcissistic, etc. personality traits. But the explanation on the next page leaves out the last three categories on which you are scored. So you have no idea what scores in those areas mean.

Stuff like this happens in several areas of the book -- a concept is announced and then there is not thorough follow-through. Dr. Leahy needed a more attentive editor or proofreader.

I am up to page 137, and I hope to finish the book because there are nuggets of wisdom in it.

But on the other hand, I have been looking through the rest of the book and noticed that the "health anxieties" section -- chapter 13 -- views everyone with health worries as being fundamentally healthy people who are neurotic about their health -- well, that cuts out all the people with chronic illnesses! Guess their worries aren't very important!

This book should have been entitled: "The Worry Cure for People Who Are In Excellent Health With Good Jobs and Some Minor Neuroses Around Relationship, Romance and Work Problems." It is not a book for people with major life problems, illnesses, financial problems, relationship difficulties, etc.

Which is a shame, because many of them worry too much and could really, really use the help in discerning better ways to handle their worries, and Dr. Leahy does know the latest worry research very thoroughly. Why he has chosen to apply it only to the "worried well" is beyond me.

I am thinking of going back to Dr. David Burns' "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy."

And no, I have never met Dr. Burns, either!
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on November 13, 2005
Dr. Robert Leahy has written a book that will come as welcome tonic to the frazzled nerves of it's readers. This book not only outlines all of the reasons why people do worry, it highlights the methods that most people try to use to get rid of worry (try not to think about it, seek reassurance from others) and shows you how they backfire. This might be enough to warrant buying it, but it also provides a sane, realistic approach to dealing with worry that weaves acceptance with change. This approach is based on cutting edge research and theories that even your therapist may not have heard about.

For instance, this is also the first book written for the non professional that I have seen that addresses the way that people worry about their worry and includes a clear rationale for why people worry about some things over others based on their history and personality.

I highly recommend the book to others and I can't think of a better holiday present than the relief my worried friends will feel after they've read this. Enjoy!
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on March 2, 2007
I have the audiobook version and highly recommend it, the narrator is excellent. This book has almost immediately changed my life and explained things to me in a way no one ever could. The author knew exactly how I think, why I think that way, and used that to break down (in relatively seemingly simple) ways to help. Worriers are generally deep thinkers and highly analytical people and a simple "Don't stress about it" from friends just doesn't help. Amazing book!
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on April 26, 2007
No other book has so radically challenged and CHANGED the way that I have perceived and reacted to situations as Robert Leahy's THE WORRY CURE.It is intensely practical,down-to-earth and so readable that it is not only a continued challenge to me,but a must for daily living.This is not a book that spouts platitudes,but rather a book of such common sense and wisdom that I find myself amazed at the silliness of my own thought processes and the joy of seeing myself undergoing a successful and daily change at the age of 52!This book is the most valuable resource that I have ever come upon in dealing in the realms of cognitive (behaviour-thought changing) therapy.Many of formally accepted and taught coping mechanisms that I had adopted,which never worked,have now been dispelled and new mechanisms to live have been grafted into my daily existence and,believe you me, they have been found positively to be 100% effective.Many people may not feel that they are worriers.I certainly never thought that worry was my root problem.Read this book.You just may find out that worry is that elusive "something" that has unknowingly been plagueing you ,your mind,your body and your soul all these years.I first borrowed this book from the library,but you will want to own your own copy as you will be underlining and highlighting and making many marginal notes and referring again and again to the practical therapeutic suggestions that Leahy postulates.
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on August 14, 2006
I've been very pleased with this book. Some books tell you that you can turn your whole life around and then make it sound simple - or conversely, they imply you need to dramatically change in order to see results. This book however, frankly, really works. It is a workbook filled with real, concrete methods that you can start putting into practice right away. Worriers and those who suffer from anxiety are thinkers by nature, so we need intelligent, logical methods to persuade us; as you've probably noticed, blind faith or unfounded optimism doesn't cut it. This book gives simple, realistic instructions, which are surprisingly effective, and provides you with the tools to help yourself. As a seasoned worrier, I often have a hard time distinguishing between a "real," legitimate worry, and a concocted, overblown one. This book has a checklist of questions I can ask myself to help me determine which category my worry really belongs to. Another one of the things I've found very helpful is the author's list of "tyical cognitive distortions." Dr. Leahy obviously knows his worriers, because every single type of worry thought I've ever had is in here! Finding my thought on the list and being assured that it is indeed a fallacy, and not a true, logical thought, has helped me to let go of some of the unhealthy, even damaging thought patterns that provoke and encourage worry. This book won't solve all your problems or do the work for you. But if you get in the habit of practicing the methods, then you will find some relief.
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on December 12, 2005
Dr. Robert Leahy has written a book that will be useful to worriers and therapists (even if they are one and the same!). This is a practical, entertaining and no-nonsense guide to taking steps to understand and contend with worry. What is most compelling about it is that it is based on data - the book is stuctured so that the reader can efficiently identify his or her particular types of worry and individualize a plan to take positive action to solve problems. Dr. Leahy is an engaging writer; the examples are clear and helpful. I can't think of any other book that tackles this issue so effectively!
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