In light of the recent bombing in Boston, I thought I would use today’s post as a timely book note. Will van der Hart (Anglican vicar) and Rob Waller (Psychiatrist) have written a small but helpful book entitled, The End of Worry: Why We Worry and How to Stop (2011, Howard Books). What makes this book interesting is the fact that Will freely discusses his own struggle with worry, made more evident after the 2005 bombings in his city of London. While the bombings were the final straw to panic attacks, Will also explores some of the early roots of worry in his life.
If you struggle with worry, there are several reasons why this little book might be a comfort to you.
- The authors write as if they know worry and fear.
- It is not, as they say, “triumphalistic.” Meaning, they do not believe the right beliefs/prayers/faith will automatically solve the problem
- Worry is portrayed not only as a spiritual problem but also explored through lenses of psychology, biology, and habit formation.
- It is written to the worrier, not about the worrier
- Each chapter gives you opportunity to engage in a few key exercises
- They differentiate between solvable worry and floating worry (and the tyranny of the “what ifs…”)
- Their solutions are practical but do not pretend to be simplistic. In fact, they devote some space to the notion that you should “stop trying not to worry.” Sound radical?
- A number of their solutions are helpful for those who ruminate (OCD, scrupulosity)
The book sits firmly in the cognitive behavioral model of intervention. Therefore, much of it encourages readers to explore belief systems about self and world and to begin challenging faulty thinking and to work to replace with more appropriate cognitions, meditations, and self-talk. CBT is not the only therapeutic model but offers anxious people something to do.
If you would like to work through a book that describes the process of worry and perfectionism and then gives you some ideas to examine and change your own struggle, this might be the book for you.
*I received a free copy of this book without any obligation to write this post.
2 responses to “The “End of Worry” in a dangerous world?”
If little to nothing is said about “worry, fear or anxiety” from a scriptural perspective–engaging the biblical text–then this, unfortunately, is another book that pastors won’t use.
I would suggest that pastors might find it helpful because it moves from the command not to worry to specific helps in how to end or sideline worry. Each chapter engages biblical texts and chapter five addressed Scripture as a whole about worry. But this book exists because while commands not to worry are great, they need plans and actions to accomplish. Otherwise, it becomes a “just don’t do it” and that is unhelpful.