The Dutiful Worrier: How to Stop Compulsive Worry Without Feeling Guilty

Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D. , New Harbinger, $16.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-57224-8977
A professor of humanities at Indian River State College and clinical ethics at Florida State University College of Medicine, Cohen offers a guide for those who compulsively worry. He notes that such "dutiful" worrying is based on the anxiety of losing control of a situation, self-damnation, and perfectionism. Dutiful worriers often develop a "worry chain" founded on each of these three elements. Through anecdotes, hypothetical examples, and exercises, Cohen helps these "dutiful worriers" through their psychocognitive prisons. His last two chapters, "Making Moral Decisions" and "Acting Instead of Worrying," are his most useful. In the former, he examines how a person might deal with the inevitably anxiety-producing need to tell her mother that she has terminal cancer; in the latter, he offers a helpful five-step process when dealing with a seemingly unresolvable dilemma. Unfortunately, Cohen seems to condemn all worrying, not distinguishing the dutiful worrying from the more creative, problem-solving kind. Also, as in too many other self-help books, his style is marred by clich├ęs, and is repetitive. Still, Cohen, a blogger for Psychology Today, does share some accessible practical wisdom, though he might have done so more succinctly. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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