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WORRY

WORRY

Controlling It and Using It Wisely 

Dr. Hallowell offers multiple presentations regarding Worry, all of which are outlined below.

WORRY: A NEW LOOK AT AN OLD PROBLEM 

The material covered in this broad, introductory presentation will follow the format of Dr. Hallowell’s book about worry, entitled:

Part I: “The World of Worry” Both a biological and a psychological framework will be given for understanding how worry weaves its way into most people’s lives. The combination of biological and psychological factors will be stressed. Humor, anecdotes, and a hopeful, make-it-better tone pervade this section as well as the entire presentation. While up-to-date academic, scientific information is disseminated, the audience feels as much entertained as informed. Dr. Hallowell’s guiding philosophy, as a lecturer is the maxim of the ancient Latin poet, Horace: “Instruct by pleasing.”

Part II: “Toxic and Destructive Forms of Worry” Various forms of the diagnosable and treatable conditions of excessive worry will be described, including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder, phobias, and paranoia.

Furthermore, this section goes on to describe painful worry states that are not diagnosable medically, but nonetheless afflict millions of people day in and day out.  General headings here include “The Ominous Core of Life,” and “The Infinite Web of What-If?” The kinds of worry associated with excessive pessimism, guilt, perfectionism, chronic hesitation or underachievement, and other maladaptive types of excessive worry will be presented. These are not “anxiety disorders,” but they are pervasive, noxious styles of mind.

As time allows, numerous anecdotes will be presented as well as case material.  The example of the life of Samuel Johnson, a great genius and a great worrier, will be included in the longer presentations.

 Part III: “Are You an Over-Worrier?” Guidelines will be offered for deciding how much of a worrier a given individual really is, as compared to others.

 Part IV: “What To Do About It?” In this section a systematic approach will be offered to dealing with worry in everyday life. The remedies range from diagnosis (itself a form of treatment, because it gives the worry a name, and a handle), to education, to changing one’s physical state, to a host of non-medication approaches, to a review of the current medications, to new treatments such as EMDR, to thee basics of cognitive-behavioral therapy.  This section goes into detail in offering practical, usable methods of managing worry effectively.

This overview lecture can be tailored to fit different audiences.  For example, it can be slanted towards a business audience, towards medical and mental health professionals, towards parents and teachers, or towards a general adult audience. 

NON-MEDICATION APPROACHES TO TREATING WORRY

This presentation details the wide array of remedies for worry that are available now, exclusive of medications.  Most of these approaches do not require a professional’s guidance, once they are learned.  Some do.  All are effective and safe, although none remove worry entirely. Indeed, some worry is necessary for life!

Education begins the non-medication approach.  What is my kind of worrying and where does it come from? Most of the time excessive worry derives from an exaggerated feeling of vulnerability in the presence of a diminished feeling of power.  As the individual comes to see this pattern and appreciates its roots, it becomes easier to find a way to handle worry effectively.

After education, the lecture stresses a host of practical interventions, including ways of getting better organized, exercise, meditation, practical preparedness, a method called “EPR” or “Evaluate, Plan, Remediate,” which will be explained and demonstrated, methods of talking positively to oneself, ways of getting reassurance and finding sustaining connections, a new method called EMDR that involves eye-movement training as a detoxifying process, and a number of other non-medication approaches.  A section called “50 Tips” will be included, which is, as the name implies, an iteration of 50 concrete methods of reducing excessive worry.

MEDICATION AS TREATMENT FOR WORRY

By adding a half-hour or an hour to presentation WORRY: A NEW LOOK AT AN OLD PROBLEM , medication approaches to treating worry can be included. Or, this can be given as an hour-long lecture in itself. 

WORRY IN COUPLES, FAMILIES, GROUPS, SCHOOLS, BUSINESSES, AND ORGANIZATIONS

This presentation looks at both adaptive forms of worry and toxic forms of worry as they commonly appear in couples, families, groups, businesses, schools, and other organizations.  A stubborn paradox surrounds the field of worry management. Ideally, worry is dealt with best by more than a single person. The team approach works better than others, when it works! However, such is human nature, that when people come together, in any of the groupings mentioned above, they often create as much worry as they solve. Why is this and how can the problem be resolved?

This presentation looks at the common patterns of how this happens, as well as discusses what to do about it. In the longer presentations, the audience will be invited to split into small groups for a short time as part of a group worry exercise.  This talk can specifically be adapted for any of the groups mentioned, such as an audience of couples, or a business audience.

WORRY IN CHILDREN 

This lecture covers the basics of worry in children.  What are the basic patterns?  What is normal worry in a child and what is abnormal?  When should a parent or a teacher seek help for a child’s worrying? What are the diagnosable kinds of worry in children?  What are the common socially induced kinds of worry?  How does technology fit in?  What can a child do to worry less?  What can a parent or teacher do?  What is the role of professional intervention? 

Highlighted among the diagnosable conditions will be separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder, depression, and trauma.

The non-diagnosable but still troubling kinds of worry that will be highlighted include problems with connectedness (family conflict, friendship problems, social isolation, bullying, scapegoating, and others), problems with global worries (crime, disease, hunger, ecological concerns), and general styles of a worried mind that are passed down in families from generation to generation.

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