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The Catastrophic Worrier: Why You Worry and How to Stop
Graham Davey, PhD
New Harbinger / Softcover / Jan 2023
9781648480348 (ISBN-10: 1648480349)
Anxiety, Phobia & Panic / Cognitive Therapy Approaches in Self Help
price: $27.95
224 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Do you turn all your molehills into insurmountable mountains? This accessible and engaging book will guide you along the path to stop catastrophizing so that you can reclaim control, achieve your goals, and live a happier life.

Is your worrying keeping you up all night, eroding your self-confidence, paralyzing your ability to make decisions, and harming your physical health? Excessive worrying is a problem that affects everyone at some point in their lives, but for some people it can become a lifelong affliction. Catastrophic worry can turn even imagined setbacks into a cascade of devastating events, impacting your sleep, self-confidence, decision making, problem solving, ability to cope, and overall health. So, how can you put an end to this worst-case habit?

In this guide, leading worry expert Graham Davey explains the science of why we worry, and offers a clear path to stopping catastrophic worry so you can regain control and live a happier life. Focusing first on the psychological processes that contribute to catastrophizing, you’ll gain a solid, research-based understanding of where your worry comes from, with insight into how it can snowball. You’ll also learn how to assess your own level of catastrophic worrying, and find exercises that directly address those processes to help you establish healthy habits, manage your mood and anxiety, and make decisions with confidence.

With these easy-to-follow tips and exercises for letting go of anxiety, lifting your mood, and managing your catastrophizing, you’ll learn how to live with uncertainty and embrace a life free of unnecessary worry.


“Under normal circumstances, worrying is adaptive and motivates us to plan for the future. But for many of us, it can spiral out of control such that we worry incessantly and intensely about even small issues. One word for this process is ‘catastrophizing,’ and Graham Davey is widely acknowledged as a world expert on this topic. In this well-written, easy-to-read manual, you will learn about the origins and nature of catastrophic worry, and more importantly, you’ll learn the latest evidence-based strategies for bringing this out-of-control process back under your control.”
—David H. Barlow, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology and psychiatry at Boston University, founder of the Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders, and author of more than ninety books and clinical manuals on anxiety and emotional disorders

“As far as we know, humans are the only species that can anticipate the future and be anxious about what might happen in that future. Worry is commonly focused on things that never happen, and is a cause for considerable distress and ill health. In these times of uncertainty and coming out of COVID lockdowns, ‘worry’ amongst many of us has increased. It is therefore timely that Graham Davey, a leading psychologist in this area, guides us expertly and gently through the origins and bases of worry, and how we can work on ourselves to minimize its impact. This will be immensely helpful for those who find their minds spiraling off into all kinds of worries.”
—Paul Gilbert, PhD, FBPsS, OBE, professor of clinical psychology at the university of Derby, and visiting professor at the university of Queensland; president of The Compassionate Mind Foundation; and author of The Compassionate Mind

“Are you a worrywart? Are you consumed by worries about your future, your health, and even minor matters? Then you might be dealing with catastrophic worrying. Graham Davey’s book will gently guide you through the process of overcoming catastrophic worrying. Written by one of the foremost experts on this topic, this book will help you stop the worry machine and get your life back.”
—Stefan G. Hofmann, PhD, Alexander von Humboldt professor, and author of CBT for Social Anxiety

“Davey has spent thirty years conducting innovative research on worry and anxiety. In this unique book, he draws on his own exacting studies and that of other key researchers in considering why we worry, what makes us vulnerable to excessive worrying, and what to do about it. This is a valuable resource for professionals in the field, and sufferers seeking a deeper understanding and associated exercises to transform catastrophic worry into ‘smart worry.’”
—Adrian Wells, PhD, professor of clinical and experimental psychopathology at The University of Manchester, UK; and director of the Anxiety, Depression and Psychological Therapies Research Unit at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust

“Graham Davey summarizes decades of research on worry and anxiety into a practical, accessible, and engaging book that explains why we worry, why we keep worrying, and importantly, how we can reduce our worrying. Readers are guided through evidence-supported strategies and exercises that work, and that will help them to live more fulfilling lives. A must-read for all talented worriers.”
—Peter McEvoy, professor of clinical psychology at Curtin University, senior clinical psychologist at the Centre for Clinical Interventions, and associate editor of the Journal of Anxiety Disorders

The Catastrophic Worrier is a delightfully accessible book, written by an internationally recognized expert who has researched worry for many years. Topics include the causes of worry, and practical steps the reader can take to become a more adaptive worrier. Addressed to readers who are burdened by worry that has become uncontrollable and distressing, it will also interest psychology students, mental health professionals, and anyone interested in how the mind works.”
—Richard Bentall, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Sheffield, fellow of the British Academy, and author of Madness Explained

About the Author:

Graham Davey, PhD, is emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Sussex, UK; where his research interests are anxiety, worry, phobias, and the role of the disgust emotion in psychopathology. He has written a range of teaching and research books, most recently on clinical psychology and psychopathology. He is also past president of the British Psychological Society, and a founding editor in chief of the Journal of Experimental Psychopathology. He lives in Brighton, UK.

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