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5.0 out of 5 starsthis book is a gift
Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2019
I've known for a long time I needed help coping with anxiety and depression. This book was published at just the right time in my life. I have felt lost and powerless in overcoming these obstacles, but the wealth of practical advice (e.g., the Four-Step Solution) and encouragement that Moreland provides in Finding Quiet is giving me hope as I begin to put some of it into practice. Honestly, as foolish as this sounds, I probably would never have bought a book on anxiety or depression, but having read his books The Soul, Consciousness and the Existence of God, and The Recalcitrant Imago Dei, I thought I'd give Finding Quiet a shot since I have come to so respect and appreciate his work in philosophy and since this has been the worst year of my life as far as anxiety and depression go. I am thankful to God for J.P. Moreland and thankful to Moreland for writing this book.
5.0 out of 5 starsAn Absolutely Invaluable Resource for Those in Recovery!
Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2019
I believe Dr. Moreland may have underestimated the value and scope of his new book—Finding Quiet. Finding Quiet is not only an invaluable resource for those that suffer from anxiety and depression, but also has huge import for anyone suffering from addiction. As a fellow believer that suffers from alcohol and drug dependency, I would argue that Finding Quiet should be required reading for any Christian involved in Celebrate Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Al-Anon. In fact, I would submit that this book is applicable to all believers in helping to implement habit-forming practices that strengthen one’s dependence on the Holy Spirit!
Although the following is meant to be a review of Finding Quiet, I felt prompted to share a little bit of my own story as this may be helpful to some readers that have struggles similar to my own. The information and the solutions offered in Finding Quiet speak directly to those that suffer from addiction, co-dependence, depression, anxiety; and, for those that lack understanding for those that do suffer - especially one’s own family members.
I have been in recovery (recovery from alcohol and drug dependence) for a little over a year. For someone in recovery, I was immediately seized by the treatment solutions presented in Finding Quiet. Like Dr. Moreland, I too am a fellow sufferer of debilitating anxiety and I am a fellow brother in the Lord whose internal thought life and negative self-talk had completely run amuck.
A little over 4 years ago, my life became totally (and I mean totally!) unhinged. In 2014, my father suddenly passed away from an acute heart attack. Despite everything I have experienced, his passing is still the single most traumatic event of my life. My father raised me and he was a deeply loving man that had no difficulty showing his love for me. Because my mother rejected me as a child, my father’s love and support were all that much more important to my life.
Since my father’s passing, I have lost my license to practice law. I have lost my wife of 25-years. I have lost my home, my bank accounts, and retirement (assigning everything I owned over to my wife). I also lost my integrity and my character—it took a little under 5 years to lose everything.
How did this happen? There are a multiplicity of causes. I am now convinced it happened because of a genetic predisposition; it happened because I experienced severe trauma as a child; and it happened because of my lifestyle. I initially drank to overcome feelings of insecurity and to feel acceptance. I drank alcohol because I did not want to feel a particular emotion (e.g., rejection, dread, pain, fear, etc.), or think a particular thought (e.g., fear I would lose my law license, etc.). Rather than experience a particular unpleasant feeling, I used alcohol to feel and think a different way. And I used alcohol despite the obvious negative consequences, which is the clinical definition of addiction.
This is where the solutions in Finding Quiet have major import to anxiety, depression and to recovery in general. The habit-forming practices Dr. Moreland introduces are similar to the various treatments presented to me when I entered an inpatient rehabilitation program, including CBT, neuroplasticity and group therapy.
The main difference, however—and this is key—is that Dr. Moreland lays out very specific solutions in the context of a biblical worldview, with an emphasis on a sound biblical understanding of the soul and the body. I can’t overemphasize how important it is to have a biblical resource that addresses those habits that keep one from a life of peace, joy and contentment, such as those habits I built through dependence on alcohol. For the past 12 months I have been utilizing tools given to me in rehab. However, for me those tools appeared to be far removed from a Christian worldview. I believe Finding Quiet successfully lays out a thorough holistic functional view of human beings as body-soul composites, which puts the tools - especially those in this book - into an entirely new light.
The main two practices in Finding Quiet can be found in Chapter 3, where Dr. Moreland unpacks both the “Four Step Solution” and the “HeartMath Solution.” The Four Step Solution is somewhat related the CBT approach to treating anxiety. For the anxiety sufferer, negative emotions (like anxiety) are largely produced through habitual and negative thoughts that preoccupy our minds when they are in a default position. The Four Step Solution offers a strategic training ground (and re-grooving the brain) against habitual, negative self-talk which leads to anxiety, depression or worse. These are actual exercises or practices meant to cultivate a new habit of making real life choices that produce peace and joy.
The HeartMath solution is another 4-step practice that focus on locations (members) of the body, specifically the heart muscle, as the heart as heart (and brain) work together in shaping one’s thoughts, emotions, and attitude towards life.
Two additional disciplines are laid out in Chapter 4; namely, contemplative prayer and the regular expression of gratitude. JP’s clarification of the nature of gratitude alone is worth the price for the book.
Each chapter contains a “bullet-point summary” (all of which are duplicated in Appendix 3). The point here is to provide general reminders—specific habit-forming practices—one keeps in mind as one works towards reorienting their approach to life and retraining their thought life.
There is much more I could say, but I think it would be more honest to write a revised review after I spend a few months applying the exercises to my own life.
Do you need to suffer from anxiety and/or depression in order to benefit from reading Finding Quiet? Again, I would submit that this book is applicable to all believers in helping to implement habit-forming practices that strengthen one’s dependence on the Holy Spirit.
5.0 out of 5 starsA simply effective tool box everyone suffering from depression or anxiety can benefit from.
Reviewed in the United States on May 20, 2019
As Christians, many of us learn all the right stuff that we are supposed to. We know we are loved and are to love, to not be afraid, to seek refuge in God, and even take captive our thoughts. Though many of us are still struggling with depression and anxiety. Moreland simply and brilliantly takes countless books and biblical wisdom and tells us how to actively engage in the “doing”. His example of a golfer reading and watching everything they can, and expecting to be a great golfer without ever stepping foot on a golf course is profound. I am indebted to Moreland for this book. He took months of my own research, self-help books, and biblical studies and simplified them into step by step daily habits. In a horrible anxiety attack just a day after reading the first three chapters I was able to use the knowledge he shared and was able to enjoy the quiet I have so longed for. This is a book for doing, not simply for reading and putting on the shelf. Backed scientifically and biblically, this little book can transform your daily life and make you more than a conqueror of your body and mind.
3.0 out of 5 starsAdvocates SSRI medications for depression, etc.
Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2019
While I admire J.P. Moreland, I was disappointed to read that he advocates the use of SSRI medication as part of a strategy intended to "treat" depression. The latest research, however, is that SSRIs are no more effective than placebos, and indeed several clinical studies now concede that many cases of depression cannot be reduced to bodily functions or "chemical imbalances." Moreover there is growing evidence that SSRIs can induce suicidal or even homicidal ideation in people, particularly young people... Study the correlation between SSRI usage and juvenile crime, for instance. Relying of medicine and the (ever-changing) paradigms of psychiatry may actually be inimical to spiritual growth and development. More people are helped, for example, by 12 Step programs (such as AA, NA, etc.), than by undergoing psychotherapy or by using mind-altering medications... As a philosopher I would have thought J.P. should have looked at both sides of the pharmacological questions instead of advocating their use as part of his overall strategy for dealing with the sorrows and pains of life in this world...
If you like/support/practice contemplative prayer you'll love this book. If you don't you'll hate it. If you are a neutral or unknowledgable about the history and practice of contetemplative (centring) prayer please read a good critique on it before committing to it. JPM's section arguing for it is lame and misleading. I am so sad to see JPM has gone down this line. As someone with a very similar life history I would not recommend this approach.
3.0 out of 5 starsdecent content, poor book quality
Reviewed in Canada on January 13, 2021
The book is much smaller than expected and the paper quality inside is poor. (Very thin, very flimsy.) Definitely not worth CAD 21+. More like $10.
The content is like your average self-help book, lots of psychological practices recommended which might be divisive among Christians. There’s also theological advice based on Scripture, which is certainly helpful.