This book was the result of co-operation between two authors: Norman Vincent Peale, famous for his work on the art of positive thinking--his writings and radio programme could be said to have begun the rise of "self-help books" to their subsequent vast popularity--and Smiley Blanton, a psychiatrist who worked with Peale for 10 years at a clinic they founded in the basement of the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, the church of which Peale was the minister. Together the two joined forces in 1937 to pool insights from their respective fields, hoping to reach a place "where religion and psychiatry have been welded into a powerful therapy for the ills that wrack the human spirit".
The purpose of this book, the authors stated, was the same as the work in which they engaged day by day with those who attended the clinic. They offered hope and comfort to those in need, a listening ear and a word of guidance. It was this marriage of religion and psychiatry that offered, the authors proposed, enormous possibilities for those who suffer with anxiety and a depression. "We dedicated the clinic to a theory, to a dream if you will, that together religion and psychiatry might accomplish more than either could have done alone. That dream has become a reality". The style of writing is chatty. You can imagine the two authors jotting down incidents they remember over a cup of coffee. The book is full of anecdotes. They all have one thing in common. Where the client has reached rock bottom and manages to find faith in God, they rise out of their difficulties and regain confidence and trust in their lives. --Michael Collins