Thursday, July 7, 2011

Guatemalan Worry People

The legend of the worry people began in Guatemala, children and adults use these dolls, these dolls provide a huge comfort for the individuals who use them. The dolls come in their own homemade wooden baskets and come with a slip of paper that tells the stories of the individual Guatemalan worry people.

The idea of worry people was first introduced to me through a friend. My friend brought them to me after she had returned from vacation, and brought me the small bag of homemade worry dolls. She told me that they were supposed to take my worries away, if I whispered my worries to the dolls, they would hold them for me and make them go away. However, in order for them to work, I had to place them under my pillow while I slept.
On the website, there was a story illustrating the beneficial effects of the worry people in schools and hospitals. Those schools and hospitals that have used the worry people, saw positive results, especially in children with life-threatening illnesses, and learning and behavioral issues. I think it would be very interesting to see more research and/or information about the usage of the worry people with children and adults.
I think the best reason to explain the continued usage of the worry people; can be compared to a placebo effect, common in psychology. Just like a placebo effect, individuals who use the dolls ‘believe’ their worries will go away, so they ‘do’. Whether you believe in the worth of worry people or not, I find them to be a nice idea for children who have a lot to worry about and need a way to make their lives better.

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