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Breaking the Bonds Hardcover – 1994


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: UK: HarperCollins 1994 (1994)
  • ASIN: B002BETMBQ
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Dorothy Rowe is a clinical psychologist and writer who is renowned for her work on how we create meaning, and how the meanings we create determine what we do. Her application of this understanding to the problems of depression and of fear has changed many people's lives for the better, and has caused many mental health professionals to think more carefully about how they deal with people who are suffering great mental distress. She writes regularly for newspapers and magazines, appears frequently in the media, and is the author of over 15 books, the most popular of which are Depression: The Way Out of Your Prison which is in its third edition, and Beyond Fear which is in its second edition. Her latest book My Dearest Enemy, My Dangerous Friend is a radical examination of what is often the most important relationships in our lives, our relationships with our siblings, was published by Routledge in April 2007. What Should I Believe?, considers why our beliefs about the nature of death and the purpose of life dominate our lives, and was published by Routledge in October 2008. Her latest book, Why We Lie, was published by HarperCollins in 2010.

Dorothy was born Dorothy Conn in Newcastle, NSW, Australia, in 1930. She was educated at Newcastle Girls' High and Sydney University where she obtained a degree in psychology and a Diploma of Education. She taught for three years, married in 1956 and her son Edward was born in 1957. She returned to teaching when he was two but was offered the opportunity to train as a school counsellor (educational psychologist) and went on to become Specialist for Emotionally Disturbed Children. At the same time she completed her Diploma in Clinical Psychology. In 1965 her marriage came to an end, and in 1968 she and Edward went to England. She accepted a National Health Service post at Whiteley Wood Clinic, Sheffield, which was the clinic attached to Sheffield University Department of Psychiatry where Alec Jenner, already well known for his work on the biological basis of mood change, had recently taken up his post as Professor of Psychiatry. This began Dorothy's close scrutiny of the research into the biological basis of mental disorder. She became an Associate of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and is now Emeritus Associate of the Royal College.

Alec Jenner suggested to Dorothy that her research PhD topic should be 'Psychological aspects of regular mood change'. Quite serendipitously, the psychologist Don Bannister was busy introducing British psychologists to the work of George Kelly and Personal Construct Theory. Dorothy discovered that she had always been a personal construct psychologist without knowing it. Kelly had developed a technique called repertory grids which enabled the researcher to examine the meanings which an individual had created around a particular subject or situation. Patrick Slater, a psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, provided invaluable help to Dorothy in her research by his development of computer software which analysed grids.

In 1971 Dorothy completed her PhD, and in 1972 she went to Lincolnshire to set up and head the Lincolnshire Department of Clinical Psychology. Dorothy obtained a research grant which enabled her to continue her research. This research became the basis of her first book The Experience of Depression, now called Choosing Not Losing. Her second book The Construction of Life and Death (The Courage to Live) was published in 1982. A chance discussion with the manager of a health food shop led to her third book, Depression: The Way Out of Your Prison, now in its third edition. This book won the Mind Book of the Year Award in 1984. More books followed.

In 1986 Dorothy left the National Health Service to become self-employed. She moved to Sheffield where she lived for nine years. In 1995 she moved to London where she still lives. She writes regularly for Openmind, and intermittently for other publications. She is frequently interviewed on radio and television, and she has a great many conversations with journalists who phone her for advice and information.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 86 people found the following review helpful By clairerowley64@hotmail.com on 12 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
Dorothy Rowe's Breaking the Bonds is absolutely essential reading for any sufferer or a supporter of a sufferer of depression.
As a sufferer of depression an expert told me "buy the book,you are on every page." He was right,I was. The book tells of others fighting with the illness,recognising symptoms and overcoming them. It gives sufferers or supporters the insight that has been previously lacking in any other book on the subject.
To conclude,anyone who seriously wants to overcome the illness will find the answers on these pages. I did.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book in its first hardback incarnation when it was called The Depression Handbook; it was also a week before I went into hospital with. . .depression. It was tough-going, and I burst into tears more than once, but I don't blame her. I think this, like all her books, is packed with wisdom and compassion, together with a gritty realism which goes beyond the "there, there" approach to mental health which I, for one, find so patronizing. In insisting that depression is not an illness, or even a maladjustment, but a meaningful response to pain and fear which can be understood and then relinquished as more satisfying choices present themselves (if we have the courage to let them), she spoke to me even in the depths of despair. There were times when I feared I wouldn't be able to make the changes she recommends to heal myself, but hers is one of many voices of kind understanding that have helped me to do that. I don't agree with everything she says, and her views on religion have become more dogmatic over the years, but when she speaks about the experience of depression I find her hard to beat.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. SLATER on 9 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of Dorothy Rowe's older texts - still an excellent source of calm wisdom, but completely ruined by the meanness of the Harper Perrenial reprint from what looks like old substandard typeface. If you don't mind reading a book that looks as if it has been printed on blotting paper fine, but if this irritates you as much as it does me I suggest that you look for a second hand copy of a decent edition instead.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
There is light at the end of the tunnel. 1 Jan. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I only began reading this informative book two days ago, however, I am already of the opinion that this book is going to be the launch pad for my recovery. At 36 years of age, I could not understand why I have felt the way I do all of these years. The depths of "Depression" have been challenging and debilatating. My hopes lifted as soon as I picked up the book and read the first comment on the back cover.
" Depression: the imprisoning experience of isolation and fear which comes when we realize that there is a serious discrepancy between what we thought our life to be and what it actually is."
That was a powerful statement. It made me suddenly realise that if it could be summed up in so few words, then there was hope to cure me of this disease, or atleast the opportunity to live with it. The references to other people's situations and how they are affected is essential as one of the worst things about depression is feeling isolated and alone. When I read of other case studies, it is evident to me that there are many others suffering the same symptoms and struggling to find away out of the prison of depression.
Another aspect of the book which I find appealing is the use of words and terms that are easily understood by anyone. It has been helpful in my attempt at having my loved ones understand what I am going through. ie: " fear that everyone she loved and needed would reject her. She believed that no matter how hard she worked to make people love and need her, sooner or later they would discover that inside I'm foul and disgusting."
Overall this book is easy to read and understand. It has lifted my spirits a little and put me in touch with some part of me that I thought was lost. I am using this book as a stepping stone to other avenues of help.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There is light at the end of the tunnel. 1 Jan. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I only began reading this informative book two days ago, however, I am already of the opinion that this book is going to be the launch pad for my recovery. At 36 years of age, I could not understand why I have felt the way I do all of these years. The depths of "Depression" have been challenging and debilatating. My hopes lifted as soon as I picked up the book and read the first comment on the back cover.
" Depression: the imprisoning experience of isolation and fear which comes when we realize that there is a serious discrepancy between what we thought our life to be and what it actually is."
That was a powerful statement. It made me suddenly realise that if it could be summed up in so few words, then there was hope to cure me of this disease, or atleast the opportunity to live with it. The references to other people's situations and how they are affected is essential as one of the worst things about depression is feeling isolated and alone. When I read of other case studies, it is evident to me that there are many others suffering the same symptoms and struggling to find away out of the prison of depression.
Another aspect of the book which I find appealing is the use of words and terms that are easily understood by anyone. It has been helpful in my attempt at having my loved ones understand what I am going through. ie: " fear that everyone she loved and needed would reject her. She believed that no matter how hard she worked to make people love and need her, sooner or later they would discover that inside I'm foul and disgusting."
Overall this book is easy to read and understand. It has lifted my spirits a little and put me in touch with some part of me that I thought was lost. I am using this book as a stepping stone to other avenues of help.
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