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on 21 May 2007
I am a psychotherapist who has successfully used cognitive behavioural therapy with clients for over ten years and I have seen many changes over the years. One of the most exciting changes is that information is more accessible than ever and so clients can be more involved in their treatment.

Of course, finding accurate information expressed in clear language can present a challenge. The for Dummies series fills this gap and this book is no exception. It provides accurate information that most everyone can easily understand.

I would also recommend "The Feeling Good Handbook" by Dr. David Burns which offers an inventory of cognitive distortions. For a spiritual fiction book that portrays the main character's struggle with depression, I found "Nexus: A Neo Novel" by Deborah Morrison and Arvind Singh an interesting read.

One word of caution: In the case of serious depression or other mental illness, you need to work with a mental health professional to find the right treatment options. No book can replace the need for professional help during critical periods.
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on 11 August 2006
I have suffered on and off with panic attacks and negative thoughts for over 20 years (I'm only 30) and had recently started with panic attacks after a break from them for 6 years. I had read 'You Can Be Happy No Matter What' by Richard Carlson (see my over review) which helped a great deal and started me thinking about other ways to adapt my thinking. I had heard about CBT before and heard Paul McKenna mention it in some of his books.

I had used the 'Dummies' series of books before and enjoyed reading them. The style of writing is extremely easy to read, you can simply pop in and out of the book to re-read certain sections as it is all categorised, and the two writers use humour which helps a great deal when dealing with this subject. I recently had a slight re-lapse when on holiday and had a panic attack. However due to the way the book is written I easily found a part I needed to re-read and was feeling 100% again within minutes

If you are suffering from negative thoughts, depression, panic attacks, phobias etc. then this book is for you and WILL help. After reading only a small section I was feeling much better and thinking "hmmm, now I understand!"
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At first glance a lot of the information in this book seems like common sense but, as the authors explain, it is quite rare for us to act in these ways. We tend to act in ways that are harmful to ourselves and our relationships and this book goes some way to showing you how to break out of these past moulds and create new ways of behaving. It follows the basic 'dummies' format, with various icons, cartoons, clear headings and 'part of tens' at the back, so if you know the format you will know what to expect. This book introduces CBT, helps you spot errors in your thinking, helps you define problems and goals, focuses on a few specific problems (like OCD, anger and low self esteem), helps you move on from past events and overcome obstacles, looks at ways to maintain your progress and to find a CBT professional, as well as way more besides. This also has an appendix with useful contacts and another of various CBT forms that you can use. Overall this is very comprehensive and I think that if you take the time to utilise the information explained to you and stick with it, this should offer up some real results. It is worth noting that even if you have no major issues that seem to be crippling your actions or outlook, this book still has much to offer to help you live more meaningfully and make small changes to get that little bit more out of life. A clear, informative read.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 25 November 2006
The CBT approach seems to be based on what works rather than what fits some preconceived model. The emphasis is on helping yourself and effecting change in faulty thinking patterns. As attitudes become less rigid it makes possible the altering of behaviour in the real world. The book is divided up into various sections, of which some will be more relevant to each readers specific needs.
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on 8 November 2007
I cannot commend this book highly enough, speaking as someone who has benefitted greatly from the common sense approach of CBT described in this book. It is written in an easy to understand manner and I felt immediate benefits from reading this book. CBT won't change your life overnight but if you are prepared to put in the effort then I have found that my life is changing for the better. Old, negative ways of thinking, which I had believed would never change, have been replaced with a more positive attitude and outlook.
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on 20 February 2010
I've read some of the reviews of this book and several seem to be from people who thought this was a guide for those who wish to use CBT strategies to help others. Although you could probably 'reverse engineer' the techniques used here, the book is squarely aimed at those suffering from depression and/or anxiety.

I have suffered from both and was assigned a therapist to help me through my depression. She used Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques and, over a period of 3 months, I was eventually able to return to work. Although our sessions were very useful, they were largely verbal discussions with the occasional diagram or table on paper for me to use on that week's assignment. Going forward, I will occasionally need to re-use those techniques to prevent a slide back into a depressive phase but it's hard to relate an empty table on a sheet of paper to a verbal discussion we had months ago.

This brings me to the reason I bought this book - the worksheets and chapters are almost identical to what we covered in my sessions and are a great source for revising exactly why we did each one and the intended result. I expect someone suffering from depression or anxiety could gain a lot from reading this book but diagnosing the source of your issues is one of the most important stages and that really needs the support of an expert therapist. The cause of your problems may not be what you think.

My recommendations are:
1. See your GP and request a discussion on CBT with a therapist (it is available through the NHS).
2. Don't let your GP fob you off with anti-depressants, they just hide the problem and have many side-effects.
3. Use this book for ongoing self-help and revision, whether during your therapy or afterwards.
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on 3 November 2008
Before i purchased this book i was suffering from the most horrendous anxiety attacks and what i now know as depression.I was going to see a councilor to help me work through my problems but i found this no help.I was utterly desperate and then my GP recommended this book.By this time i was so bad i could barely leave the house.I was feeling so low taking my life seemed the only option then i discovered this book and it has literally saved my life.I am more positive i think more rationally and have a much more positive outlook on life.Please please if your feeling as desperate as i did just give this book a go what do you have to lose 10 pounds?Let this book help you on a new and more positive journey through your new and better life!
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on 18 June 2007
In my professional life, much of my time is spent working through a client's peceptions. And where appropriate, this is one of the starting points I suggest for learning about the self-evaluation of thinking, emotions and behaviour.

Beautifully written, engaging, thought-provoking and well worth considering if you're interested in learning more about this approach.
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on 30 January 2009
I found this book really useful and discovered It was just what I hopped it would be.

Not long after I began reading it I began to feel an improvement, which continued.It really educated me on how human beings function and on ways to overcome certain problems that we some times encounter in our lives. Like depression, anxiety, obsessive worries and more. It is really well crafted I feel, easy to understand and the writers are very sympathetic. I would say that it is not a complete authority on CBT, but it isn't designed to be. I feel that every body could gain at least a little something from this book and others could gain a great deal. I really enjoyed it and feel it was a real life line for me and a blessing.
I would say I am one of thoughs who gained a great deal from reading it and as such am grazing through it again.

It's a great book and well worth buying, I think CBT is something really great and could help a lot of people have a happier lives.
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on 31 January 2009
I bought this book because I have an interest in the idea that you can train your brain to think differently to affect your moods etc... I dont have any major personal issues, although I think like all women anyway, I go through periods when I'm just down in the dumps and cant bring myself out. When molehills are mountains and everything seems like such hard work. This book is written with good humour, yet gives very simple tips to help you to be stronger, more confident and better able to deal with realities. A very good book to have in your collection for dipping into.
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