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Metacognitive Therapy for Anxiety and Depression
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2011
Over the last ten years I have gone through many of the different counselling programmes on offer through the NHS, including basic counselling, trauma counselling, CBT and Beat the Blues- not to mention the thousands spent on private treatments. Some of these treatments offered short term improvements, but none provided long lasting gains I could retain.

The physical response of my anxiety was so great, at one point I had to have an operation to enable me to urinate properly. The heart palpitations perfectly mimicked what I imagine having a heart attack would be like and the constantly active mind (worry) sent me into bouts of spiralling depression with no escape in sight.

My search for a cure to what started off as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and later developed into the broader Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) led me to a book called `Cognitive Therapy of Anxiety Disorders' (same author), which in turn led to this current publication.

The book is very well written and there is minimal technical jargon in it. It is aimed at practitioners, rather than to be used as a self-help guide, but, nonetheless after some time spent slowly digesting the relevant chapters, massive gains can be achieved.

The concepts are logical and the content is fairly straight forward after the initial understanding. There are individual rating scales, treatment plans and process diagrams for GAD, OCD, PTSD and MDD, plus more general chapters which detail the common themes.

There are examples of behaviour, which I could immediately relate to and begin to question my own behaviours. Hypothetical questions gave me something productive to think about, stimulated recovery and enabled me to see the bigger picture. There are experiments to challenge unhelpful beliefs and enable new, more helpful counter evidence to generate a `new plan' for processing information.

The book clearly describes the technique of `Detached Mindfulness', which is a key component to the therapy. This allows thoughts to be treated as `events in the mind', rather that actively engaging with them in the first place. This means that the content of thoughts and worries is largely irrelevant and things can be treated in a more logical problem solving manner.

I cannot rate this book highly enough. From a personal perspective it has turned my life around and the future (which wasn't looking too promising) is now looking bright. In my opinion, the NHS fails to successfully treat conditions like mine and advances such as this have the potential to save large amounts of money- I'm sure I have cost the tax-payer a small fortune unnecessarily, when treatments such as this could be available.

Since I picked the book up eighteen months ago, I have unravelled my condition back to the route cause and come off all medication, that included a maximum dose of the beta blocker propranolol. I have travelled to Australia on my own, done a sky dive, a bungee jump and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro......,things that GAD suffers may believe will never be possible for them.

My condition is more complex and I am under the care of a clinical psychologist to round off my own progress, but I believe a full recovery is only a matter of time.

Thanks again to Professor Wells, at al, and I hope this review is useful to whoever reads it. Good luck and best wishes.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2009
This book delivers. It is one of the few recent publications that every psychotherapist should read. It is well written, theoretically very sound, and practical. Although it may seem this way when reading the introduction, this is nor "cookbook" or an easy take on therapy. The theoretical chapters are the results of years of work by Wells and colleagues. They do require some studying because the concepts, although clearly presented, are not that easy to understand at first. The practical part of the book may give the idea that you can start treating right away, which is not the case. Being a cognitive behaviour therapist and forensic psychologist and having had some training by Adrian Wells himself on MCT, I can say that it is absolutely necessary to fully understand the theoretical part in order to get the treatment right. That said, however, this approach works and is substantiated by growing clinical research.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
When I heard Prof. Wells talk recently he emphasised the difference between his metacognitive therapy (MCT) approach and traditional CBT. Although Beck's latest manual for anxiety disorders (Clark & Beck, 2010) incorporates elements of Wells' approach to metacognition, Wells seems to be saying that he thinks it's too integrative and that a truly scientific and testable treatment needs to be able to isolate its active ingredients. Wells also seems to be saying that trying to mix MCT and CBT leads to problems for the client and may cause contradictions in treatment that damage the outcome. Anyway, this is a superb book, it's very well-written and surprisingly easy to get into. As protocols for treatment go, these are very clear and easy to follow. In fact the whole approach, simplifies CBT considerably, and provides a credible and coherent system of treatment, derived from empirically-derived principles.

Donald Robertson, author of,
The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy
The Discovery of Hypnosis: The Complete Writings of James Braid the Father of Hypnotherapy
The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2010
This amazing book represents a major leap forwards for cognitive behaviour therapies and is sold as a new therapy M.C.T ( metacognitive therapy) which turns a lot of very traditional cbt techniques on their head,in particular the M.C.T. approach to "worry and rumination" which is very applicable across several anxiety disorders.

It introduces new concepts like " detached mindfulness techniques" which are also very different to "traditional mindfulness techniques" , the work is heavily researched and very complete with techniques to use, inventories, and treatment plans.

Personally I feel it is a major breakthrough that will keep on developing some very useful ways of treatment presently and in the future.

Going on a Adrian Wells course would make a great difference to your understanding of this book , which I have done, and after the course I used some the techniques in clinical practice to excellent effect.

Trev McDougall CBT Therapist
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2012
This is a well written and researched book with lots of in session examples. One critisim I often have with psychotherapy books is they leave a gap between the theory they outline and how the theory can transfer to an actual session with a client. This book gives very clear examples by giving sections of dialogue within sessions between the psychologist and the person attending for treatment for anxiety or depression. I also found some of the sub divisions of OCD thinking useful for understanding how different concerns manifest in different beliefs which have implications for treatment as beliefs or thoughts about thoughts and thinking is so important to successful treatment with this form of therapy. Just two criticisms. Firstly it would have been a great assset to the book to have a client friendly explanation of the theory and implications for treatment using accessable language- lets face it the word cognitive is specialised within psychology/health never mind metacognitive. From my experience orienting a person to what treatment involves and the rationale underpinning it is pivitol to a successful outcome, I would say a 5 page summary of the theory and how is relates to treatment to give to clients would be very useful here. Secondly there is a heavy reliance on abbreviations which are given in their full length once and then not again, this can be frustrating. For example the abbreviation CAS is introduced on page 2, it is not referred to as 'cognitive attentional syndrome' after that even though CAS is mentioned dozens of times in the course of the book and in various chapters onward. Either having a glossary key at the start of each chapter or at the end of the book that could be quickly and easily referred to would solve this,especially when the theory explores and names several of them, such as CAS,MCT,S-REF,TEF, TAF,TOF and more. This latter point just makes the book more diffcult to dip into or refresh sections later without lots of index checking. These points do not affect the usefulness of the book. This would be essential reading for counselling and clinical psychologists or those training in those professions. I would rate it as a very major contribution to the understanding, conceptualisation and treatment of anxiety and depression.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2013
Best book I've ever bought x very good value for money x just what I needed for CBI x don't need any other books !!!
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on 21 August 2014
I am a clinical psychologist and former service user. I think this is a really amazing book. It has helped me to help the majority of the people I have worked with (usually with very complex difficulties) to make good recoveries and hopefully to lead fulfilling lives. I continue to be grateful to the insights in this book 5 years after purchasing it and feel strongly that the techniques in it may be applicable to a wider range of presenting difficulties, such as body dysmorphia, distressing concerns about health, disabling mood swings and people with an at risk mental state for psychosis.
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on 14 July 2014
I havent put this down since I bought it. I will have to buy another one soon because this one is folded, creased, marked etc etc as I have used it so much. Once you read about MCT, it is easy to understand the theory and quite transformational in practice. Well recommended.
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