Top critical review
A very good primer for CBT.
on 19 March 2016
This is a very impressive and comprehensive CBT introduction. I like its approachable tone and language - it makes it easy and relatable to read. The content is first class and aimed at the self-help audience. Like an up-market 'for dummies', with a similar friendly, quote- and image-supported text. I love that it shares people's stories - that is always a very useful thing, making what you are trying to learn more human and real-life. If you have been recommended to try CBT, or if you are interested in self-management using this as a technique, this is a super resource. I particularly like it as an info source and support for managing depression and anxiety.
The two issues I have with the book are:
1. If you believe the book (and NICE), CBT is the holy grail of mental health management. The book lists a range of issues that CBT is alleged to help - including PTSD, bipolar disorder, alcoholism - and more. And, in my view, that is both wrong and irresponsible. It does have its uses, most definitely, and it is very effective in the right context, and as a support alongside other therapies - but the reason the NHS loves it and prescribes it ad nauseam is because it is cheap and easy to provide. Saying it works for PTSD is like saying a plaster works for a severed artery...
2. They give NLP a patronising slagging off. Apparently NICE is the arbiter of all things effective. NLP has its place alongside the other therapies (and is more effective than some) - and it does some amazing work. Read Richard Bandler and/or John Grinder and get the real low-down, if you are interested in discovering more about it. They developed it.