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Brilliant Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: How to use CBT to improve your mind and your life (Brilliant Lifeskills) Paperback – 13 Jul 2009
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From the Back Cover
CBT what it is, how it works, and how to use it.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT delivers powerful tools you can put to work to dramatically improve your life.
In this book psychologist Dr Stephen Briers clearly explains how CBT works, gives you plenty of exercises to help put the theory into practice and reveals its effectiveness through stories from people just like you, who have used CBT to turn their lives around.
- Understand what CBT is, its methods and models
- Put CBT to work to improve your mind and your life
- Build practical, step-by-step strategies for tackling any problem
About the Author
Before training as a clinical psychologist, Dr Stephen Briers studied at Cambridge University, where he was later employed in child development research at the Winnicott Unit.
Today Stephen works clinically with both children and adults. His various television appearances include four series of the popular BBC parenting programmes Little Angels and Teen Angels and Make Me A Grown-Up for Channel 4. He has also been a regular contributor to the Brain and Behaviour column in The Times Educational Supplement.
He lives and works in Brighton with his wife and two young sons.
Top customer reviews
The book provides excellent advice on managing what goes on inside our heads. I have long struggled with my confidence and I tend to take things quite personally, but this book provides a good reminder and some practical exercises for disentangling the situations we face and how we feel about them (and therefore how we feel about ourselves).
The book is also quite a fun read. The author has a light touch and seems to know what I was thinking, e.g. he recognised my scepticism when I felt sceptical! Is the author a psychologist or a psychic!? Some good cartoons which were entertaining but also appropriate too. The book is a good complement to a book on confidence (called 'Confidence' by Rob Yeung).
Subtitled "How to Use CBT to Improve Your Mind and Your Life" this title comes from Prentice Hall's "Brilliant" series aimed at self learners. It mostly works well as a self help book - pretty substantial and apparently well informed. Alongside the attractive cover I was drawn to it in recognition of the phenomenal rise of CBT as the therapy of choice by much of the NHS and criminal justice sector in the UK. If you go to your GP with depression or are the kind of person who bashes others at pub closing time, you may find yourself on a CBT programme. The results are impressive with many evaluations by governmental bodies and those who promote CBT like the BABCP. Although of course there are a number of detractors - particularly those who see this briefer form of therapy as insubstantial in its failure to address underlining causes of problems.
Stephen Briers is a Clinical Psychologist who has come to be something of a media figure, appearing in a number of television programmes, including those about the parenting of children and adolescence. His experience of communicating to non-experts comes across and the book is very readable. The early section on CBT - why it's so "Brilliant" and "first principles" were excellent and I was left feeling more confident about the approach. The chapters on "thinking traps" and "changing behaviour" I felt were less successful and I found them rather unfocused and to be describing psychological processes which have become part of common parlance. Much of it is stuff of the more in depth and challenging chat show and the sort of advice you'd get off your next door neighbour rather than a professional - and perhaps none the worst for that!
The downside of the self help approach is that you don't get much research or theory back-up to the approaches used by Briers, although I acknowledge that this may be an unfair criticism, given that Briers makes apology for this in the early chapter.
It is during the chapters on various conditions that Briers really get's into his stride. His descriptions of the thinking-behaviour-belief interactions associated with anxiety, depressive and anger disorders are really excellent and those interested expanding their understanding of a non-medical causation of such unhappy events need look no further.
I have found it hard to review the book without critiquing CBT itself. In general I found the focus on the interrelationship between thinking and behaviour (rather than mood) really helpful and interesting and of considerable use in coaching. I was, however, surprised at the orthodoxy of the approach and a reliance on the pathological, "disease model", of mental disorder. In my own work I would prefer to avoid such labelling.
Still a great read though!
It goes on to ask questions like 'How disciplined are you?' and 'How open-minded are you?' which will help the reader on how to use this book.
The Brilliant Examples, Tips, Exercises, Insight and Technique are fantastic and compliment the book and its messages well. I have found this book as being a useful tool that I will use for years to come.
The following chapters have personally been very useful for me;
2)First principles, 3)Common Thinking traps- and how to avoid them, 4)grappling with negative thought, 5)Using behaviour to change your mind, 6)Mapping out your problems, 8)Conquering Anxiety and 10)Boosting self-esteem.
So you may ask 'Why not 5 stars???'. The only reason why I haven't given this book 5 Stars is because I didn't know much about this subject, and although this book has been very good in explaining CBT and how it can be used to improve one's life, I haven't read any other books on this Subject and so can't compare it to others to give it full marks. I would however Happily recommend this book, especially to those who are novices of CBT as it is explained well and shows you how you can use CBT effectively to improve lives.
'Brilliant' is the best introductory guide I have read and I strongly recommend this book to everyone wishing to become more familiar with CBT and how to apply it to everyday life.
I felt that it was a bit too short to be that useful though. There is nothing particularly wrong with this book but I felt that it really needed to go into more detail and explain the principles of CBT in greater depth
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