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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 18 June 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As someone who has suffered from bouts of depression and used CBT techniques both in my recovery and ongoing mental maintenance, I'm interested in alternative approaches to the same subject. I am cynical enough to also recognise that self-help books are big business and the popularity of CBT has lead to a whole market of 'flavours' of CBT.

For the uninitiated, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a method by which you learn to recognise behaviours that indicate a slide into depression and have a toolbox of techniques to challenge the negative thoughts that commonly begin that process. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT for short) uses meditation to achieve calmness and a greater awareness of the world around us. That's an over-simplified summary of what this book is about but it generally tries to teach you to take time out each day to meditate and also to become more aware of the daily actions that we take for granted.

The book mentions a spiritual approach a few times in the early chapters and I was slightly concerned that some religious mumbo jumbo would be introduced but Dr Collard is at pains to point out that you can use these techniques whether you are of a religious persuasion or not.

Here's an example of being more mindful: "When you dry your body, notice the feeling of your towel soaking up the pearls of water" or "...preparing a meal mindfully. You can start when you shop for the meal, looking for the ingredients, appreciating their colour or packaging and their smell". There are step by step instructions for meditation and yoga-like movements, following an 8 week course of different subjects to meditate on or just focussing on silence and breathing.

When I had a depressive phase a few years ago I was signed off from work for a few months; at that time I would probably have been more successful in following this process but I found that being mindful adds additional time to performing basic tasks like getting ready for work. The pace of life is one of the things that the book tries to tackle but that very pace of life I found to be the biggest obstacle to completion. I regularly found when I did the meditation practice that I would end up just dozing off.

Perhaps I am so practised now at the standard CBT techniques that I can apply them without much effort, for example allowing 'bad' thoughts to drift through my mind without diverting attention to them. I also found being mindful of everything, like the feel of pen tip moving over paper when writing, pointless. Again, I'm far more scientific and analytical than spiritual by nature so my experience may well be different to others who are more inclined to faith and belief.

Overall if you want to try self help for depression or anxiety I would recommend the standard CBT for Dummies as the best option and only trying MBCT if you struggle with that. As I've stated in any of my reviews of such topics though, getting professional assistance with CBT is the best option overall and it is available on the NHS.
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on 26 September 2013
I highly recommend this book.I teach mindfulness in the workplace, and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) works really well.

Until fairly recently, if you wanted to find out more about MBCT you had to trudge through dull academic texts (fine for practitioners, but not so good for end users). MBCT for Dummies makes MBCT easy to understand and accessible to all. It gives an overview of the eight week course and is packed with handy hints and tips.

This book gives people the tools to make big changes to their lives. At one end of the scale it could help you learn to manage your mind better, at the other extreme it could help you to break free from addiction, or cope better with to pain. It suggests pragmatic ways to improve your well-being and incorporate mindfulness into everyday life.

This book is proof (if you needed it) that Mindfulness has become mainstream. There's no sit down and meditate for hours on end (although a little daily practice goes a long way!)and its easy to incorporate it into the everyday things you do.
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on 5 September 2013
I found this to be a very good taster for Mindfulness healing whilst at the same time a source of encouragement and uplift or someone like me who is recovering from a breakdown whilst not being in the first flush of youth.
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on 16 July 2014
The book I read to research this post was Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy For Dummies by Patrizia Collard which is a very good book which I bought from kindle. This therapy is a mixture of mindfulness and cognitive behaviour therapy often called CBT and the people who developed it incorporated principles from mindfulness based stress reduction. The national institute for clinical excellence which monitors treatment in Britain and offers guidelines is encouraging all patients to be taught mindfulness techniques. It's roots are in buddhism and meditation and as a child we live in the now where we enjoy things for what they are worth and don't worry about what is happening in the near future. Mindfulness encourages this and simple things like eating and cooking are savoured and things like tastes and smells are enjoyed. Patients are encouraged to keep a diary to monitor their progress and also so they can discuss any issues that arise with their therapist. This therapy even helps with pain management which is surprising because they focus on sensations. They also have to meditate every day and if they are distracted accept the thoughts and then continue meditating. There are many establishments around the world that teach this therapy and I think the book gives you the nuts and bolts to get you started. It's probably a good idea to maybe do things like tai chi in addition although try and get the hang of this first and then expand on it. In India vipissana which is similar is taught in Indian prisons among other places and they have had a lot of success with it. Prisoners as part of this are taught to meditate and focus on self reliance which in turn helps them when they are set free. I think there is definitely something profound about Mindfulness based cognitive therapy and would recommend. I did really enjoy reading this book.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I follow a number of CBT techniques and have been practicing mindfulness meditation this year, so thought this book could be very useful for me. I like the For Dummies format and Dr Patrizia has laid out the elements clearly and has defined an eight week course to embed them. I am perhaps being unfair in giving this only four stars as I haven't actually followed the 8 week course and have dipped in and out of the book and the exercises and practices. I will continue to explore with this book and with The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness and will update in a couple of months

This book is laid out as follows:

Part 1 Introducing Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy p7-39
Part 11 Sailing Your Personal Ship - the eight Week MBCT course p59-191
Part111 Developing Different treatment Practices
Part 1V The part of Tens
Index

Collard is good on living in the moment, bringing mindfulness to everyday tasks and taking the position of an unbiased observer of your led experience, but perhaps could have used less trite examples in the 8 week course, or have used more gripping case studies to engage the reader.
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on 21 April 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a comprehensive guide to Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. It is clearly laid out and easy to read, and gives due recognition to other leaders in the mindfulness field such as an author that I particularly admire, Vidyamala Burch of Breathworks. MBCT is especially valuable in prevention of relapse in depression and is recommended for this by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence.

I found some errors in the information given on medical matters - regular dental hygiene does not reduce stomach cancer and digestive disorders. However, this is a minor quibble. Overall, highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As someone who has struggled with depression & very low self-esteem for my entire adult life, I would thoroughly recommend Mindfulness as a means for developing emotional stability & quieting that overly-harsh inner critic. And I would thoroughly recommend this accessible introduction to the topic.

Collard outlines the various techniques which come under the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) umbrella by describing, one stage at a time, what is taught during eight-week MCBT courses. This structures her book in a way which is ideal for beginners & subtly emphasises that while there is enough information here for readers to start putting the techniques into practice, going on a course is the best way to learn.

I read this book while attending such a course myself (at the time of writing I've got one session left to go) & it was a great companion & expansion on what I was being taught. At 39 years old, I wish I had studied Mindfulness years ago, as it has been by far the most effective means I've found for conquering my inner demons. It's not that negative thoughts & emotions don't come up any more but mindfulness techniques are by far the most effective means I've found for dealing with them quickly when they come up. I hope that one day they teach it in schools.

Until that happens, this book is an excellent, practical introduction which avoids any esoteric language or ideas.
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on 17 April 2014
I have been following the mindfulness course through this book for 6 weeks now and have 2 weeks before completing it. I am fortunate to have Dr Collard as my postgrad director and I bought the book because I know her, as I'm not that familiar with the Dummies books. I have found it very useful and clear. Through practicing mindfulness this way I feel more confident and self aware and I would highly recommend it.
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VINE VOICEon 19 June 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have read other books on this subject, and I have to say that this is the best one I have read. It's so easy to follow, and dip into. The trouble with other books on therapy is, I find, they are too involved and complex for someone to read if they are in the frame of mind where therapy is needed! Not so with this one, but then I guess it is one of the 'for dummies' series!!! Anyway, if you only have room on your bookshelf for one book on this subject, make it this one.
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on 5 September 2015
I bought the paper copy because I wanted to both enjoy this book and use it as a reference. As a For Dummies book, it serves both purposes ably. Using this book it is possible to become acquainted with the renowned MBCT programme that is outlined elsewhere, but not with this degree of gentleness and relaxed prose.

When you buy a For Dummies book, you know what you are getting, and you can just get on with the learning. It was the same for this fantastic guide. There is plenty of space to write in the margins, and the content is thoughtful and reflective when it needs to be.

If you want to learn about what the benefits of MBCT might be for you, but don't want to get your hands on a turgid or academic tome, then this book is the one to get. It's also accompanied by quite a bit of web audio content; that's worth the price of the book alone. Overall, a very good reference, and I shall enjoy referring to it afresh as I sharpen my own mindfulness practice.
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