“People are disturbed, not by things, but by the views we take of them” – Epectitus Greek Philosopher
The main premise of Cognitive Therapy is that our feelings are a result of what our thoughts tell us, and this in turn effects our world view. Much of the time this factor actually has a more powerful influence on us than what the external world is actually doing to us.
It has been found that if our thought processes can be modified, our feelings about our world will change. This has now been a proven therapy for many mood disorders, especially depression. Studies now show that Cognitive Therapy can be more beneficial than Medication Therapy such as the use of anti-depressants and without the side effects and expense. Relapse rates from Cognitive Therapy have also been significantly less than that of the drug groups.
Treatment consists of rationalisation techniques to initially help recognise distortions caused by negative thinking, to eliminate these, and then build up a sense of self esteem based upon a stable platform of healthy thinking.
Whilst it is recommended that the therapy be done in consultation with a trained therapist especially in more severe cases of mood disorder, much of the treatment can be self administered, using a variety of available books and other materials.
Book Review – “Feeling Good – The New Mood Therapy”
by Psychiatrist David D. Burns M.D.
Weighing in at over 600 pages this hefty book is not for the casual reader but for the serious student of psychological and spiritual self growth. Reviews on Amazon by 116 customers have produced a very favourable, 4.5/5 points.
The material and methods in the book cover a wide variety of topics all interrelated and all aimed at improving one’s well being. These include diagnosing your moods, building self esteem, avoiding procrastination, handling work issues, personal issues, loneliness, suicidal tendencies, and addiction. There is also a section covering the mechanisms of and pros and cons of using of anti-depressants should they be needed. All in all an extensive coverage of all the “paths to freedom.”
When I tackled this book I was going through one of my periodic episodes of depression and am certain that by carefully following the methods outlined in the book I was soon lifted out of my ‘dark mood.’ However like all mind training it takes some effort. This can be made all the more difficult if one’s thinking is already distorted. However using the methods outlined in the book by carefully chipping away at this distorted view I found the “light of freedom start to shine through” and I came out of my depression wondering what all the misery was about!
Based upon my experience I would thoroughly recommend the book for those with minor to moderate depression, but in the case of more severe depressions and other psychological issues, I strongly suggest that Professional be consulted perhaps in conjunction with the methods in the book. The reader must also realise that these are not “quick fix” methods and some work must be put in to get results. After all any work at ‘mind training,’ to get those brain pathways developing, requires some effort.
“Feeling Good – The New Mood Therapy”