Helpful Books-CBT


Okay, go into any bookstore, look at the Health, Popular Psychology or Self-help sections and you are likely to be deluged with choice.  There’s a never-ending supply of new books covering illnesses from every possible angle and philosophical standpoint. 

But you are ill, you feel like shite, and the last thing you need, quite frankly, is an overabundance of choice.  After all, one of the areas Depression hits like a lorry is decision-making skills.  In the eight years since my diagnosis of ‘the big D’ I’ve had time to wend my way through a fair few volumes.  So, here are the books that I’ve actually found useful:


a Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques

Sorry you can’t ‘click to look inside’ here, you’ll have to go to this link for that.

I found this book useful because it’s comprehensive and has chapters on perfectionism, negative thinking styles and anger and loads of others.  This book includes thought monitoring forms in the back for you to photocopy and use.  The forms make the book a practical resource and allow you to test the cognitive behavioural techniques out for yourself.


Another option for a CBT-based workbook is this:

A Five Areas Approach

You can get more information/buy this book here

I found this book useful because well, actually I tell a lie, I haven’t read it yet…but I jolly well intend to buy it asap.  No, seriously, the reason I include it is that a while back I had some CBT sessions and the therapist gave me photocopied pages from his book to read and to complete the workbook sections.  It seemed really useful as a practical book as there weren’t too many onerous sections of text.  It was quite user-friendly and interactive, taking you through the process of identifying your thoughts, getting them down on paper and thinking about how you might challenge them.  I’m off to W H Smith right now…


Just a few things to remember:

  • CBT is the current therapy of choice for reasons referred to above.  It’s enjoying a lot of popularity at the moment and undoubtedly is very useful for many people.
  • However, it won’t help everyone.  Some people will need a combination of anti-depressive weapons and CBT may or may not be part of these.
  • CBT is generally recommended, alongside medication, for mild-moderate depression.  If you have severe depression you may not be in the right place to find this therapy useful.  Personally, I had a time during which I was unresponsive to CBT for exactly that reason: my depression was, at that stage, too severe to be able to engage with the self-help strategies this therapy involves.
  • I tend to think anything is worth a try (well, most things) but anything you do try has to be your decision.

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