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Posted November 17, 2010
In the tradition of such classic CBT self-help books as Feeling Good and Mind Over Mood, and following his own successful, popular books on CBT for anxiety (The Worry Cure and Anxiety Free), Bob Leahy has now published Beat the Blues Before They Beat You: How to Overcome Depression. From the outset, the author skillfully educates his reading audience, in language that is accessible and clear, about the nature of clinical depression, its damaging impact on individuals and on society, and how it can be treated successfully. Leahy aptly describes the role that people's thinking habits and styles play in their psychological malady, effectively teaching readers the cognitive-behavioral model of depression. Leahy draws on some of the most important empirical findings in the field as he explains the role of such cognitive problems as overgeneralized memory and ruminations, among others. Each chapter presents, explains, and illustrates a different facet of cognitive-behavioral dysfunction pertinent to depression, such as hopelessness, low motivation, pathological indecision and self-doubt, interpersonal problems and loneliness, and others, including an all-important chapter devoted to the topic of relapse prevention. The chapters are very well-organized, including self-monitoring tools, instructive illustrations, and bullet points that efficiently summarize the chapters at their respective conclusions. This makes the volume not only an informative read, but also a quick and convenient reference. As a rule, Leahy's writing is clear, fluid, and possesses a warm, appropriately humorous tone, such as when he encourages readers to be "indecisive about your doubts" while still moving forward. Those who know the author can hear his friendly, engaging voice in the writing. Similarly, readers who are otherwise unfamiliar with the author will readily feel a sense of connection, as Leahy is very compassionate and respectful toward those who are depressed. He is also open enough to share occasional, personal vignettes of his own, thus inviting the readers to feel at home. Another strength of Beat the Blues is the appendix that summarizes biological treatments that are currently available to treat depression.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.