Thoughts and Feelings: Taking Control of Your Moods and Your Life / Edition 4


If you are depressed, anxious, angry, worried, confused, frustrated, upset, or ashamed, please remember that you are not alone in your struggle with painful feelings and experiences. Everybody experiences emotional distress sometimes. It’s normal. But when the pain becomes too strong and too enduring, it’s time to take that important first step toward feeling better.

Painful thoughts can arise in many ways. You may struggle with anxiety and depression, or feel that procrastination or perfectionism is holding you back. Regardless of the issue, you’ve come to this book with a desire to change your thoughts and feelings for the better. This classic self-help workbook offers powerful cognitive therapy tools for making that happen.

Now in its fourth edition, Thoughts and Feelings provides you with twenty evidence-based techniques that can be combined to create a personal treatment plan for overcoming a range of mental health concerns, including worry, panic attacks, depression, low self-esteem, anger, and emotional and behavioral challenges of any kind. Customize your plan to address multiple concerns at once, or troubleshoot the thoughts and feelings that bother you most. Used and recommended by the most renowned and respected therapists, this comprehensive mental health workbook offers all of best psychological tools for quickly regaining mastery over your moods and emotions. This endlessly useful guide has helped thousands of readers:

  • Challenge self-sabotaging patterns of thinking
  • Practice relaxation techniques to maintain self-control in stressful situations
  • Change the core beliefs that drive painful emotions
  • Identify and prioritize their values for a more focused, fulfilling life

Using proven effective methods based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT, and mindfulness, this book will help you take that first step toward feeling better—about yourself, and about the world around you. Isn't it time you started really enjoying life?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Chock-full of systematic strategies for the treatment of a wide variety of psychological problems. Eminently readable and helpful for professionals as well as patients.”
—Aaron T. Beck, MD, president of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research Psychopathology

“An outstanding book. I recommend it without reservation for both general readers and therapists. It stands apart from other similar books in its reliance on scientific data, not fad, hype, or mysticism.”
—Jacqueline B. Persons, PhD, director of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy and clinical professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley

“An excellent resource, reference tool, treatment manual, therapy coach, and compendium of techniques.”
—Arthur Freeman, EdD, ABPP, HSPP, president of the Freeman Institute for Cognitive Therapy and director of clinical training and supervision for the Center for Brief Therapy in Fort Wayne, IN

“One of the most comprehensive and empirically sound guidebooks in all of self-help literature. All of the major problems in living are covered.”
—Cory F. Newman, PhD, clinical director of the Center for Cognitive Therapy and associate professor of psychology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania

“For professionals and the public, this wonderful workbook, like a wise teacher, can help make a positive difference.”
—Thomas F. Cash, PhD, professor emeritus of clinical psychology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA

“A jewel of a book: supportive and empathetic, short on platitudes and long on practical applications. A must-buy for all cognitive behavioral therapists.”
—Thomas E. Ellis, PsyD, ABPP, professor of psychology at Marshall University in Huntington, WV

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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2581608822082
  • Manufacturer: New Harbinger Publications
  • Publication date: 12/1/2011
  • Series: Unassigned Series
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 312
  • These items ship to U.S. address only. No APO/FPO.

Meet the Author

Matthew McKay, Ph.D., is a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He is the author and coauthor of more than twenty-five books, including The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Messages, When Anger Hurts, Self-Esteem and The Self-Esteem Guided Journal. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. In private practice, he specializes in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety, anger, and depression.

Martha Davis, Ph.D., is a psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Clara, California, where she does individual, couple, and group psychotherapy. She is author of Relax: The Stress Reduction System and coauthor of The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook.

Patrick Fanning is a professional writer in the mental health field and the founder of a men's support group in Northern California. He is the coauthor of eight self-help books, including Messages, Self-Esteem, and Couple Skills.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Fourth Edition vii

Acknowledgments ix

How to Use This Book xi

1 Making Your Own Treatment Plan 1

2 Uncovering Automatic Thoughts 15

3 Changing Patterns of Limited Thinking 27

4 Changing Hot Thoughts 47

5 Relaxation 59

6 Worry Control 69

7 Coping with Panic 85

8 Coping Imagery 105

9 Mindfulness 115

10 Defusion 127

11 Getting Mobilized 137

12 Putting Values into Action 153

13 Brief Exposure 165

14 Prolonged Exposure 181

15 Testing Core Beliefs 195

16 Changing Core Beliefs with Visualization 207

17 Stress Inoculation for Anger Control 219

18 Covert Modeling 233

19 Covert Sensitization 243

20 Problem Solving 253

21 When It Doesn't Come Easy 273

References and Resources 281

Index 287

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Very helpful!

    This book was very helpful to me in recognizing my anxieties, thought distortions, and how to correct them. I have been anxious for many years, and recently was suffering from frequent panic attacks to the point where it was totally disrupting my life. This book really helped me to see that it was largely my thoughts that were causing the panic attacks. I have used most of the exercises in this book and it has dramatically improved my life by reducing the anxiety and panic attacks. I highly recommend this book especially if you are ready to take responsibility for your life, your thoughts, and how to improve them!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2002

    Sounds like pop psychology -- but it's not.

    I was laid off after more than 15 years with the same employer. Despite generous severance benefits, I did almost nothing to find another job -- or even stay afloat. After seven months, I finally wondered if I needed therapy. It took two false starts before I found the right combination of therapist and approach. One key approach is "cognitive behavior therapy," sometimes called cognitive therapy. It's the underpinning of this book. The first chapter explains the basics: your feelings are the result of your own thoughts -- in other words, these feelings aren't imposed on you by the outside. They stem from your thoughts about what you see and hear. So, for example, it's incident - thought - feeling. And for many psychological problems, the "thought" part starts to disappear from your awareness. The thought is automatic, and so you associate the feeling with the incident (your appearance, someone's comment, people around you). Part of the cognitive technique is learning to recognize the various thought patterns, and learning to catch your feelings, slow things down, identify the thoughts, and then challenge the assumptions that underpin them. After the first chapter, the workbook discusses several common types of problems -- anxiety, depression, low self-esteem -- and suggestions other chapters in the book to work through. Each chapter has exercises or techniques you can apply yourself. I can affirm that the techniques for depression and for low self-esteem are effective. They're NOT a cure-all, but they're an excellent first step. And if you're working with a therapist, or thinking about that, it's worth discussing the cognitive approach to see whether that might supplement your therapy. In terms of being able to face my own problems more successfully, I don't think anything I've read in fifteen years has been as helpful as this book. It's extremely important to point out that if you have debilitating problems, or if you have thoughts of suicide, this workbook will NOT be sufficient for you. You've heard it before, but that won't stop me from saying it: any certainty you have that you're worthless, that it's futile to make an effort, that things will never change -- that certainty is a distortion. You've had it for so long you can't see it. Cognitive therapy can give you a new perspective and help you combat distortions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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