Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medications Can't Give You

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medications Can't Give You

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by Richard O'Connor, Richard C'Connor

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A practicing psychotherapist who has himself struggled with depression teaches fellow sufferers how to use new ways of thinking, feeling, and being to break the pattern of depression.See more details below


A practicing psychotherapist who has himself struggled with depression teaches fellow sufferers how to use new ways of thinking, feeling, and being to break the pattern of depression.

Editorial Reviews

John M. Grohol
Richard O'Connor knows what he talks about in one of the most thorough, comprehensive, and enjoyable books I've ever read on the beast we call depression. As a therapist, a supervisor, an administrator, and perhaps most importantly, as a human being. O'Connor brings more to this topic than a simple recitation of facts and self-help methods. He brings the human experience home to the reader, in a way few writers do in this book genre.

O'Connor warns in the introduction that this is a book filled with stuff that the two distinct audiences (mental health professionals and laypeople) may not ordinarily share. But as someone, like O'Connor, who has grappled with the beast at one point in my life as well, I concur with his recommendation -- the book is best read in its entirety, skipping nothing. Each chapter offers not only in-depth and balanced knowledge and information O'Connor imparts to the reader, but also a good dose of humanity and caring. For instance, interspersed throughout each chapter are personal stories from therapy, and clients' own stories, bringing home specific, important points. It makes what might otherwise be yet another impersonal self-help book (from a mental health professional) into a relevant, useful guide easy to relate to aspects of one's own life.

O'Connor's writing is fluid and down-to-earth; he never gets mired in details losing the main point of his argument or discussion. He gives specific examples throughout each chapter, and keeps everything understandable while not minimizing the complexity of specific subjects. The book seems to have struck a very good balance between information, discussion, and related stories, keeping it interesting to read throughout.

The book is extensive, and its length may be off putting (especially to those currently suffering from depression). But its length is also its greatest strength, because it covers so many topics relating to depression so well. Offering a single guide to depression is a big undertaking, since depression infiltrates so many aspects of a person's life. Undoing Depression, however, addresses nearly every one of the most important aspects and gives sensible advice on how to improve them. The book has 22 chapters covering topics such as: a background regarding depression, what we currently know and understand about depression, how it's diagnosed, what are some of the theories behind it, how people are good at what they know (e.g., depression); how to start overcoming depression by learning new skills regarding out emotions, behavior, thinking, the self, and relationships; aids to recovery; how to put new skills to work through self, work, love, marriage, families, divorce, and community. The four parts of the book are well-organized and logical, and it includes two indices: Organizations promoting recovery, and a self-scoring depression questionnaire. The book ends with footnotes for each chapter, a recommended reading list, and an index.

If you're suffering from depression and have tried other self-help methods, books, tapes, psychotherapies, and medications, and you still seem to be stuck in the depression rut, you should try this book. Take it a few pages at a time, and you will get through it and glean knowledge from it which will almost certainly help you in some aspect of your life. While it won't perform miracles, it may be just what you need to put your depressive feelings into perspective and turn your life around. 358 pages

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Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.25(d)

What People are saying about this

William Styron
Undoing Depression is distinguished by its common sense, its humanity, and its absence of dogmatism. It is a balanced and persuasive work that explores the dark predicament of depression, and the pathways toward help, with fresh insight. I read it with great admiration. -- Author of Darkness Visible and Sophie's Choice
Larry McMurtry
I read it, and it's good. -- Author of Duane's Depressed
Frank M. Lachmann
Richard O'Connor's familiarity with depression derives both from his own life and from his work as a psychotherapist. This dual perspective provides Undoing Depression with a unique breadth and depth of understanding. Avoiding the simplistic solutions common to self-help books, O'Connor explains an integrative approach. In clear and direct language, using poignant illustrations, O'Connor provides tools to counter and cope with depressed feelings and the accompanying low self-exteem.
Albert J. Solnit
Richard O'Connor has written a most useful book that brings state-of-the -art knowledge about depression to readers, balancing good theory with sound practice. This is a highly readable book that translates and transforms sound theory into effective practice for patient and therapist.

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