Challenging the Black Dog: A Creative Outlet for Tackling Depression

Challenging the Black Dog: A Creative Outlet for Tackling Depression


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Author VJ Cast brings 25 turbulent years of lived experience with mental illness together with creativity, humour and intentional questions to help those struggling with a little-discussed, but widespread issue: youth depression.

Challenging the Black Dog features an eclectic array of exercises based on proven therapy techniques, presents users with a particular type of compassion and understanding and nurtures the exploration of creativity, mindfulness, and self-reflection. Mixed among these engaging prompts are stress-relieving colouring pages and the occasional inspirational quote.

The aim is to provide a safe, private and highly personalizable place for you to get to know your Black Dog. Best of all, the psychologist-guided material allows for the journal to be easily used either as a form of affordable, self-guided therapy in private or in addition to working with other medical interventions, such as psychologists and therapists.

Challenging the Black Dog will help transform you into an active participant in your journey towards recovery and self-discovery. Isn’t it time you started the challenge of leashing your Black Dog and reclaiming control over your psychological well-being?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780648247401
Publisher: Offbeat Brains
Publication date: 06/25/2018
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

VJ Cast has spent over two decades struggling with depression, social anxiety, trichotillomania, disordered eating, bipolar II and, more recently, the chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia. She used these experiences to guide both her non-fiction writing imprint, Offbeat Brains (, a for-profit social enterprise.

She spent her teen years living overseas, which involved needing to carry a gas mask at school (Gulf War I) and surviving a Molotov cocktail landing on her bed and setting it on fire while she was in it. These days she leads a quieter life home-schooling a tween daughter on the spectrum while living on a small island off the coast of Queensland, Australia which has an abundance of wildlife and far too many friendly mosquitoes.

Her hair colours, like her medications, are subject to change.

Dr Travis Gee, PhD (Psychology, Carleton, 1998) is a psychologist practising in Queensland, Australia, with nearly two decades' experience helping people from around the world. He has sat on the Executive Board of the Australian Counselling Association for many years, where he has edited journals and consulted on policy, and he has recently joined the Executive Board of the Black Ribbon Foundation of Australia.

Dr Gee has experience with a broad range of clinical issues, ranging from depression and anxiety through schizophrenia, bipolar disorder with psychotic features, drug and alcohol addiction, phobias, Asperger's Disorder, grief and trauma.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Self Care Tips

Self Harm Alternatives

Story of My Life

What I Need to Hear Most

My Life Web

Open Eyes

Open Eyes - Explored

Closed Eyes

Closed Eyes - Explored

A Deceptively Simply Question

Bucket List

FuckIt List

Inspire Me

Worry Vault

Body Love

Mental Monster

Once Upon A Time

Motto Me

The Cluttered Hoard


Unconditional - Explored

Medicine Mine

Act of Compassion

A Day Without

Crappy Day Pep Talk

My Inner Critic

Critic’s Review

Doodle Days

Forgiveness List

100 Things That Make Me Happy

Character Cue

Reaching Back

Reaching Forward

I Don’t Want To

Sing To Me

Survival Strategies

Compliment Collection

Gratitude Art


Positive Experiences

100 Things I’d Like To Learn

My Safe Place

Forever Moments

Those Negative Thoughts

What’s Really Eating You?

Coat of Arms

Heraldic Designs

Escaping The Monster

Dear Future Me

From Future Me


Changing Focus

Comic Strips

So, This One Time

The Victories

My Greatest Comfort

Mirror Mirror

Inner Anthems - The Playlist

Inner Anthems - Explored

Taken For Granted

Apples & Oranges - Exposed

Apples & Oranges - Explored


Symptom Collage

A Letter You’ll Never Send

Motivate Me

Climbing Mountains

Mindfulness Art

Mood Doodles + Trigger Logs (JAN-DEC)



About VJ

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