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Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

4.3 47
by David D., M.D. Burns M.D.

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The good news is that anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other 'black holes' of depression can be cured without drugs. In Feeling Good, eminent psychiatrist David D. Burns, M.D. outlines the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life.



The good news is that anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other 'black holes' of depression can be cured without drugs. In Feeling Good, eminent psychiatrist David D. Burns, M.D. outlines the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life.

Now, in this updated edition, Dr Burns adds an all-new Consumer's Guide To Antidepressant Drugs, as well as a new introduction to help answer your questions about the many options available for treating depression.

Recognise what causes your mood swings.

Nip negative feelings in the bud.

Deal with guilt.

Handle hostility and criticism.

Overcome addiction to love and approval.

Build self-esteem.

Feel good everyday.

Some text and images that appeared in the print edition of this book are unavailable in the electronic edition due to rights reasons.

Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
"A book to read and re-read!

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Chapter One

A Breakthrough In the Treatment of Mood Disorders

Depression has been called the world's number one public health problem. In fact, depression is so widespread it is considered the common cold of psychiatric disturbances. But there is a grim difference between depression and a cold. Depression can kill you. The suicide rate, studies indicate, has been on a shocking increase in recent years, even among children and adolescents. This escalating death rate has occurred in spite of the billions of antidepressant drugs and tranquilizers that have been dispensed during the past several decades.

This might sound fairly gloomy. Before you get even more depressed, let me tell you the good news. Depression is an illness and not a necessary part of healthy living. What's more important--you can overcome it by learning some simple methods for mood elevation. A group of psychiatrists and psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has reported a significant breakthrough in the treatment and prevention of mood disorders. Dissatisfied with traditional methods for treating depression because they found them to be slow and ineffective, these doctors developed and systematically tested an entirely new and remarkably successful approach to depression and other emotional disorders. A series of recent studies confirms that these techniques reduce the symptoms of depression much more rapidly than conventional psychotherapy or drug therapy. The name of this revolutionary treatment is "cognitive therapy."

I have been centrally involved in the development of cognitive therapy, and this book is the first to describethese methods to the general public. The systematic application and scientific evaluation of this approach in treating clinical depression traces its origins to the innovative work of Drs. Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Beck, who began to refine their unique approach to mood transformation in the mid-1950's and early 1960's.* Their pioneering efforts began to emerge into prominence in the past decade because of the research that many mental-health professionals have undertaken to refine and evaluate cognitive therapy methods at academic institutions in the United States and abroad.

Cognitive therapy is a fast-acting technology of mood modification that you can learn to apply on your own. It can help you eliminate the symptoms and experience personal growth so you can minimize future upsets and cope with depression more effectively in the future.

The simple, effective mood-control techniques of cognitive therapy provide:

  1. Rapid Symptomatic Improvement:In milder depressions, relief from your symptoms can often be observed in as short a time as twelve weeks.

  2. Understanding:A clear explanation of why you get moody and what you can do to change your moods. You will learn what causes your powerful feelings; how to distinguish "normal" from "abnormal" emotions; and how to diagnose and assess the severity of your upsets.

  3. Self-control:You will learn how to apply safe and effective coping strategies that will make you feel better whenever you are upset. I will guide you as you develop a practical, realistic, step-by-step self-help plan. As you apply it, your moods can come under greater voluntary control.

  4. Prevention and Personal Growth:Genuine and long-lasting prophylaxis (prevention) of future mood swings can effectively be based on a reassessment of some basic values and attitudes which lie at the core of your tendency toward painful depressions. I will show you how to challenge and reevaluate certain assumptions about the basis for human worth.

The problem-solving and coping techniques you learn will encompass every crisis in modem life, from minor irritations to major emotional collapse. These will include realistic problems, such as divorce, death, or failure, as well as those vague, chronic problems that seem to have no obvious external cause, such as low self-confidence, frustration, guilt, or apathy.

The question may now occur to you, "Is this just another self-help pop psychology?" Actually, cognitive therapy is one of the first forms of psychotherapy which has been shown to be effective through rigorous scientific research under the critical scrutiny of the academic community. This therapy is unique in having professional evaluation and validation at the highest academic levels. It is not just another self-help fad but a major development that has become an important part of the mainstrem of modem psychiatric research and practice. Cognitive therapy's academic foundation. has enhanced its impact and should give it staying power for years to come. But don't be turned off by the professional status that cognitive therapy has acquired. Unlike much traditional psychotherapy, it is not occult and anti-intuitive. It is practical and based on common sense, and you can make it work for you.

The first principle of cognitive therapy is that all your moods are created by your "cognitions," or thoughts. A cognition refers to the way you look at things--your perceptions, mental attitudes, and beliefs. It includes the way you interpret things--what you say. about something or someone to yourself. You feel the way you do right now because of the thoughts you are thinking at this moment.

Let me illustrate this. How have you been feeling as you read this? You might have been thinking, "Cognitive therapy sounds too good to be true. It would never work for me." If your thoughts run along these lines, you are feeling skeptical or even discouraged. What causes you. to feel that way? Your thoughts. You create those feelings by the dialogue you are having with yourself about this book!

Conversely, you may have felt a sudden uplift in mood because you thought, "Hey, this sounds like something which might finally help me." Your emotional reaction is generated not by the sentences you are reading but by the way you are thinking. The moment you have a certain thought and believe it, you will experience an immediate emotional response. Your thought actually creates the emotion.

Feeling Good. Copyright © by David Burns. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

David D. Burns, M.D., a clinical psychiatrist, conveys his ideas with warmth, compassion, understanding, and humor unmatched by any other writer in the self-help field. His bestselling Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy has sold more than three million copies to date. In a recent national survey of mental health professionals, Feeling Good was rated number one—from a list of more than one thousand—as the most frequently recommended self-help book on depression. His Feeling Good Handbook was rated number two in the same survey.

Dr. Burns's entertaining teaching style has made him a popular lecturer for general audiences and mental health professionals throughout the country as well as a frequent guest on national radio and television programs. He has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology Through the Media Award from the Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology. A magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College, Dr. Burns received his medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is currently clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine and is certified by the National Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

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Feeling Good : The New Mood Therapy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
15 years ago I read the original version of this book, and followed through with the recommended exercises. This was by far the BEST treatment I could have asked for. I read many others before I found this book. I was able to change my destructive thoughts and therefore my mood. I've been in a slump lately and plan to read and DO this book again. Readers, don't expect miracles just by skimming through this book...you've got to jump in with both feet and follow the suggestions.
simba1 More than 1 year ago
This is a classic book, useful for mental health professionals. or any consumer. It brings together everything in the cognitive therapy field in easy to read, reproducible format including lots of self-tests and summaries of various meds used for depression and anxiety disorders. I have been a therapist for 40 years and have not seen anything as useful as this book, 1st published about 25 years ago.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many years ago I had a confluence of tragic events in my life and I decided to see a psychologist for a while. One day the psychologist told me that I needed to 'deal with my feelings'. I told him in frustration that I heard that many times before, but that I did not understand what that meant. I asked him what exactly do people do when they 'deal with their feelings'. He was silent for a few moments and then he wrote the name of this book down on a slip of paper. This book will tell you how to 'deal with your feelings'. These techniques will not give you instant results, but they work if they are applied consistently.
Guest More than 1 year ago
About 15 years ago, I read this book and realized I have been depressed most of my life. Being raised in a abused alcholic home, I didn't realize the impact this had in my life. After reading this book, I felt like a million, before I knew it I was my best friend, where I was my worst enemy. Instead of Self Hate, I found Self Love. When I found myself going back to Self Critism I just applied my SELF TALK,felt better instantly.I sent every oneI knew a copy of this book. I am today finding myself diagnosed once again with Depression, only because I removed this book from my night stand by my bed to a book shelf. Out of sight out of mind. Pulled out my old copy with its torn discolored pages, full of dust and am looking forward to a new copy tomorrow. I will once again carry this book with me everywhere. 'I call it my 2nd bible'I want my life back once again. Thank you Dr. Burns, you saved me thousands in Therapy fees.
E_Christian More than 1 year ago
This is a great book once you are on the road to recovery, and a valuable aid for all of us wanting to live better and be happier. But, at 736 pages, it is a bit insurmountable. One book I did enjoy recently that touched on some of the same concepts is Laughing Again by Roxanne Renee. This book is quite manageable, and also covers an arsenal of techniques to help our minds heal. I recommend them both!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been treated three times over a long life for depression, (never hospitalized). I read this book three years ago, and they have been the most fulfilling three years of my life. I still have bad days from time to time, but now I can confidently tell myself that a bad day does not mean a bad life, or an endless supply of more bad days. This book gave me perspective.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book gave me a more understanding and backround of depression and awesome techniques to use to help better yourself. Also gives some backround knowledge of different medications for you to get familiar with if needed, you can't trust doctor's these days so its always better to be a step ahead when getting ready to medicate yourself!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Feeling Good' is a classic and probably should be read by everyone. I say this in spite of coming from the school of thought that much of depression is biochemical and is not easily undone without medication. Nonetheless, correcting negative thought patterns is an important part of undoing depression, especially mild depression. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best title for cognitive therapy. But CT doesn't work for every episode...and for some people it doesn't help at all. And when it isn't right, the person feels like more of a failure without realizing that this is only one of several good models to try.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After years of suffering and using anti-depressants, I have finally found the help that I thought wasn't possible. Dr. Burns has found the root cause of most depression problems. I now have the knowledge to control my mind and my life. Thanks to my counselor who suggested the book and of course to Dr. Burns for making cognitive therapy a believable solution.
glorygirlVC More than 1 year ago
This book has lots of great information but it is way long and very detailed. I wish Dr. Burns would put it in a more concise format. Don't let the length put you off though, you can skim through the parts that are too much info. This book is worth it just for Chapter 3, "Understanding Your Moods" and the chart at the end of this chapter that summarizes the 10 cognitive distortions. Really helpful.
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I think this book will be helpful for me in navigating through life when the going gets rough. It is easy to read and understand.
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My mom has suffered from bi-polar disorder for more than 15 years, and I've been diagnosed w/moderate depression at different times. This book educates the patient in order to make smart choices about medications, cognitive therapy and helps you understand in a simple way how your brain's chemicals work!
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