Low Mood /Depression Books

The Mindful Way Through Depression

The Mindful Way through Depression book cover

Williams et al “The Mindful Way through Depression" draws on the collective wisdom of four internationally renowned mindfulness experts, including bestselling author Jon Kabat-Zinn, to help you break the mental habits that can lead to despair. This authoritative, easy-to-use self-help program is based on methods clinically proven to reduce the recurrence of chronic unhappiness. Informative chapters reveal the hidden psychological mechanisms that cause depression and demonstrate powerful ways to strengthen your resilience in the face of life's misfortunes. Kabat-Zinn lends his calm, familiar voice to the accompanying CD of guided meditations, making this a complete package for anyone looking to regain a sense of balance and contentment.



Overcoming Depression

overcoming depression book cover

Paul Gilbert This lively book in the “Overcoming…” series uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to help sufferers of both major and bipolar depression. The book is split into manageable sections and Gilbert advocates flexibility in terms of using the book, for example, letting readers with low concentration (through depression) skip part one which focuses on understanding depression. Each chapter is followed by a summary of the key points and a simple, self-help exercise. Depression has broad effects on thinking, emotion, motivation, relationships and physiology and varies in terms of onset, severity, duration and frequency. Depression can be a downward spiral with thoughts of not being able to cope leading to stress and hypersensitivity to threat. This leads to unhelpful safety behaviours that serve to avoid situations in which negative thoughts can be challenged and contradicted. Depression should be understood as being caused by overstressed systems rather than personal weakness or inadequacy. The second half of the book discusses specific problems such as approval seeking, shame, guilt and anger and recovery.



Overcoming Depression: A Five Areas Approach

low mood book cover

Chris Williams ‘Overcoming Depression’ is a self-help workbook for use by people experiencing low mood and/or depression. The course provides access to the proven Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) approach. Williams provides a practical and effective way of aiming essentially to improve how the reader feels. Compassionate and supportive, ‘Overcoming Depression’ addresses all the common challenges faced during times of low mood. Readers learn how to: discover why they feel as they do; develop better problem solving skills; rebalance relationships by becoming more assertive; become more active and rediscover the fun in their life; build helpful responses to life stresses; improve sleeping patterns and quality; learn how to change unhelpful, biased negative thinking; make choices that encourage and support a healthy lifestyle; and plan for the future in order to maintain the newly emerging wellness. The workbook also provides an invaluable resource for counsellors, general practitioners, nursing staff, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and self-help groups and organisations and is widely recommended by practitioners.


Reinventing Your Life

Reinventing Your Life book cover

Jeffery Young & Janet Klosko Two of America's leading psychologists, Jeffrey E.Young, Ph.D., and Janet S. Klosko, Ph.D., show readers how to free themselves from negative life patterns. Written with compassion as well as clinical insight, this thought-provoking book guides readers through the process of identifying "life traps." For example, "Do you put the needs of others before your own? Are you drawn into relationships with people who are self-centred, cold to you, misunderstand you, or use you? Do you feel inadequate compared to people around you?" Followed by an engaging discussion that makes use of case studies, this book can help people change their lives by stopping the cycle of self-destruction.


Stress/Worry Books

The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook

stress and relaxation

By Davis, Robbins, Eshelman & McKay

An oversized volume (making it easier to read), this book contains many different ways of reducing your stress, and the reader is urged to attempt to find which is most effective. The user-friendly style enables the reader to dip into any chapter at will and derive something useful and informative from it. The book's orientation is very much a holistic approach and the authors' emphasis on mental coping methods merges with the chapters on reducing physical stress symptoms. The reader is provided with simple, stepped directions to attempt and become familiar with: Progressive Relaxation, Self-Hypnosis, Meditation, Autogenics, Visualisation, Refuting Irrational Ideas, Nutrition, Coping Skills Training, Biofeedback, Exercise, Assertiveness, Thought Stopping, Time Management, Breathing, Cue-Controlled Relaxation, Quick Relaxers.



How to Stop Worrying

stop worrying

By Frank Tallis

This concise read begins by explaining the origins of worry and its importance in the role of evolution as part of the ‘fight or flight’ reaction. In doing so, Tallis tries to take away some of the negative connotations of worry, describing it as a useful survival mechanism of danger-avoidance. He also explains that a certain level of stress can be helpful in providing motivating force. Stress and worry become problems when these supersede perceived ability to cope, leading to intrusive thoughts and anxiety.

He explains that most worries can be grouped under five headings of

1) intimate relationships
2) lack of confidence
3) aimless future
4) work incompetence and
5) financial problems.

Tallis illustrates the links between cognitions and emotional symptoms of anxiety using an example of findings that show worriers are slower to make decisions as they are more cautious and tend to overthink when making decisions. Other major symptoms of stress are insomnia and high blood pressure. The overall message is to make sure worry is recognised early on to best deal with it. The problems and negative thoughts must be defined evaluated systematically and logically and solutions should be brainstormed and actioned using the book as a guide.


Social Anxiety Books

Overcoming Anxiety

overcome anxiety

Helen Kennerley

A guide explaining how to overcome problem fears and anxieties of all kinds - from panic attacks and phobias to executive "burn out" - in order to regain confidence and self-control. The book describes self-directed treatment for the broad range of symptoms that are typical of the disorder using principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). It encourages readers to progress at their own speed and involve the help of family or friends if necessary. A step-by step self-help plan is included. There is an introduction to CBT itself, followed by a useful section on understanding worry, fear and anxiety and how it affects each individual in different ways illustrated by case studies. The rest of the book addresses the management of these symptoms under the following headings: awareness training and self-monitoring, managing bodily sensations, managing psychological symptoms, managing avoidance, being assertive, time management and getting a better night’s sleep. Also included are supportive ‘diary’ pages and charts to fill in. There are also suggested scripts for the reader to make their own relaxation tapes.



Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness

overcome shyness book

Gillian Butler

Butler opens by explaining the nature of shyness, the symptoms and possible causes and explains how to deal with distressing thoughts, overcome avoidance and manage symptoms of anxiety through relaxation, distraction and panic management. Real-life examples and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) Techniques are used to help the reader unlearn bad habits and replace them with healthy ones. Butler, a consultant clinical psychologist has condensed into this readable book effective techniques for overcoming conditions such as anxiety and panic attacks, depression, and addictions. Everyone who has ever felt frustrated by their embarrassment or lack of confidence may benefit from this book - by understanding emotions it is hoped that it is possible to effectively manage and accept them. Part One explains social anxiety, the role of this fear, its origins and what actually happens when social anxiety strikes. Part Two offers a practical guide to overcoming these feelings, changing negative illogical thoughts for positive rational ones, reducing self- consciousness and building confidence. Part Three deals with more specific issues such as explaining the legacy of being bullied and about how to learn to relax.

Health Anxiety Books

Stop Worrying About Your Health

stop worrying about health

George Zgourides

This self-help manual was written particularly for sufferers of anxiety who are excessively concerned about their health. People commonly feel concerned after a trigger, such as news of a new virus, which might cause them to focus on their health, but for some the worry persists even after reassurance of safety from trained professionals and evidence that contradicts the perceived danger.

Zgourides terms this “health anxiety syndrome” and in this practical guide he first helps readers recognise patterns of illogical, unhelpful thinking and in addition to this provides tried and tested cognitive behavioural strategies to tackle the obsession with physical illness. Through this readers will have a guide to be able to accept and redefine the physical worry symptoms and the associated thoughts, feelings and behaviours.



Obsessions/Compulsions Books

Understanding Obsessions and Compulsions

obsessive complusive disorder book

Frank Tallis

This book is aimed at people who suffer from obsessive compulsions and shy away from presenting themselves for treatment, due to the frequent social embarrassment felt. The book explains principles of anxiety reduction, and provides stepwise treatment instructions in user-friendly language. The author recognises and covers topics such as obsessional thoughts, worries, personality traits and depression, and compulsive behaviours such as checking, washing and hoarding. The treatment type used is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). A technique called 'exposure and response prevention' forms the core component of the self-help plan. It is a thoroughly tested non-drug treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder. Several self-help schemes are described. The reader is encouraged to adopt an experimental attitude with these, with the more effective techniques for each individuals being kept as part of the self-help programme, and techniques the individual does not find useful being excluded. Various charts and tables are provided in the Appendix for personal use.


Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

overcoming compulsive disorder

David Veale

A life-changing book for the thousands in the UK suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in a mild to moderate form. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is the fourth most common mental health problem in the West. Sufferers are plagued by a recurring thought or idea that just won't go away (the obsession) and are then crippled by a form of behaviour (the compulsion) to try to cope with their fear. For example people may fear being contaminated and so endlessly wash their hands, or they may fear disaster will strike at home and need to check the gas is turned off a hundred times before they are able to leave the house. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of OCD significantly for the majority of sufferers and in this book therapists Dr David Veale and Rob Wilson provide a self-help approach to overcoming the condition. This accessible guide explains how readers can reduce the distress of intrusive thoughts, face fears and avoided situations, and overcome compulsions.

Trauma/Traumatic Stress Books


Overcoming Childhood Trauma

overcoming childhood trauma

Helen Kennerly

Written by a practising chartered clinical psychologist, this book aims to help sufferers of abuse - whether emotional, physical or sexual in nature - understand the link between past trauma and present difficulties and gain control using cognitive behavioural techniques. This book will help the sufferer understand the links between past trauma and present difficulties and offers ways to gain control over these problems, allowing the individual to deal with intrusive memories, manage mood swings and build better relationships in adulthood.



Overcoming Traumatic Stress

Claudia Herbert and Anne Wetmore

This self-help guide is aimed at people who have suffered acute trauma that has caused them ongoing distress. It outlines and explains the physical, cognitive and emotional consequent reactions to the trauma experienced. By providing explanation and understanding, the reader is encouraged to accept, rather than fight these reactions, and through this accepting the trauma itself. The reader is encouraged to utilise cognitive behavioural techniques to help re-programme their behaviours and thoughts, and through this improve emotions.


Eating Disorders Books


Overcoming Binge Eating

overcoming binge eating

Chris Fairburn

This ‘reader-friendly’ book provides a lucid and comprehensive account of the nature and treatment of binge eating by one of the world's leading clinical researchers. Fairburn presents a self-help version of a clinical programme shown to be highly effective in clinical trials. The treatment and theory over causes of the disorder revolve around the assumption that bulimic patients have lost control over their eating; the Cognitive Behavioural programme aims to ‘hand control back to the patient’. There is a strong educational component, helping the reader understand the links between food deprivation, hunger, craving for food and bingeing. Concerns about body weight, shape, perfectionism, ‘all-or-none’ thinking and low self-esteem issues are discussed. Patients are helped to monitor their own eating and purging behaviour and to maintain a regular eating pattern. The final section of the book deals with ‘relapse prevention’ – techniques that can be used to maintain an avoidance of binge eating and purging.



Getting Better Bit(e) by Bit(e)

getting better bite by bite book

A Survival Kit For Sufferers Of Bulimia Nervosa And Binge Eating Disorders Ulrike Schmidt & Janet Treasure

This book is aimed at women who are suffering from physical and psychological effects of an eating disorder, concentrating on key behaviour changes necessary to achieve a happier, fuller life. A key exercise of the book is the recording of Antecedents (triggers), Behaviours and Consequences (ABC) of disorderly eating patterns using a therapeutic diary to be filled in daily. Both the psychological and physiological effects of eating disorders are dealt with. Physiologically, it offers nutritional tips to avoid hunger pangs and dips in energy. With the more pervasive psychological issue it explores past life events and psychological profiles of people susceptible to developing disorders. Also explored is the use of laxatives and diuretics as weight loss ‘aids’ and alcohol and drug use as self-medication. The book is dotted with real-life case studies to illustrate people who have for one reason or another developed an eating disorder and have found ways personal to them to help overcome their issues.