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The Feeling Good Handbook Paperback – May 10 1999


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The Feeling Good Handbook + Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy + Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Revised edition (May 10 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452281326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452281325
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 4.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Many people believe that their bad moods result from factors beyond their control. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Jan. 5 2004
Format: Paperback
Hat's off to Dr. Burns for having written a very practical guide anyone can use to combat depression and build positive self esteem. For years I have been in therapy, but I have realized that positive change all comes down to me. Burns provides the simplistic, yet highly effective tools to work through one's distortions on a daily basis. As he emphasizes, merely reading the book will not help. It is reading, understanding, but most importantly, DOING the exercises on paper that will produce results. Burns writes at a gut level. I don't think there is one page that is useless or irrelevant. Most striking is the author's genuine compassion for the reader. He sincerely wants you to succeed !!! I have often found this lacking in most self-help books. Their authors seem more interested in giving the reader a one shot "pep- booster", but fail to provide exercises that will promote lasting results. I have read many self help books concerning depression and self esteem, but this particular one is the "leader of the pack" as far as I am concerned. Buy it, Read it and Do the exercises!!!!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a crucial book to evaluate for those suffering from depression but skeptical of the effectiveness of most psychologists and self-help books.
Burns is one of the biggest popularizers of cognitive-behavioral therapy, one of extremely few therapeutic forms that have stood up to any scientific scrutiny. Over the last 20 years, CBT has become the predominant form of therapy practiced by psychologists. This book is intensive CBT, much more involving and direct than the form practiced in most psychologists' offices.
Burns takes a very simple approach: he does not place any weight on diagnostic categories or figuring out "why" people behave the way they do or the roots of their problems. Instead, every depressed thought is traced to irrational thought processes. Why those thought processes were developed is irrelevant; the challenge is identifying one's distortions and learning to think more rationally.
Contrary to some reviewers' opinions, I believe this book is best for people who have long-term depression in the medium range (recurrent major depression or dysthymia), with substantial experiences with psychologists. Clearly for more extreme cases - a manic depressive or a suicidal person - the first course of action should be a psychiatrist or psychologist, not a self-help book. This book requires a very high level of involvement and personal responsibility. I believe that it is patients who think of themselves as having a medical problem, seeing psychologists and taking medication for years and perhaps feeling dependent on them, who will at some crisis point become frustrated, develop the energy and motivation to work through a book like this and benefit the most from it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 12 2003
Format: Paperback
Trying to overcome negative emotions and habits by thinking positive thoughts and applying advice given in many self-help books is like trying to solve the quadratic equation in your head. The thing that sets this book apart is that it gives you a step by step written procedure with which you discover, analyze and dispute the thoughts that make you feel bad. After doing the written exercise - the triple column technique, I found that the new rational thoughts attached themselves to the negative emotions I was trying to overcome. Later, when I re-experienced situations that could produce the same negative emotions, the new rational thoughts would bubble up to my consciousness and keep me from re-experiencing (or at least minimize) the negative emotion. This stuff is incredible!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 25 2003
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very helpful as an adjunct to Burns's previous book Feeling Good. While not absolutely essential, I think most people would benefit from reading and applying the techniques from Feeling Good prior to studying The Feeling Good Handbook. Once you have the basics down from the former book, you can more easily benefit from the specific techniques in the Handbook. I especially found the chapters on procrastination to be very helpful. I was able to go from extremely depressed to normal and happy using the techniques in Feeling Good alone, but I enjoyed Burns's writing so much that I just had to pick up this book, too, as well as his other books.
If you only purchase one self-help book I'd recommend Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. If you want to read more I'd recommend this book as a second purchase for help with applying cognitive therapy techniques to specific problems such as procrastination, anxiety problems and communication problems. If you need help with shyness or relationships I'd recommend Burns's Intimate Connections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carla on May 2 2002
Format: Paperback
I bought this book a few years ago and find myself visiting this page at Amazon because I want to recommend it to a friend and find that my own copy is out on loan to someone else!
There are so many self-help books on the market that I tend to be wary of them, but I found this one genuinely helpful at a time when practical help was really needed. Dr Burns says it very clearly himself - you have to do the exercises to get the benefit, because this sort of approach is all about getting intimate with the thoughts in your own head. The book does give theoretical explanations, but fundamentally it's a practical tool to help you to get inside your own head and change what's going on there. Dr Burns' approach is about challenging your own negative thoughts, which some people might say you don't need a book and exercises to do. I can only say that when I was deeply depressed it was exactly what I did need - someone to take me gently but firmly by the hand and lead me through my own head in order that I could get through the paralysis and begin functioning again.
Dr Burns includes a depression rating test which enables you to monitor your own progress. I found that this had 2 applications - firstly it helped me to take my own depression seriously, and secondly it encouraged me to keep going as I could see the results of Dr Burns' approach on a daily basis.
A lot of people don't like being told what to do, especially when it comes to dealing with their own problems. This book does require that you come at it with an open mind and are willing to be guided to some extent, and are willing to be honest about what's really going on with you. The exercises are deceptively easy and for this reason I can see that some people might be dismissive of the approach.
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