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The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness [Paperback]

J. Mark G. Williams , John D. Teasdale , Zindel V. Segal PhD , Jon Kabat-Zinn
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 2 2007 1593851286 978-1593851286 1
If you've ever struggled with depression, take heart. Mindfulness, a simple yet powerful way of paying attention to your most difficult emotions and life experiences, can help you break the cycle of chronic unhappiness once and for all. In The Mindful Way through Depression, four uniquely qualified experts explain why our usual attempts to "think" our way out of a bad mood or just "snap out of it" lead us deeper into the downward spiral. Through insightful lessons drawn from both Eastern meditative traditions and cognitive therapy, they demonstrate how to sidestep the mental habits that lead to despair, including rumination and self-blame, so you can face life's challenges with greater resilience. Jon Kabat-Zinn gently and encouragingly narrates the accompanying CD of guided meditations, making this a complete package for anyone seeking to regain a sense of hope and well-being.

See also the authors' Mindful Way Workbook, which provides step-by-step guidance for building your mindfulness practice in 8 weeks. Plus, mental health professionals, see also the authors' bestselling therapy guide: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, Second Edition.

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Self-Help Book of Merit

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Review

"Using mindfulness training to prevent and treat depression is a novel strategy in the West, though it is a traditional application of Eastern meditation practice. Whether you struggle with depression or simply want to understand your mind and emotions better, you will find this book accessible and useful. Depression is epidemic in our society, and I would love to see this sensible treatment approach gain ground." –Andrew Weil, MD, author of 8 Weeks to Optimum Health and Healthy Aging
 
"A revolutionary treatment approach. For depression sufferers, this is a truly useful guide to achieving emotional balance. For mental health professionals, it should be mandatory reading. I recommend this book and companion CD most highly." –Daniel Goleman, PhD, author of Emotional Intelligence
 
"An invaluable resource not only for those who suffer from depression, but for anyone familiar with the downward spiral of negative thinking and self-doubt. The authors of this book explore the reasons for depression and give us guidance and support, along with useful tools to find a way through it." --Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness
 
"If I could select one group of individuals for people to really pay attention to when grappling with chronic unhappiness, I could not think of a better group than these authors. Not only are they consummate scientists, but they are each personally immersed in the moment-to-moment mindfulness that they teach. This book brings together the practices of both science and insight meditation in an effective fashion that is understandable to the ordinary person--no esoteric practice or mental health background is necessary. Read it and see for yourself!" –Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, University of Washington
 


"Williams and his international team of authors provide insight into the healing power of so-called 'awareness' through which people can escape the wearisome ruminations of the obsessed mind, befriend alien feelings, and come more alive in themselves. The book is accompanied by a CD with meditations that can help the listener enter the present moment, own more fully their physical context, and stand back from the flow of their thinking and feeling....A practical volume that bears the authority both of contemporary psychology and the age old spiritual practice of meditation."--New Directions
(New Directions 2007-06-04)

"An invaluable resource for patients who suffer with depression. In addition to psychotherapy, psychopharmacology and CBT, it provides another resource to patients and another way of looking at their struggle, a way of trying to understand what's happening and a way to learn a technique of self-help; a way of attempting to break through a cycle of chronic unhappiness. The book is accompanied by a CD with a series of guided meditations, making it a unique and useful package for the clinician to use in a comprehensive treatment program....A book of this sort is invaluable in that it provides a series of take-home exercises for the novice and provides a step-by-step guide to patients or clinicians interested in effective noninvasive therapeutic techniques."--Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
(Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic 2007-06-04)

"The book is well written and easy to read....People who are prone to depression, dysthymia, or general unhappiness will find this a helpful new way to reframe their thinking about their issues, and practitioners may also find it a useful basis for counseling."--Drug and Alcohol Review
(Drug and Alcohol Review 2007-06-04)

"Composed by a star-studded team of scientists and practitioners, this powerful book is the best self-help title to arrive since David Burns's seminal Feeling Good. Williams, Teasdale, and Segal previously collaborated on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, a well-received text for mental health professionals. Add to the mix Jon Kabat-Zinn, a luminary in his own right, and the result is a useful lay reader's guide to incorporating mindfulness techniques in everyday life. Providing a realistic eight-week program, this wonderful guide and its accompanying CD offer invaluable practical strategies for banishing depression and regaining one's life. Highly recommended. (starred review)"--Library Journal
(Library Journal 2007-06-04)

About the Author

J. Mark G. Williams, PhD, is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow at University of Oxford, United Kingdom. With Drs. Segal and Teasdale, he authored Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, a bestselling book for professionals.

John D. Teasdale, PhD, has held senior research appointments in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, and in the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Zindel V. Segal, PhD, is the Morgan Firestone Chair in Psychotherapy at the University of Toronto and Head of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Unit at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is internationally known for his work as a bestselling author, scientist, and meditation teacher. He is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Read March 2 2010
By Breena
Format:Paperback
This book is fantastic and the practical exercises help to work through depression. It should not be rushed through, there is a lot of information that should be read slowly. The other alternative is to read through it once and then go back and actually do the exercises. Our lives are rush,rush, rush and we try to focus on so much and our thoughts whirl through our minds mostly out of control, this book challenges us to step out of this 'doing' mode and enter into a 'being' mode. Being a self proclaimer expert in rumination I am finding that there is more focus on what I am doing now (mindfulness) instead of rehashing the past and this has helped me with the depression I've had. We learn to recognize thoughts and feelings and how impermanent they are and how often they change.
The CD that comes with it is great, narrated by the soothing voice of Jon Kabat-Zinn it takes you through some of the basic exercises.
Living in the present moment is a better way to embrace life. Trying to live in the past is futile and worrying about a future event that may never happen creates so much anxiety. All we have is this present moment.
I highly recommend this book, it is helpful, informative, and can introduce some life changing techniques!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is changing my life! May 18 2009
Format:Paperback
Years ago, I suffered from a potentially fatal illness that kept me from working for almost a year. Jon Kabat-Zinn's 'Full Catastrophe Living' changed my life then, for the better. I've integrated some things into my lifestyle, but did not continue to practice mindfulness as I should have.

These days, I've been suffering from depression for a number of years, and for some reason did not know this book existed. In my nearing-desperate search for a way to improve my mindspace without drugs or a therapist I can't afford, I came across this book. It is showing me how to apply the skills I learned before in a way that is so clear, and applicable to my depression. It is a very well-written, easy-to-understand book that explains what should have been obvious without being patronizing. Not even halfway through it, I am beginning to see the patterns in my thinking, and am learning how to recognize it, and shut it down before I think myself into a new low.
If you or someone you love is depressed, and genuinely wants to work towards fixing it, I highly recommend this book - I believe it could be a key to lifelong recovery.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mindful Way Through Depression May 28 2009
Format:Paperback
Best book on depression I have ever read. Extremely well written in simple understandable language. Have already recommended it to many suffering with depression, sadness, etc.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A better response to mental pain Jan. 24 2010
By Brian Griffith TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This book has four authors, all of them leading professors in Psychotherapy or Medicine. But they write with one seamless, user-friendly, Sanjay Gupta-style voice. The three experts who gave us "Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression" are back. But this time Jon Kabat-Zinn joins the team, with his experience as both a professor of Medicine and a meditation instructor. And the new book is entirely addressed to ordinary people seeking help with depression, or just hoping for a happier mental life.

I like the tone. It's informal and insightful, comparing various people's experience of mental suffering. There are patterns in how the judgments start, and how the struggle to "make things better" tend to make things worse. The patterns become entrenched habits, waiting to channel any experience down well-worn paths. The authors suggest an alternative response, which involves exploring more than fixing. It involves observing what we feel rather than trying to correct it. The authors apply the practice of mindfulness meditation to the problem of inner suffering, which is just what meditation was always meant to do. Much of the book and it's enclosed CD is simply a well presented guide to greater mindfulness and enjoyment of the present moment. It's one of the best introductions meditation I've seen, but it's tied to meeting ordinary human needs rather than presuming a spiritual motive. I'd advise the book for almost anyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, life-changing book Feb. 7 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure what to expect when this book was recommended to me. But as I began to read it, I couldn't believe how much it began to change my negative ways of thinking. I have been dealing with depression for most of my life, and this book has shown me methods to change my way of thinking. I've learned from this book that we really must live in the present. I was never good at this....I always dwelled on the past or worried about the future. But this book clearly shows the reader that avoiding the present moment can be a major reason why you can feel depressed and unfulfilled. It also teaches you to be happy with yourself in the present, and to stop comparing yourself now to the way "you should be". If this sounds like you, do yourself a favor and GET THIS BOOK. I love it.
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66 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book is only for those who do not want to live in the land of the hopeless. If you love feeling like you're at the end of your rope, that life is not worth living, and you enjoy the fatigue that comes with depression, then this book is not for you. This book is only for those who want to be released from the shackles of discouragement, from feelings of failure, and from the numbness and listlessness that results from having given up.

You should only read this if you've had enough of feeling lousy. Moreover, it comes with a CD to guide you through the practice sessions, until your new thinking becomes second-nature. If you don't want new thinking, complete with new-found contentment, then pass on this one.

You've been warned. This book is life-changing, peace-giving, and brings about a mind-change that is like a breath of fresh air every moment.

For more on Mindfulness Meditation, visit [...]

The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical, healing resource
I have been working through this book very slowly, but the author is kind, thoughtful, and knowledgeable. Everything I've read so far has been very helpful.
Published 1 month ago by Marni1
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I. Have not finished it yet but think it is a good book for me.i can't wait to play the disc
Published 4 months ago by frances Shapiro
4.0 out of 5 stars Positive Self-Management for Deoression
Plenty of exercises and information in an easy to read style that helps you centre yourself before spinning out of control in moments of stress and diving down that rabbit hole we... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Patrick van Loosen
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on Mindfulness i've ever read (and i've read MANY) -
....too bad i had to become depressed before picking up this book. this book clears up so many issues i've had with meditation/mindfulness, it seems that the authors have... Read more
Published 7 months ago by ShuChuRyoku
4.0 out of 5 stars a very useful contribution to the subject
Many books of this type, I find, deal with generalities. Mark Williams opus is both scientifically rigourous and practical. Read more
Published 9 months ago by marc k. parson
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Excercises and Charting
With a strong cast of experts in the field of Mindfulness and meditation (psychological based not religious) - this is a solid overview of the mindfulness practice. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Charles Dimov
4.0 out of 5 stars A real and effective remedy
I have experienced major depression for some time and have tried a number of therapies, with varying degrees of success. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Alcuin
3.0 out of 5 stars straight forward, easy to follow
didn't read the full book, however, I can tell it guides the reader thru a simple but sensible approach to slowly and seamlessly make the shift from "automatic pilot thinking"... Read more
Published on May 8 2011 by museg
4.0 out of 5 stars the mindful way through depression
I have always been a fan of Jon Kabat-Zinn. If this book was beneficial to you, I would suggest "The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Depression" by Kirk D Strosahl and... Read more
Published on April 24 2011 by brennie15
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read whether have depression or not.
I bearly finished reading the first chapter and felt the author wrote this book just for me. I spoke with someone else reading it and they felt it was written for them. Read more
Published on April 20 2011 by MindfulDoug
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