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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2003
I've used this workbook successfully as a therapist at a community mental health clinic serving poorer clients in Tucson AZ. I've used it in individual and group therapy. Frankly, I've found "Mind Over Mood" much more user-friendly than the more popular "Feeling Good Handbook" by David Burns, which contains similar cognitive therapy methods. The "thought record" chart, in particular--the heart of CBT--is more straightforward in Mind Over Mood. They've set up seven intuitive columns, from left to right. Burns's version of this chart, where each situation and emotion is listed separately at the top of the page, tends to confuse people, in my experience.
I really like the way Greenberger and Padesky put in little hint questions in small type at the bottom of the columns, to remind you what you're supposed to be doing without having to go back and read the text. And the book is full of terrific hint boxes which give you questions to ask yourself if you're having trouble understanding the exercises. I have not seen this anywhere else.
Defects? 1) This book doesn't contain the richness of material of the Burns or other CBT workbooks. The chapters on specific conditions at the end are pretty paltry. It's really just a very large book on how to do a thought record. 2) The authors limit evaluating automatic thoughts to "evidence for", "evidence against", and a "reasonable alternative". This rigid empirical model is not suited to everyone or every situation. Surprisingly, there is no discussion of or columns for "cognitive distortions" (Burns) or "disputes" (Ellis). This is a major defect, but one can work around it by expanding what is allowed in the "evidence against" columns.
Overall though, an excellent book for use in clinical settings with general mental health patients. I find myself pulling it out much more often than my other CBT books sitting next to it on my shelf. Once clients get the hang of cognitive therapy, I introduce more sophisticated material; but I haven't found a better starting point.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Authors Greenberger and Padesky in their Prologue use the analogy of an oyster creating a pearl out of a grain of sand. In response to an irritation, the oyster encases the particle in a smooth, protective coating, thus providing itself both relief and a thing of value. So too this book will assist anyone with a mood disorder to create relief and their own emotional pearl.
This cognitive workbook helps the anxiety sufferer alleviate mood problems as well as reduce stress, solve problems, and improve self-esteem. It does this by helping the reader identify thoughts, moods, behaviors, and physiological reactions; test usefulness of those responses; and change thinking patterns which are ineffective or dysfunctional.
However, because there is less information on how cognitions, emotions, behaviors, and physiological reactions relate to anxiety or depression than might be useful for greater self-understanding, I think this good book is, in many instances, better as an adjunct to psychotherapy than as a strictly self-help vehicle.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2002
In my opinion this is a truly excellent WORKBOOK. The couple of negative reviews seem to be missing the point that workbooks are, by their nature, supplements -- either supplements to therapy or to a text-rich psychology book that is not done in workbook form. OK? I think that is the key issue. I use this workbook as a supplement to working through the chapters of my favorite book on cognitive self-help psychology, which is The Positive Power of Negative Thinking by Julie Norem. For me, it is a very helpful, insightful, and practical workbook. If you are looking for a cognitive therapy supplemental workbook, I can recommend Mind Over Mood without reservation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 1999
Depression descends like a veil separating the person from the processes of life and creating a dark closet where videotapes of pain experienced and hope lost play continuously. Turning off the mind videos, transitioning from sad to ok, sleeping and eating on a regular schedule, moving from self-criticism to self-acceptance can be difficult on the best of days. Mind Over Mood provides insightful narratives relating the experiences of others to the experiences I was feeling - I could begin to see the authors' cast of characters in my own mirror and begin healing with them. But more than that, Mind Over Mood contributes hands on tools that have started a process of discovery about how I think, what I'm feeling, how I react and how to chart a balanced life course.
Drs. Greenberger and Padesky are acclaimed in the book's foreword by Aaron T. Beck, the pioneer of cognitive therapy, for their "vision and innovation" as well as their abilities to teach what they practice. It is probable, however, that their contributions to the lives of their readers will be documented as their greatest success. Acknowledging that "emotions generally enrich our lives, (but) too much emotion can be disruptive", the authors provide a framework to sort automatic thoughts and core beliefs about ourselves, others and the world. Mind Over Mood's worksheets prompt insights in the first chapter at the first reading and guide the reader to developing introspective and comprehensive perspectives about seemingly modest predicaments as well as significant events. Their approach is empathetic and their tools are practical as they help all of us enhance our mental flexibility.
As parents struggle to develop well-rounded children, as teachers challenge students to not only think creatively but to think in balanced ways, as managers try to impart emotional intelligence to create agile workers, Mind Over Mood offers an approach appropriate for multiple forums and principles central to improving the quality of all lives. No book is a substitute for the guidance of a qualified and understanding therapist in crisis situations. However, Mind Over Mood clearly provides tools to identify and organize thoughts and moods to feel better and to set action plans that challenge our assumptions, reduce distorted thinking, and establish a solid platform for personal growth and improved relationships. In more basic terms, Mind Over Mood continues to work for me - I carry the concepts with me everyday. I would wish the same comfort for you and your family.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 1999
This book came recommeded by a counselor I hold in high regard. It has been beneficial to me and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to actively work at having a healthier outlook on life and bettering their relationship with others, the workplace and, above all, themselves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 1998
Helps build diagnostic and effective practical tools for addressing the thinking that leads to depression. Allows the reader to think and practice their way out of difficulty. It was a tremendous aid to a cognitive group therapy session that I took. I never expected to attend such a group, let alone the super results
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2001
"Mind Over Mood" is rather easy to ready and has many helpful tools. While the tools are somewhat easy to understand it is the implimenting of them, initially,and the practice of using them that is the challenge...and yet via using and working the "mind" tools IS what makes the good and helpful differences.
I used this in conjunction with a therapist AND a group. It's been over a year that I left the group, but I still ocassionally use these "mental tools"
This IS a keeper ! Good luck to you readers in helping improve and turn around your life or the life of a loved one.
- Greg in Minneapolis, MN
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 1999
Together with a counsellor, this book did very well for me, getting me out of my depression in less than a month. Even without a counsellor, I think the book alone would have brought me back to real life and happiness. Health authorities with long waiting lists should hand this out while patients wait to see a shrink - then they might not need the shrink.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 1998
Not just for "Patients": a book everyone can use to change negative thinking patterns; reduce or eliminate episodes of panic and anxiety; assess the quality of personal and work relationships, and a find joy in living at any age. Carol Basen, LCSW (psychotherapist)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2012
This book is very good for everybody who is looking for psychotherapy, and who has problems with stress-related disorders, depression, panic disorder...
There is everything I wanted to know about cognitive therapy.
Hardly recommended for everyone.
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