Most helpful positive review
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
excellent introduction to CBT
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.