Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

by David D. Burns

Feeling Good provides you with practical strategies to combat depression and negative thinking. The book offers scientifically-proven techniques that can help you improve your mental well-being and develop a positive outlook on life. By following the actions in this book, you will learn how to identify the causes of your mood swings and effectively address negative emotions. Ultimately, this book empowers you to build self-esteem, handle criticism, and feel good every day!

Summary Notes

Cognitive Therapy: An Effective Approach to Treating Depression

Cognitive therapy is an effective approach to treating depression, which is a serious public health issue with increasing suicide rates. This approach was developed in the mid-1950s and early 1960s by Drs. Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Beck, and has been shown to provide rapid symptomatic improvement, self-understanding, self-control, prevention, and personal growth.

Cognitive therapy is based on the idea that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected, and that our thoughts can have a significant impact on our emotions and actions. Through cognitive therapy, individuals learn to identify what is causing them distress, such as negative thinking patterns or unhelpful beliefs. They then learn how to address these thoughts and beliefs and improve their mood.

Research has shown that cognitive therapy can be as effective as medication in treating depression. In fact, a study with 44 severely depressed patients found that those treated with cognitive therapy healed more quickly than those treated with medication. And the good news is that cognitive therapy has long-lasting effects, with individuals reporting fewer symptoms of depression even months or years after completing therapy.

Actions to take

Combatting Feelings of Worthlessness

Self-worth refers to the value one places on themselves as a person, regardless of external factors such as achievements, physical appearance, talent, popularity, or relationships. Unfortunately, when individuals experience depression, their thinking patterns can become distorted, leading to feelings of worthlessness. This is often characterized by all-or-nothing thinking, where individuals view themselves as either a complete success or a complete failure.

To combat this type of thinking, it's important to replace negative self-criticisms with more objective and rational thoughts. One effective technique is the "triple-column technique," which involves identifying thinking errors in one's negative automatic thoughts and then replacing them with a more rational and less distressing thought in the right-hand column. This technique helps individuals restructure their thinking patterns and develop a more positive view of themselves.

By writing down negative thoughts and rational responses, individuals can improve their self-esteem and overall mood. This process helps to challenge and correct negative thinking patterns, leading to a more positive self-image and outlook on life.

Actions to take

Understanding the Cause of Depression

Depression is a serious mental health condition that can have a significant impact on an individual's life. While recovering from depression can feel like a huge relief, it is important to recognize that there may still be underlying issues that need to be addressed in order to prevent future episodes.

Simply feeling better is not enough. In order to truly recover and prevent future episodes, it is important to understand the root causes of depression and how they were addressed in the recovery process. It's also important to continuously work on building self-confidence and self-esteem.

That's because even after recovery, individuals may still hold distorted negative thoughts and assumptions that contribute to their depression. These silent assumptions, which define one's personal worth and value system, can help explain why someone became depressed and when they may be vulnerable again.

By identifying and addressing these silent assumptions, individuals can gain a better understanding of themselves and take proactive measures to prevent future episodes of depression.

Actions to take

Seeking Help When Filled With Suicidal Thoughts

When experiencing suicidal thoughts, it is crucial to take them seriously and seek professional help immediately. Many people mistakenly believe that unsuccessful suicide attempts are just cries for help and don't require immediate attention, but this is not the case.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, it's important to evaluate the severity of these thoughts and ask if any steps have been taken toward planning or preparing for suicide. It's also important to recognize that hopelessness is a symptom of depression and not a reason to attempt suicide.

While it's good to practice self-help strategies, seeking professional help is the best way to get specialized care and support. A therapist can help assess the degree of hopelessness and provide you with the appropriate treatment and guidance to reduce the risk of future suicide attempts. Remember, you don't have to go through this alone, and seeking help can be a crucial step toward recovery.

Actions to take

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