Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Self Help Books in Cognitive Therapy

Some readers have commented or emailed me to ask for suggestions for books on cognitive therapy techniques that apply to everyday life. Here is a list of those books from the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. I have not read all of these books but some look pretty good.


Blogger Thor's Dad said...

Dr. Helen, thank you for your laser-like analysis of the "crisis of being male." I need all the support and encouragement I can get as a 43 year old white male conservative whose a doctoral candidate in a state university Relgious Studies department. Would you be willing to highlight 1 or 2 classics from the CBT list?

12:08 PM, October 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who are browsing, I'd like to plug The Work of Byron Katie for rapid and deep cognitive change via simple self-work (it's Googleable; link not allowed in these comments, apparently). Byron Katie is not a therapist (indeed, she's Something Else) but many therapists and coaches swear by her work. There's some "spiritual" vocabulary in her audience, but absolutely no need to buy in to that to get maximum benefit.

And I hope thor's dad finds good support. Counter-intuitively, professional religion is a particularly tough place to be at this point in history, running the identity politics and PC gauntlet.

1:22 PM, October 20, 2005  
Blogger Helen said...

To thor's dad:

There are two books on the list by Albert Ellis which I would recommend--I would also recommend any work by Aaron Beck, MD. He is not on the list but you can find his work on Amazon. My favorite is Prisoners of Hate: The Cognitive Basis of Anger, Hostility, and Violence.

2:11 PM, October 20, 2005  
Blogger KCFleming said...

Dr. Helen,

I refer many of my internal medicine patients for CBT. I wonder, is there a brief analogy or metaphor you've run into that effectively explains the method or experience involved in CBT?

3:02 PM, October 20, 2005  
Blogger Helen said...

To Pogo,

Say that you refer a depressed patient for CBT--she may have feelings of sadness which have resulted from a thought, "Nothing in my life is going right, therapy can't help, nothing can. I'm only going to get worse and worse." In CBT, the therapist might ask, "What is going through your mind right now?" In this way, the client learns to focus on these thoughts and the thoughts are typically responsible for the feelings of sadness. Each person has an internal communication system oriented to themselves, a kind of network that provides ongoing observations of themselves and others. CBT teaches people to modify these beliefs to change their behavior. For example, for the depressed woman, she would challenge the belief that "nothing can help" or that she is getting "worse and worse." In this way, she can teach herself to change or reduce the thought that she is hopeless, etc. and therefore reduce her depression.

7:30 AM, October 21, 2005  
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