- Paperback: 768 pages
- Publisher: Plume; Revised edition (May 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780452281325
- ISBN-13: 978-0452281325
- ASIN: 0452281326
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 515 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Feeling Good Handbook Paperback – May 1, 1999
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"The CBT bible."—The Observer
"Invaluable guide to dealing with fears, anxieties, panic attacks, procrastination and communication problems."—USA Today
“A wonderful achievement—the best in its class.”—M. Anthony Bates, Clinical Psychologist, Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia
“Clear, systematic, forceful.”—Albert Ellis, PhD, President, Albert Ellis Institute
From the Back Cover
"A wonderful achievement – the best in its class."
—M. Anthony Bates, Clinical Psychologist, Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia
"Clear, systematic, forceful."
—Albert Ellis, Ph.D., President, Institute for Rational-Emotional Therapy
"This book makes a difference. Anyone who experiences emotional distress (that is, everyone) will find this book invaluable. Dr. Burns represents dozens of helpful exercises in his inimitable, lively, and self-revealing style."
—Jackie Persons, Ph.D., Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California at San Francisco, and Director, San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy.
"Dr. Burns has done it again. He has provided us with clearly described and practical guidelines for dealing with fears, anxieties, panic attacks, procrastination, and communication problems . . . invaluable."
—Marvin Goldfried, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, State University of New York at Stony Brook
If you are looking for sound, workable advice on how to change your life a little or a lot, this is the book for you."
—Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D., Director, Center for Cognitive Therapy, New York
515 customer reviews
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I can see it being intimidating for some people. 1) It's quite thick 2) one has to be prepared to do a lot of reading as well as exercises. While CBT may not work for everything, I believe everyone will find something useful in this book. Also keep in mind you don't need to do the whole book, just the relevant sections.
- I recommend buying the 1999 edition (the one with Dr. Burns on the cover). The edition with the blue cover is flimsy and the paper is so thin and tears easily.
- Buy the handbook over the classic 'Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy'. The handbook is more comprehensive and a better format and has exercises. Or get both if you want the classic to read while traveling etc. It does have some content that the Handbook does not have. The Handbook is quite bulky but the classic is small though a bit hard to read (it's designed and formatted like an old paperbacks from the 70s - even though it's new)
- If you find the books intimidating or prefer a different format, I highly recommend the podcast. He covers a lot of the same material and it might be easier to understand the concepts.
- My only criticism is the instructions for the exercises should be clearer and they should provide digital copies as the ones in the book are small and hard to photo and print. I ended up making my own versions.
On the other hand, if we have been depressed and perhaps not noticed our poor hygiene for a week and a stranger at a store says "You smell bad." We should acknowledge the objective truth of it. Whether the person meant to make us feel bad or were trying to help us is irrelevant to the truth of their statement. If it's true, a nice hot bath might make us feel a little better. No need to get angry or sad at their observation.
In short, good mental health requires active participation by the patient. Some people will be helped by meds, others won't for various reasons, one of which is the person expecting the meds to be magical pills that fix everything with zero effort from the patient. A LOT of GP's prescribe anti-depressants without any therapy because the patients refuse to attend. Those folks fall into the aforementioned category. Burns says that patients HAVE to participate for long-term mental health.
The book explains that being mindful that depression can cause your mind to literally lie to you and goes through ways to fight back. It has ways to help stop the "looping" that happens when the mind decides to compulsively make you think about something over and over. It has a workbook component that I see a LOT of people resenting. Seriously? The workbook was very helpful to me. The author even caught me trying to NOT take the it because I resented it at first. Instead of being resentful, I did the work and was the better for it.
With my most recent purchase I have now bought 6 copies of this book for various friends fighting serious depression. The ones that actually did the workbook part of this book have thanked me. The others? They tossed it on their bookshelf and still show all the signs of being depressed. This is not a cure-all. It is not a talisman wherein the mere ownership induces good mental health. You have to read it, do the work book parts and then go out and do the work itself every day. Good luck.