- Hardcover: 316 pages
- Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (October 9, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1593859945
- ISBN-13: 978-1593859947
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,809,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Metacognitive Therapy for Anxiety and Depression 1st Edition
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"This book presents a new and innovative approach that focuses on how patients think, as much as what they believe. It is firmly grounded in basic science and packed full of powerful clinical strategies for helping people change the way they think. Wells shows how attention training and detached mindfulness techniques can be applied to a full array of anxiety and depressive disorders with impressive and lasting results. His approach will appeal to clinical practitioners, students, and mental health researchers alike, and should find widespread acceptance in the clinical community. It should prove to be a valuable tool for graduate training across professional disciplines."--Steven D. Hollon, PhD, Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University
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I was intrigued with the book from page one, "Thoughts don't matter, but your response to them does: as everyone has negative thoughts but not everyone believes their negative thoughts and develops anxiety." I've read the book three times and I've phoned all my friends and family members with anxiety and/or depression to please read this book.
Metacognitive therapy (MCT) does not question the reality of a person's individual thoughts and beliefs; it focuses on how to change a person's response to the thought. It cuts to the chase of the how to overcome anxious thinking and provides the tools to disengage from intrusive thoughts (called mental events) while providing a step by step method of how to reduce anxiety to normal levels.
Before reading this book, I thought that my worry kept me safe, protected me from danger and I firmly believed it was impossible for me to stop worrying. I worried all day, everyday and half the night. I was existing, not living. Thanks to MCT I now experience anxious thoughts in metacognitive mode and view the thought as an event in the mind and as such, I do not have to pay attention to it resulting in no more worry! I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I hope that MCT becomes better known in the US (the author is from England) as it has the potential to help millions.
The idea behind the Meta Cognitive Therapy is that anxiety disorders and depression come from thought processes that persist long after a trauma or an initial fear as inadequate responses to it, and therefore perpetuate or even aggravate it into a dysfunctional state of clinical depression or anxiety. For example, the victim of a bank robbery suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder is caught in the thought process that he/she must constantly pay attention to danger in order to avoid being a crime victim again. Constant worry and accompanying rituals and ruminations paralyze him/her.
The therapy consists in a cognitive dialogue with the therapist and practical cognitive techniques/exercises that help the patient to change his/her response to these thought processes. One technique, for example, is to learn how to put oneself into an observer role and view one's obsessive negative thoughts as what they are: thoughts than can pass. Another technique is an analytical dialogue in which the therapist helps the patient to uncover the reality of his/her thought processes: how they arise from wrong beliefs (for example 'I can prevent crime by constantly paying attention to my environment" or "I am defined by a past trauma", how they negatively affect the patient, etc. One ground principle is that one can prevent thoughts from escalating into negative obsessions by letting them pass, not by fighting them.
The therapy can be relatively brief (8 weeks). Clinical trials have shown very positive results.
Different chapters present a detailed therapy roadmap illustrated by clinical cases for each of the major forms of anxiety and depression including generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. I found that the general principles of the therapy related well to now popular philosophical approach of Mindfulness (see "The Power of Now" by Eckart Tolle and many Buddhist and non Buddhist Mindfulness writings). It was also interesting in its own right to learn more about depression and anxiety as they affect so many people.
- the book overuses acronyms such as MCT, PTSD and many more.
- it includes many figures that are not properly visualized on the Kindle
shipping so very slow! Two weeks for media mail.