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The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Book & CD) Paperback – June 2, 2007
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About the Author
J. Mark G. Williams, DPhil, is Professor of Clinical Psychology Emeritus and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, where he was Founding Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. He collaborated with John Teasdale and Zindel Segal in developing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to prevent relapse and recurrence in major depression; together, they coauthored Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, Second Edition (for mental health professionals), as well as the self-help guides The Mindful Way Workbook and (with Jon Kabat-Zinn) The Mindful Way through Depression. Dr. Williams is also coauthor ofMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy with People at Risk of Suicide (for mental health professionals). He continues to work with colleagues to research the role of mindfulness in the prevention of depression in adolescents, and to train new mindfulness teachers internationally. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the British Academy.
John D. Teasdale, PhD, held a Special Scientific Appointment with the United Kingdom Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He collaborated with Mark Williams and Zindel Segal in developing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to prevent relapse and recurrence in major depression; together, they coauthored Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, Second Edition (for mental health professionals), as well as the self-help guides The Mindful Way Workbook and (with Jon Kabat-Zinn) The Mindful Way through Depression. Since retiring, Dr. Teasdale has taught mindfulness and insight meditation internationally. He continues to explore and seek to understand the wider implications of mindfulness and meditation for enhancing our way of being.
Zindel V. Segal, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto–Scarborough. He is Director of Clinical Training in the Clinical Psychological Science Program and is also Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Segal has conducted influential research into the psychological processes that make certain people more vulnerable than others to developing depression and experiencing recurrent episodes. He actively advocates for the relevance of mindfulness-based clinical care in psychiatry and mental health. He collaborated with John Teasdale and Mark Williams in developing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to prevent relapse and recurrence in major depression; together, they coauthored Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, Second Edition (for mental health professionals), as well as the self-help guides The Mindful Way Workbook and (with Jon Kabat-Zinn) The Mindful Way through Depression.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, as well as its world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic. Dr. Kabat-Zinn is internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and teacher, which has contributed to the growing movement of mindfulness into such mainstream institutions as schools, corporations, prisons, professional sports teams, government, and the legal profession, in addition to its influence in medicine and health care, psychology, and neuroscience. He teaches and conducts mindfulness retreats worldwide.
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This book will not solve your problems or cure your depression. It will however give you the guidance you may need to help yourself deal with the depression you feel and keep you from spiraling downward. It will take time, commitment and some patience with yourself. You have to be willing.
I liked the friendly, compassionate way the book guides you through the various exercises and explains how and why our mind works as it does, and how cognitivie patterns can lead to unhappiness. The CD was good but it would have been nice to have a few extra exercises (meditations) beyond what is offered, such as coping with difficulty, cultivating kindness and compassion, or even variations on the basic themes offered by the book. No offense, Jon, but I cannot take hearing your voice leading me through the Body Scan every day for weeks on end! (I actually alternated the meditations on the CD with those from the other Mindfulness book co-authored and narrated by Mark Williams, available online. That Body Scan was about half the length of this one).
One suggestion for the next edition, and for those espousing and teaching mindfulness in general: how about offering the fidgety among us practices for more active mindful movement, e.g. walking, jogging or rowing? Some of us can only take so much sitting and lying, or gentle yoga. I personally do much of my mindfulness training while Nordic walking, and find it to be a very good way to quiet my mind and also release stress, which sometimes accumulates when I am forced to be inactive for too long a time.
All in all a recommended read for those of us battling depression in whatever form it takes.