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The Feeling Good Handbook
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Product Description

With his phenomenally successful Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, Dr. David Burns introduced a groundbreaking, drug-free treatment for depression. Now in this long-awaited sequel, he reveals powerful new techniques and provides step-by-step exercises that help you cope with the full range of everyday problems.

* Free from fears, phobias, and panic attacks
* Overcome self-defeating attitudes
* Discover the five secrets of intimate communication
* Put an end to marital conflict
* Conquer procrastination and unleash your potential for success

With an up-to-date section on everything you need to know about commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs and anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, this remarkable guide can show you how to feel good about yourself and the people you care about. You will discover that life can be an exhilarating experience.

Customer Reviews:

  • A fine guide
    I recommend this book for those who would like to cope with the mild annoyances of life. The book is very readable. Please do not be put off by the cover. I find it tacky. But the contents are fine, especially as a first go at cognitive therapy.

    It aims for normality. Actually I believe this to be the best alternative to the ridiculously pseudoscientific NLP (neurolinguistic programming). If you are striving for greatness, you will be annoyed and upset. This book is a reliable and scientifically supported guide to help you stay normal under potentially stressful situations.

    Unlike NLP, it demystifies, and removes anything close to placebos or other devices that are likely to turn you into a delusional NLP zealot.

    Its a big book, with loads of good recommendations and strategies, so it will keep you flexible. It also assumes that you are in positive control of your life.

    In short, its a good book, with solid scientific reasons for its effectiveness.

    DrLee...more info
  • Life Saving Tools
    This book saved my life 20 years ago and I have refered to it so many times since. I thank God that I finally found some tools to battle my manic - depression. Over the years, I've given away many copies to friends. Some of them found it very helpful, others not so much. If you are feeling down, if the doctors are pushing medications on you, I URGE you to give this self- therapy a try. Maybe you will be one the lucky ones who finds a way to hold off depression without drugs....more info
  • For those open minded to change
    When I was 17, I was severely depressed & didn't have an open mind to what this book had to say. I picked the book up as instructed by a therapist. I only got 30 pages in & put it down.

    Now, 17 years later, I'm glad I never got rid of this book. I almost want to go back in time & smack it over the head of my 17 year old self for not finishing it. But I was a different person back then. This book is extremely helpful if you have the open mind to let it be & see what the author has to say.

    Twisted/negative thoughts lead to negative emotions/feelings. It's that simple. No prescription needed (I've tried that before, too). ...more info
  • Great book for self-introspection and growth
    For persons who want to learn to get control over their emotions and better respond to the world around them, this book would be excellent. It gives practical real world examples of circumstances that people encounter in every day life. It helps you examine the way that you respond to things both mentally and emotionally. Great book for self-introspection and growth....more info
  • Good service
    I received the book in the condition as was stated and completely satisfied with it....more info
  • Mixed feelings
    I bought this book several years ago and did the exercises. I made some improvement, but I also made the mistake in thinking I might improve a lot instead of just a little.
    I know that there are a lot of people who just love this book and that's fine. But I have found that, over time, my enthusiasm has worn off.
    I have always been a little bit skeptical about books like this because they are often written by members of the elite, whose problems seem minor in comparison to mine. Even the difficult spots in his own life Dr. Burns has mentioned in his book seemed fairly minor in comparison.
    The ideas presented are indeed somewhat useful, but if external circumstances really aren't all that is necessary to be happy, then why don't these authors give up all the money (and other trappings of success) and live the ascetic life for awhile? Why not live as a homeless person, without absolutely no resources except this book for a year or two and see how useable the ideas really are? Maybe this sounds stupid, but I don't think it is stupid at all. We need to be very demanding of our gurus because these days people are getting away with far to much B.S.(Incidentally, I think that part of the self-talk a guru would have to use in this experiment would have to be "Ok, I only have 6 more months to go..." )

    Sure, reading a book (and the exercises)is better than doing nothing at all, but sometimes I wonder if we are all just letting ourselves be duped. There are many problems in life without any glib answers.
    ...more info
  • Very Effective Tools.
    The Feeling Good Handbook by David D. Burns is a book that teaches you how to feel good about yourself so you can enjoy your family and friends. There are step-by-step exercises to help you cope with all your fears, phobias and panic attacks. You will also understand how to address your depression without drugs. The book also helps you overcome marital conflicts and teaches you the five steps of intimate communication and how to conquer procrastination.

    After you read this book it may be a good time to consider reading my book entitled "The Enlightenment, What God Told Me After One Million Prayers, a Message for Everyone" (See Profile Above)

    ...more info
  • good
    I received the product in a timely manner and in good condition. I'm very satisfied with my purchase...more info
  • Genuinely useful
    I bought this book a few years ago and find myself visiting this page at Amazon because I want to recommend it to a friend and find that my own copy is out on loan to someone else!

    There are so many self-help books on the market that I tend to be wary of them, but I found this one genuinely helpful at a time when practical help was really needed. Dr Burns says it very clearly himself - you have to do the exercises to get the benefit, because this sort of approach is all about getting intimate with the thoughts in your own head. The book does give theoretical explanations, but fundamentally it's a practical tool to help you to get inside your own head and change what's going on there. Dr Burns' approach is about challenging your own negative thoughts, which some people might say you don't need a book and exercises to do. I can only say that when I was deeply depressed it was exactly what I did need - someone to take me gently but firmly by the hand and lead me through my own head in order that I could get through the paralysis and begin functioning again.

    Dr Burns includes a depression rating test which enables you to monitor your own progress. I found that this had 2 applications - firstly it helped me to take my own depression seriously, and secondly it encouraged me to keep going as I could see the results of Dr Burns' approach on a daily basis.

    A lot of people don't like being told what to do, especially when it comes to dealing with their own problems. This book does require that you come at it with an open mind and are willing to be guided to some extent, and are willing to be honest about what's really going on with you. The exercises are deceptively easy and for this reason I can see that some people might be dismissive of the approach. On the plus side you can hit the exercises absolutely at your own level - you don't have to tackle everything all at once. Start with the 'little' things if that's where you're at (motivating yourself to eat lunch, for instance). No-one else can tell you exactly why you're depressed and what's going to make it change for you. This book is for people who really want to feel better and are willing to make an effort on their own behalf but want to do it at their own pace and not feel bullied. It isn't easy to come through depression - it's paralysing by nature. This book can't do it for you, but it can be a companion through it.

    I still do refer to this book and use the exercises when I get stuck (it also includes a fantastic section on procrastination which I would recommend to anyone, depressed or not!) I also want to add, though, that at the time that I was first using the book I was also taking anti-depressant medication - without that I wouldn't have been able to even pick up a book like this, never mind work with it! It's not the same for everyone, but don't beat yourself up if you need the medication too....more info

  • Not for me
    There are obviously many people who were helped by this book, but I am not one of them. This book is the result of a very major effort, but what turns me off is that the author seems overly optimistic about the results you can get from his methods, and at times seems a bit condescending and even a bit self-congratulatory. He also appears at times a little naive.

    Dr. Burns seems to believe that all problems are created equal, or at least capable of getting dramatically better, even for those who are marginalized or ignored by the rest of society. In these cases, for someone to suggest that someone's depression is simply the result of "faulty" thinking is offensive to me. It encourages the rest of society to be comfortable in believing that it is the depressed person's fault for being the way he/she is, and for not working hard enough to correct his "wrong" thinking. What social justice is there in that?

    For the doctor to suggest that he can put an end to marital conflict to me is nothing but pure bunk. There is no way to permanently end marital conflict except to get a divorce. Many other experts say that couples who can openly argue with one another actually have BETTER marriages. To say that marital conflict can be ended is to say that we can have a world without war. Conlict is an inevitable part of life, and we should work to minimize it, but sometimes it cannot be prevented.

    It really disturbs me that an entire school of thought has developed around the idea that nobody needs to be depressed, and that if they are, it is simply because they are not being "rational". For many people this is true. For example, I don't think that Britney Spears or Paris Hilton ever needs to get depressed. When they do, it is very apparent to me that they are being irrational. But for many of the rest of us, being depressed is simply being realistic. If rational-emotive therapy is so great, how come it wasn't developed sooner? I believe that this is just the thinking of the age, and that someday it may be partially discredited, just as was Freud and psychoanalysis. I don't think it will be entirely discredited, because some of the ideas can be effective if applied correctly.

    It is almost a scientific fact that people need to be acknowledged. When a baby is ignored by its mother, very often it will get sick and die, even if it gets plenty of food and water. I believe that there is a biological need for love, no matter how old we are. Humans also have a variety of other needs, as discovered by Abraham Maslow in his heirarchy of needs. People who are mentally or biologically inferior have more difficulty in getting these needs met, and to me it is a mistake to label these people as "irrational". We are, indeed, not created equal, nor are we equally capable of being happy. In many cases it will be possible to feel "better", but it may never be possible to feel "good".

    ...more info
  • Feeling Good
    Very Good and helpful book hoping it will keep me on the right track where I want to be....more info
  • Buy IT
    David Burns is done a good job on a great book. I studied and referred back to it on occasion, with good results. That's amazing since my depression has been very resistant to medication. If the voices in your head tell you to buy the book, maybe you need medication, but if you're depressed, try this first!

    [...]...more info
  • Wonderful Self Help Book
    I suffer from mild to moderate social anxiety and depression and have for my entire life. Recently my anxiety has increased to a point that I was going to start taking medication again. I really dislike all the side effects of the medication and as a last resort researched the web for natural anti anxiety solutions that do not have these horrible side effects. While doing this I found many positive references to the Feeling Good Hand Book so I thought what could I lose and bought the book. I have been using the book for a little over a month now and I have easily reduced my anxiety from moderate to mild during that time. I am certain in the next six months I will be able to reduce it by as much again. I can not speak for others but for someone with mild to moderate anxiety and depression do not hesitate and start feeling better soon. Buy the book....more info
  • NOT for the clinically depressed!!!
    It offends me that so many people believe that depression is something that can be controlled or cured with a change in thought patterns. Depression is not a result of negative thinking, it is a biological, chemical disorder that plagues millions of Americans, most of which have tried absolutely everything they can to rid themselves of it.
    I have battled debilitating depression for my entire adult life. Anyone who has been there knows the devastating feeling of, "What more can I do??" Personally, I have done everything under the sun to feel better, including A LOT of cognitive behavioral therapy and work on my past. However, you cannot will clinical depression away, or nobody would ever stay in that much pain for long! No one would ever choose to stay depressed.
    Dr. Burns is just encouraging the belief that the clinically depressed are just too weak or lazy to get themselves out of it. You would think a medical doctor would know better. Instead, authorities like him reinforce the negative stigma, making it even more difficult for those living with a mental illness. How disappointing.

    See a psychiatrist, get counseling, and AVOID this book!...more info
  • Feel Better
    This is a great "How To" book for this type of illness. Mental illness is sooo cloudy in it's diagnose and treatment but this book is very helpful. You may never talk your loved one into getting help but this book will provide some "clue" into what is needed....more info
  • Feeling Good Handbook
    I have only purchased the book for one section - communication with spouse. That section was really good and informative and helped a lot. I cannot comment for the rest of the chapters....more info
  • The Feeling Good Handbook
    An excellent reference for understanding depression, anxiety and other difficulties of living life. It is also interesting to just sit down and read to get in touch with your own feelings....more info
  • Do you want to feel better?
    My Doctor told me that I had distorted thoughts, and I said, well yes my thoughts are distorted. He told me to get this book FEELING GOOD by Dr David Burns. So I ordered it off of and discovered THE FEELING GOOD HANDBOOK, which follows the book. I am truly amazed with the information that I am learning for the first time. This book is changing my life so completely that I feel I may someday be "normal". This book is for people with "twisted thinking" related to depression and bipolar.
    If you suffer and want to get better then read this book, it has all the answers....more info
  • A moderately effective course in cognitive therapy
    Many people don't buy into the whole "root of your problems" mentality that seems to infect the mental health fields nowadays. That's understandable. There certainly is something to be said for a more pragmatic, straightforward approach to the treatment of certain mental states. It is to this group of people that Dr. David Burns addresses his Feeling Good Handbook.

    The methods in The Feeling Good Handbook are aimed at helping those suffering from depression, anxiety, and other "mild" mental issues to train themselves into healthy mental patterns. Burns has put together a series of writing exercises and journaling that is intended to help readers recognize fallacies in their thought processes. He then spends a great deal of time on each of these fallacies of thought and how to overcome them.

    Burns is an avid supporter of cognitive therapy. It is obvious that Burns feels the best way to mental health is through learning to master these negative thought processes. Furthermore, he states outright that it is possible to train yourself to be positive and happy by following these exercises.

    Like most self-help books, Burns' popular book has both positive and negative attributes. Burns has managed to accurately classify the thought traps that those suffering from clinical depression and anxiety fall into. He also presents them in such a way that they are easily memorable and will often return to the reader's mind throughout the course of the day. Burns also includes a surprisingly accurate quiz to gauge the progress of the reader.

    However, Burn's book depends very heavily on the reader following his instructions with exactness--and some of them are extremely tedious. This is, perhaps, not the best way to help those suffering with depression. Usually depression saps an individual of their desire to do anything at all. Additionally, Burns tends to be a little over-simplistic about his methods and even more over-enthusiastic about their results.

    On its own, The Feeling Good Handbook is a moderately useful book in the amateur diagnosis and treatment of mild depression. When used in conjunction with a counselor who understands cognitive therapy, this book is an excellent tool in training the reader to think in a new way....more info

  • Works for many, for all not
    I have suffered from on/off depression for the last 18 years or so. Some years ago, I stumbled upon CBT and tried it to improve my life: this, I did in many ways. Recently, I've been feeling particularly low and, looking around on the Web, I decided to get myself a copy of Burns' and a copy of Ellis'(REBT) books.

    To my dismay and to that of my therapist, these techniques did not seem to work.I was advised to change to another CBT therapist. However, on a lucky and inspired decision, I went for a non-CBT therapist. In just one session, the clues which had been surfacing for some time became clear.

    The reason why I could not let go of my perfectionism, my high expectations of moral and societal behavior, my aspiration for a life less ordinary, etc and the reason why I could/would never be happy if I had to let go of these was that these so-called "distorted thoughts" apply to a majority of people but not to all. To a minority of people, these are not distorted thoughts but are the very essence of their self/soul.

    I got myself a book on gifted adults and learned about the new definition of giftedness. It had very little to do with IQ but was more a question of certain definite traits. I was so relieved to learn that I was not abnormal for being so different from the people around me. I do not think the way others do, I do not share many of their views but now I know that this is OK. I do not have to beat myself to be like them.
    This does not mean that I am done with my unstable mood but it's a new beginning for me.

    I do not dispute the fact that distorted thoughts do exist and that they indeed make our life miserable. For example, feeling bad for a whole week because you inadvertently slighted someone or 'mind-reading' somebody without any evidence are, of course, not conducive to a healthy mindset. But, as for anything else, when reading/using the book, you have to make proper discernment. You need to be very careful as to what applies to you and to your PRESENT situation, and to what does not.

    I'd say that, as long as applying a technique and getting rid of a 'distorted' thought works (makes you happier), then so good! But, beware if you've been trying to counter a 'distorted' thought for some time and it just does not sit in. You are trying to go against your natural self. It's a lost battle; you'll never feel comfortable walking the path you were not meant to.

    If you've never tried CBT before, go ahead and try this book. But ask yourself questions if you do not get the results you were expecting. Sit back and think awhile if you beat your self and yet can't get rid of a 'distorted' thought.

    Depression is indeed THE illness of the century. The traditional views on the causes of it are getting more and more supplemented by new discoveries. There are thousands of possible causes for your depression. Harbouring 'distorted' thoughts is just one of these. I found a new one recently: many people around the globe get depressed because they cannot fit in; they beat themselves to be like the mainstream and they fall into depression. They do not realize that they are different and rightly so. They are a group which has been coined gifted. The problem is that many people will not even consider that fact; after all, we've been trained to be modest and humble. Is it not so terribly vain and pompous to call oneself gifted?
    ...more info
  • Dig Out Of The Hole of Anxiety and Depression
    I've used Dr. Burns' work for my own illness since the first "Feeling Good" book was published. Now I use it extensively in helping mentally ill hospitalized people move back into the community. This book is my Bible for successfully dealing with Anxiety and Depression and my consumers also find this book a lifesaver. It can be your Bible, also. Highly recommended and used extensively....more info
  • Very Practical
    This book was recommended to me by a fantastic professional counselor and it has been very helpful to me. Dr. Burns has some great exercises in this book where you write down your "automatic thoughts" about anything that is causing you stress. You identify any distortions in your thinking (which are listed out for you) and then you write a new thought. I have found my depression greatly reduced as I "fix" my faulty thinking. ...more info
  • The Feeling Good Handbook
    I saw this book at a bookstore before I purchased through Amazon. I purchased it used and it was delivered in excellent condition. It looked new and I am very satisfied....more info
  • Cognitive therapy classic
    I read this book when I was going through a divorce several years ago. The handbook helped me to review the thinking that was contributing to my depression. Although my depression was situational, I was overwhelmed and was filtering information negatively. Recently, my son went through a depression and I gave him this book and another excellent book, Optimal Thinking--How to Be Your Best Self that provides specific questions to resolve disturbing emotions. I recommend each of these books....more info
  • The Ultimate Depression Cycle Breaker
    This book is fantastic, for relief for those suffering depression, either light or clinical. I have personally used Dr.Burns's predecessor edition, copywrite 1980 having actually bought 6-8 of the books over time since my depressive moods would come when the book I owned was packed away. In my practice as Coordinator for a PEER Support Line, I have recommended and seen this revised edition, the Handbook, turn many people's lives around. I buy them, and then sell them to people in my Bipolar group. These people report miraculous results and are walking, talking spokespersons, testimonial presenting users for the efficacy of this book. Highly Recommended!!!!! Five stars, five exclamations!...more info
  • Useful Addition
    Definitely a useful companion to go along with the basic text. Sincerely and consistently practice the principles within these books and your life will change. Never give in to the despair of depression, it is an evil that can be conquered on a daily basis with persistence and courage. I personally know about the hell of depression, and also know that there is a way through it. Highly recommended....more info
  • Useless
    If you have major depressive disorder (AKA clinical depression), stay away from this book. I've tried to read it several times, but the exhausting quizzes and thought analyses wear me out. Depression makes it almost impossible to concentrate; why wouldn't Burns know that? How can he expect a depressed person to analyze her thought patterns and try to capture so-called twisted thoughts on paper?

    I'm going back to my tried-and-true depression therapy: walking.

    ...more info
  • The Feeling Good Handbook
    What a great book. I was referred to this book from my therapist, She said it was required reading when she was in college.
    I am only 30pgs into this book and it has really helped me, and changed my way of thinking. I suffer from cronic pain and depression.
    Thank you for bringing a ray of sunshine back into my life....more info
  • Great workbook!!
    This book clearly lines out principles and procedures of cognitive therapy. Readers will learn how to conquer depression, raise self-esteem and overcome anxiety.
    The book contains many helpful self-help exercises which get to the heart of things. What I especially liked about this book is its applicability in real life. Apart from depression and anxiety you'll find information about giving good job interviews and procrastination.
    But the greatest assets of the handbook are in my opinion the chapters about communication. Here, Burns clearly outlines how to deal with critical and angry people in a non-hurtful, but nonetheless authentic way. I greatly urge you to read this book, even when you've already read his first book "feeling good". The handbook contains some more useful information and applications. Apart from this, it's never wrong to get practice in disputing your dysfunctional thoughts...more info
  • A good introduction to cognitive therapy
    This is a good introduction to cognitive therapy. Dr. Burns offers many practical techniques to help you lift yourself out of a depression, to reduce your anxiety and to communicate well. Overall an excellent book for learning clear thinking methods. However, I disagree with the author on some of his underlying premises and I donyt recommend his subsequent books....more info
  • Conquer your depression and fears
    The advice in this book is extremely beneficial. It does work. Some of the things Dr. Burns states a depressed person must do is get out of bed and get busy. He also states you must face your fears and suggests that you make yourself "crack up" It is impossible. You can face your fears or phobias using a proces he calls "flooding." I forced myself to face my fear of going back to work. Once I made it through the first day and was successful, I had disproved my distorted thoughts. Dr. Burns gives some incredible writing exercises to do. You state your automatic (negative) thoughts . He has you identify the distortions and then write a realistic thought. You then rate your realistic thought and then again rate your belief in your "automatic" thought. The writing exercises really help, but it does take time and practice. You start feeling gradually better and within a month of hard work, you actually do feel good most of the time. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with any level of depression, phobia, or anxiety attacks....more info
  • The Definitive Guide to CBT
    This book was highly recommended to me and for good reason. Burns writes in a logical, balanced and informative matter that is easily understandable....more info