MOOD CONTROL: How You Can Change Your Life Through Cognitive Therapy by Gary Emery

MOOD CONTROL: How You Can Change Your Life Through Cognitive Therapy

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Systematic help in combating depression by thinking and doing. Emery is a cognitive therapist (now at UCLA) who believes that most depressions are psychological, rather than physiological, in origin (with manic depression the sole exception); his program is designed to eliminate such self-defeating merry-go-rounds in a period of weeks. Depressives, he maintains, are not angry with others, as Freud postulated, but victims of distorted negative perceptions about themselves. His three-step approach to whittling away at such thoughts includes first becoming aware of them, then answering with more realistic perceptions, then reinforcing the new belief with actions or behavior that reflect the more positive outlook. Emery describes the ""automatic"" negative thoughts which depressives often have unawares (""Either I'm a winner or I'm a loser""). He sets goals of writing out such attitudes; asking 20 questions to check their relationship to reality (""What is the source of my information?"" . . . ""What difference will this make in a week, a year, or ten years?""); and scheduling daily activities--if need be, on an hour-by-hour basis (not by what is or is not accomplished in absolute terms)--to eliminate the passivity and hopelessness of inactivity. All this is important, because many books describe the roles that guilt, shame, and anxiety play in depression, but few provide such detailed guidance for pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, inch by painful inch.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1981
Publisher: Simon & Schuster