Feeling good- the new mood therapy is a book on Cognitive therapy written by David. D Burns. Here is a short summary of the book.
- A group of psychiatrists and psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine developed cognitive therapy.
- The simple and effective mood-control techniques of cognitive therapy provide:
- Cognitive therapy has been evaluated and validated at the highest academic levels, and it’s not another self-help psychology. It is practical and based on common sense and can actually work.
- All your moods are created by your “cognitions” or thoughts. Cognition refers to the way you look at things, your perceptions, mental attitudes, and beliefs.
- When you are feeling depressed, your thoughts are dominated by pervasive negativity.
- Twisted thinking which contains gross distortion of reality is a major cause of your suffering.
When you begin to think more objectively, you will begin to feel better.
- In a pilot study at the University of Pennsylvania school of medicine 15 of 19 patients treated with cognitive therapy had shown a substantial reduction of the symptoms, whereas only 5 of the 25 patients who underwent antidepressant drug therapy showed any improvements.
- By the end of the second week, there had been a reduction in suicidal thoughts among the cognitive therapy group.
- Results through cognitive therapy do not suggest you will never have the blues after using cognitive methods to eliminate your current depression.
Feeling better and getting better are two different things.
- While you feel better spontaneously, getting better requires a systematic application and reapplication of the methods that will lift your mood when the need arises.
- Diagnosis is the first step in the cure of depression. The Beck Depression Inventory(BDI) is a veritable mood measuring device that detects the presence of depression and accurately rates its severity.
- Some of the scores are as follows:
Negative thoughts that fill your mind are the actual cause of your self-defeating emotions
- Negative thoughts that have become part of your life are called automatic thoughts. Your emotions result entirely from the way you look at things.
- Before you can experience any event, you must process it with your mind and give it meaning
- You must understand what is happening to you before you can feel it.
- There are ten cognitive distortions that form the basis of all your depressions, they include:
- Feelings aren’t facts. Feelings only mirror your thoughts. Once you invite depression through an “automatic” series of cognitive distortions, your feelings and actions will reinforce each other in a self-perpetuating vicious cycle.
- The key is to avoid painful feelings based on mental distortions because they are neither valid nor desirable.
- The modifications in illogical thinking patterns will have a profound effect on your moods and increase your capacity for productive living.
- Depressed people see themselves as deficient in the qualities they value most highly and they feel defeated, defective, deserted, and deprived.
A Self-image is a magnifying glass that can transform a trivial mistake or an imperfection into an overwhelming symbol of personal defeat.
- You cannot earn worth through what you do, achievements cannot bring you self-worth but happiness.
- Self-worth based on accomplishments is a pseudo-esteem. Only your own sense of self-worth determines how you feel.
- A sense of worthlessness is created by your internal self-critical dialogue, and talking back to that internal critic builds your self-esteem.
- Train yourself to recognize and write down the self-critical thoughts as they go through your mind.
- Mental biofeedback involves monitoring your negative thoughts with a wrist counter. Click the button each time a negative thought about yourself crosses your mind, be on constant alert for such thoughts.
- systematic self-monitoring frequently helps develop increased self-control.
- When you are upset remember to zero in on those negative thoughts and write them down
- Substitute a more objective thought for the one which made you look down on yourself.
People are not only thinkers, they are doers, so it is not surprising that you can substantially change the way you feel by changing the way you act.
- One of the most destructive aspects of depression is the way it paralyzes your willpower. This will make you procrastinate even doing a few odious chores. As your lack of motivation intensifies, virtually any activity appears so difficult that you become overwhelmed by the urge to do nothing.
- The mindset that is most commonly associated with procrastination includes hopelessness, helplessness, overwhelming yourself, jumping to conclusions, self-labeling, undervaluing, and rewards, perfectionism, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of disapproval or criticism, coercion and resentment, low frustration tolerance, guilt, and self-blame.
- Your Irritability quotient refers to the amount of anger and annoyance you tend to absorb and harbor in your daily life.
- The events of this world do not make you angry. Your thoughts create anger.
- Anger does not help; it immobilizes you in your hostility to no productive end.
- the thoughts that generate anger more often than not will contain distortions.
- Frustration results from unmet expectations. Since the even that disappointed you was a part of reality, it was “realistic”.
- Sadness is a normal emotion created by realistic perceptions that describe a negative event involving loss or disappointment in an undistorted way.
- Reactive depression’s redeeming value is only the growth you experience when you recover from it.
- your feelings will result from the meaning you attach to what happens.
- A substantial portion of your suffering will be due to the distortions in your thoughts. When you eliminate these distortions, you will find that coping with the “real problem” will become less painful.
- The more severe and intractable the depression is, the more extraordinary and delicious the taste of happiness and self-esteem once it is over.
- There are significant differences between feeling better and getting better. Feeling better simply indicates that the painful symptoms have temporarily disappeared. Getting better implies:
- Silent assumptions are equations with which you define your personal worth.
- Self-esteem can be defined as the state when you choose to fight back against automatic thoughts with meaningful rational responses.
- The harder you strive for perfection, the worse your disappointment will become, because it’s only an abstraction, a concept that doesn’t fit reality.
The Ultimate victory is the victory of living, choosing to live life at its fullest.
- The conviction of hopelessness is one of the most curious aspects of depressive illness.
Conclusion (Feeling Good- The new mood therapy)
Cognitive therapy provides a trusted means of dealing with blue moods. Considering the fact to helps to avoid the side effects of drug therapy and it actually helps depressed people to get better, it is a preferred method to conventional psychotherapy.