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Monday, October 11, 2010

Bibliotherapy: Depression Cured by Reading Book

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David D. Burns, M.D.
Few self-help books have been empirically tested in clinical studies. In a study published September 1, 2010 in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, researchers concluded that a behavioral prescription for  Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns, M.D. may be as effective as the standard of care, which commonly involves face to face therapy and antidepressant medicines (1).  This is the fifth study on this landmark book which credits as being a significant catalyst in the advancement of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) in modern clinical therapy.

This type of treatment is known as bibliotherapy.  Feeling Good is the book most frequently "prescribed" by psychologists for patients undergoing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  CBT is a method developed by Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s.

David D. Burns, M.D - Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Medical School

David D. Burns, M.D. graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College, received his M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed his psychiatry residency at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has served as Acting Chief of Psychiatry at the Presbyterian / University of Pennsylvania Medical Center (1988) and Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Medical School (1998) and is certified by the National Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Burns is currently Adjunct Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is involved in research and teaching. He has received the A. E. Bennett Award for his research on brain chemistry, the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology through the Media Award, and the Outstanding Contributions Award from the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. He has been named Teacher of the Year three times from the class of graduating residents at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Depression Common in Families with a person Suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder.

In a recent survey of 324 members, 72% of participant reported symptoms indicative of moderate to severe depression.  Members suffer from depression after years of being in an invalidating home environment.  Some have even advanced to a state of "learned helplessness". Feeling Good is the book most frequently "prescribed" by psychologists for patients undergoing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Clinical studies have shown patient improvement by just reading the book - a treatment known as bibliotherapy. Four (4) million copies have been sold in the United States.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques

The book outlines proven Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques that will help you emerge from depression and develop a more positive outlook on life. CBT is effective for:

Dealing with guilt
Handling hostility and criticism
Overcoming addiction to love and approval
Building self–esteem.

In one well known part of the book, Burns discusses 10 'Cognitive Distortions'. Here, he lays out a plan for recognizing faulty thinking, how these thoughts affect our moods, and how to correct these distortions.

~ All-or-Nothing Thinking
~ Overgeneralization
~ Mental Filter
~ Disqualifying the Positive
~ Jumping to Conclusions
~ Magnification and Minimization
~ Emotional Reasoning
~ Should Statements
~ Labeling and Mislabeling
~ Personalization.

Disclosure recommends this book to its members based on its merits.  The organization has no affiliation with Dr. Burns, nor does the organization profit from the sales of this book.

# Paperback: 736 pages
# Publisher: Harper; 1980, Revised edition (October 1, 1999)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0380810336
# ISBN-13: 978-0380810338

1= Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, Vol. 17, No. 3. (1 September 2010), pp. 258-271

Author: Skip provides support, education, tools, and perspective to individuals with a loved one affected by Borderline Personality Disorder. BPFamily is a non-profit, co-op of nearly 75,000 volunteer members and alumni formed in 1998. We welcome you to join our free 24 hour on-line support community with its nearly 3 million postings and grow with us as we learn to live better lives in the shadow of this disorder. For more information or to register, please click here.

Write comments
  1. I'm familiar with other books written by Dr. Burns, and I think his approaches are easy-to-grasp and extremely effective. Big thumbs up for BPDfamily endorsing this new book.

  2. I used this book in therapy. I was assigned the first 5 chapters to read before my first session. This alone made a difference in my life. It's amazing that simply reading a book can be as effective as therapy and medication. It's the ultimate testimony to a self-help book. Good blog article.