I chuckle when I read the words "The New Mood Therapy" because the book on my shelf was published by by Avon Books New York in 1980. Feeling Good by David D. Burns was promoted as "The National Bestseller with over 2 million copies in print!" That was twenty-eight years ago and I am still recommended it to my clients.
The author of this book describes an approach to mood modification that has a self-help component for those who suffer from depression. He cites research data that suggests people can learn to control their mood swings and self-defeating behaviours with principles and techniques which he not only describes in detail but also challenges the reader to master through exercises that are included in the book.
Dr. Burns uses peculiar language and phrases such as "do-Nothingism" and "verbal Judo" to describe dysfunctional thinking that can lead a person into a low mood or prevent them from healing. His theory involves helping the reader develop awareness of the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviours and then taking active responsibility for identifying automatic thoughts, their distortions and replacing them with a rational response.
Throughout the chapters, Dr. Burns teaches techniques for building self-esteem, handling criticism anger and guilt as well as depression. He also focusses on prevention and personal growth work, skills for coping with stresses of daily living and finally offers advice for handling suicide.
Dr. Burns argues that his theory offers clinically proven drug-free treatment for depression. He also however includes "The Consumer's Guide to Antidepressant Drug Therapy" at the end of the book.
This is a "must-read" for all those who suffer from depression and those who care for and about them.