|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews|101 Healing Stories101 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Using HypnosisA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsACT With LoveAlready FreeAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionBad TherapyBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBiofeedback for the BrainBody PsychotherapyBody SenseBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBreaking ApartBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheChoosing an Online TherapistClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingCouch FictionCounseling with Choice TheoryCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDecoding the Ethics CodeDepression 101Depression in ContextDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing ItE-TherapyEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveEssays on Philosophical CounselingEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEveryday Mind ReadingExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFlourishingFlying ColorsHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Go to TherapyIf Only I Had KnownIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt’s Your HourLearning from Our MistakesLetters to a Young TherapistLove's ExecutionerMan's Search for MeaningMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessOf Mice and MetaphorsOf Two MindsOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPlato, Not Prozac!Psychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRecovery OptionsRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulSecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf MattersSelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapyStrangers to OurselvesTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyThe Art of HypnosisThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Fall Of An IconThe Gift of TherapyThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New PsychoanalysisThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Talking CureThe Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe UnsayableThe Wing of MadnessTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapyTheraScribe 4.0Toward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTreating Attachment DisordersWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom? Second EditionWhy Psychoanalysis?Yoga Therapy
by John D. Preston and Melissa Kirk
New Harbinger, 2010
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Aug 31st 2010
Depression 101 is a simple yet surprisingly comprehensive self-help book designed to provide an action-oriented approach towards combating depression. Authors John Preston and Melissa Kirk emphasize that treatment for depression is essential, noting that without appropriate treatment, a majority of those with depression are at risk to experience recurrent and/or chronic depression. Although the authors maintain that the self-help strategies which they present are frequently successful, they emphasize that for those with severe depression, professional help is always essential, and thus they urge their readers to consider the various treatment options which they outline in the opening chapters. At the start of the book, the authors also provide well-written yet succinct information on exactly "What is Depression?", including a discussion of the differences between clinical depression, sadness, and grief.
As mentioned above, Preston and Kirk encourage readers to be actively involved in their own treatment. Thus each chapter which follows is filled with detailed, proven behavioral changes which those struggling with depression can implement in an attempt to produce a resulting improvement in mood. Although the authors acknowledge that when one is depressed, one may have little motivation to attempt positive action, they make this process as easy as possible by providing specific advice as well offering useful exercises. The areas of change which the authors address vary from making healthy lifestyle choices (e.g., sleep, nutrition, and exercise), incorporating cognitive strategies, enhancing self-esteem, managing intense emotions, improving social skills, to preventing relapse. Particularly useful is the information on recognizing negative though patterns, the suggestions for clarifying one's own value system, the basic overview on developing a mindfulness practice, and the very detailed information on becoming more aware of body language and engaging in more adaptive social communication, both of which would be especially helpful to those experiencing some social anxiety in addition to depression.
In their discussion of relapse, Preston and Kirk emphasize two basics of self-care (sleep and exercise) as well as stress the importance of having a support person involved. They also suggest goal-setting as a means of maintaining balance and continuing progress. The authors conclude their book with two Appendices, one which lists Medical Disorders That Can Cause Depression and one which lists Drugs That Can Cause Depression. (Note: the authors strongly recommend that anyone with depression first see a medical professional for a complete physical to rule out possible medical causes for their depression.) Overall, this short book (with References, it's just under 140 pages) offers just what it promises--i.e., a practical self-help guide to the treatment of depression. As a psychologist working in a college counseling center, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to my student clients.
© 2010 Beth Cholette
Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students.