Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Review: "The Freedom from Depression Workbook"

In line with our December social media focus this month of “Holiday Blues: Depression at Christmas”, we will be reviewing “The Freedom from Depression Workbook” by Dr. Les Carter and Dr. Frank Minirth. This book review is written by one of our counselors, Christine Baker. She works out of our Birmingham and Tuscaloosa offices. If you would like to read more about her, click here.

                The goals of this book are to help the reader define depression and identify it in their lives, understand the mental and physical factors of depression, and develop coping skills to fight against depression in their lives. This is done through reading and response throughout this workbook. The authors identify anger, feelings of inadequacy, abuse, and grief as triggers for feelings of depression. Once they define depression in this way, they move onto how to protect yourself against it. This includes teaching the reader about healthy boundaries, possible medical interventions, suicide prevention, and more specific skills linked to the reader’s personality type. The book is based around a 12-part process to manage depression, which includes the following:

1.       Be aware of the indicators that tell you that changes are needed.
2.       Know that anger can be uncovered and choices can be made regarding its purpose.
3.       Become committed to healthy boundaries and assertions.
4.       Believe in yourself. Know your worth and value as a person.
5.       Refuse to be the perpetual victim of part of present abuse.
6.       Allow time for natural grief to run its course.
7.       Know that the best way to be in control is to resist the craving to be in control.
8.       Make allowances for painful truths.
9.       Understand how your personality can predispose you to depressive feelings.
10.   Be open-minded as you consider the medical aspects of depression.
11.   Reveal your struggles with thoughts about death. Allow others to know you thoroughly.
12.   Be committed to positive attitudes that can bring balance to your emotions.

What did you find helpful about this book?
                I thought that the fact that it was a workbook makes it very helpful for the therapist and the client. This book offers the therapists many interventions to use with clients, and offer the person reading it on their own to really make the journey through the book a personal one.

What do clients find most helpful about this book?
                My clients really enjoy the questions throughout the book because it offers them a chance to, not only receive the information, but also look at how it specifically affects their lives. My clients also like the 12-part process to managing depression because it is a good synopsis of what they learned in the book, and it is something they can easily memorize or carry with them at all times.

Favorite Quotes:
  • ·         “Let’s acknowledge that depression does not just befall weak and problem-prone people…Given the right ingredients anyone can suffer from depression.”
  • ·         “Depression is anger turned inward.”
  • ·         “A major problem encountered by depressed people is boundaries that are not respected.”
  • ·         “You may not find depression an easy problem to confront, but it does not have to be an impossible problem.”