This workbook describes a step-by-step program for overcoming depression by focusing on activities that lift your mood and learning to take a step back from repeated negative thoughts. While the workbook was originally developed for a structured telephone counseling program, it should be useful for anyone struggling to manage depression and stress.
Chapter 1 gives general information about depression and depression treatment. Chapters 2-4 describe a step-by-step process for identifying activities that help to lift your mood, trying out some of those activities to find what works best, and making specific plans to increase your involvement in positive things. Chapters 5-7 describe a step-by-step process for identifying repeated negative thoughts, learning to take a step back from those negative thoughts, and using specific techniques to practice more balanced thinking. Chapter 8 will guide you through creating a specific self-care plan to keep depression and stress under control in the long-term.
Each chapter includes a clear description of proven techniques for overcoming depression as well as specific written exercises to help you apply those techniques to your situation. Following each chapter are short homework exercises to complete every day.
The techniques in this workbook are based on the principles of cognitive and behavioral psychotherapy for depression. This therapy is the most thoroughly tested form of counseling for depression and anxiety problems. The specific program described in this workbook was proven effective in a large study of telephone psychotherapy for depression (Journal of the American Medical Association,
August 25, 2004; 292: 935-942).