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Breaking the Patterns of Depression


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About the Author

Michael D. Yapko, Ph.D. is the author of seven previous books on brief, directive psychotherapy. He is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Solana Beach, California, and is known nationally and internationally for his work on treating depression with active, brief therapy methods. Acknowledging his expertise, the Encyclopaedia Britannica commissioned Dr. Yapko to write sections on depression, clinical hypnosis, and the repressed memory controversy for their medical and health annuals. Dr. Yapko and his wife, Diane, enjoy traveling and hiking in their spare time. From the Hardcover edition.


In this carefully constructed self-help guide for those with mild to moderate depression, a clinical psychologist and family therapist in Southern California offers specific strategies for changing a negative, self-defeating attitude to an optimistic, hopeful view. Yapko sees depression not as a disease that must be treated with medicine but as a problem that can often be dealt with by learning to change existing patterns of thinking, feeling and behavior. Rather than dwelling on the patient's past experiences, he focuses on changing the present and thus shaping the future with a combination of cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal therapies. Discussions of case studies lead to "Pause and Reflect" exercises, which are augmented by "Learn by Doing" practices that require performance of some action. Yapko provides helpful summaries at the end of each chapter. His prose is clear and has a refreshingly low psychobabble quotient, and the tone is upbeat. A concluding chapter offers guidance on when and how to obtain professional help. (Feb.)

"If depression has you in its grip, if your spirits need lifting, if tomorrow holds no promise of a better day, don't waste another minute: there's an antidote to feeling lousy and it's this book, Breaking the Patterns of Depression. Michael Yapko will help you unravel the mystery of depression and, more important, he will show you what you can do today to feel better immediately."
--Michele Weiner Davis, author of Change Your Life and Everyone in it and Divorce Busting

"Dr. Yapko has brought this book to all of us who battle the enemy of joy and peace--depression. And it is a wonderful guide. In it, he will teach you, as he has taught me, how to understand depression and how to defeat it. He will teach you how to look at yourself, the world, and the future in a new way. He will teach you that you can have a peaceful and meaningful life, and he will teach you how to do that."
--Dr. Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Brief Therapy Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, and author of Psychotherapy in the Age of Accountability

The rate of depression has increased by nearly tenfold in those born in the years following World War II, making it the most common psychological problem in America. Depression expert Yapko presents a book that will help put depression in perspective and equip sufferers with the skills and knowledge to heal themselves of this modern plague. The first part of the book is devoted to discussing the clinical literature on psychotherapy and antidepressant medication. Here, the causes of depression, its diagnosis, and its treatment are explained in language easily understood by the lay reader. The second part is devoted to explaining the patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that signal depression. Yapko effectively uses case histories as well as more than 100 exercises to assist the reader in building the skills needed to manage depression. While there are many other titles on depression management, this book is a break from the widely held view that depression is mainly a biochemically based disease treatable with medication. It should serve to complement such books as Colette Dowling's You Mean I Don't Have To Feel This Way? (LJ 1/92) or Sandra Salman's Depression: Questions You Have...Answers You Need (LJ 2/1/95), which focus more on using drugs as a treatment for depression. An excellent book; recommended for all collections.‘Dana L. Brumbelow, Auburn P.L., Ala.

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