07 Apr Recommended Resources
After speaking engagements, I am often asked for resources for people to use in furthering their knowledge of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Within the field of CBT, there are a wide variety of approaches; the approach I generally take comes from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, known as a “third wave” in the development of CBT over the past decades.
For help with anxiety disorders, one of the best books is The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety, by Eifert and Forsythe. The style is straight-forward, and, best of all, the book comes with a CD that contains many excellent exercises in mindfulness and cognitive defusion. I think that it is best to start practicing the CD right away, perhaps doing one exercise a day, even though the exercises benefit greatly from the explanations in the book.
One of the best writers concerning Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is Russ Harris MD. His book The Happiness Trap is a classic, and concerns mood disorders in general. The Confidence Gap is another work of his that deals directly with anxiety.
One of the most powerful approaches in motivating people to grow in the face of challenge comes from Carol Dweck, particularly in her book Mindset: How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential. Dweck has been a pioneer in the research of growth and resilience. Her approach dovetails well with the work of Martin Seligman, whose books Learned Optimism and The Optimistic Child contain many pearls of wisdom, albeit with an older approach to cognitive therapy.
In treating depression, a great starting point is The Mindful Way Through Depression, which also has a CD with exercises.
John Ratey MD’s book, Spark, provides an excellent overview of the benefits of physical exercise for anxiety, attention, memory, depression, and other aspects of mental health.
Tamar Chansky has several excellent books on how parents can help their children with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and negative thinking.
There are two websites that I frequently recommend for people getting started in taking a mindful approach to anxiety. One is mindfulwaythroughanxietybook.com; there is a tab labeled “Exercises” that contains the practice recordings. I would only caution that it is best to not use the relaxation tracks as a strategy to suppress anxiety. The other website has a body scan track that is quite good, found at: acceptandchange.com/audio/