Peaceful Mind: Using Mindfulness and Cognitive Psychology to Overcome Depression
John McQuiad and Paula Carmona
From the introduction:
“The motivation to write this book certainly comes from the desire to help the many people we have seen suffering from depression. But this is not a book getting rid of your depression. Our more earnest hope is to give you tools to help transform your life. Transformation doesn’t happen by merely getting rid of a problem. Transformation occurs when you have the capacity to greet problems in your life with an open awareness and a keen interest. Learning how to be open with life and face painful problems is at the heart of our interest in exploring
how mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy can be tools of transformation. A life shaken by depression is also a life open to the possibility of deep transformation. We hope that this book provides a useful foundation and skillful means to help you move beyond a life where depression is your shadow.”
The chapter headings are:
1) From depression to hope
2) The combo plate
3) CBT and mindfulness meditation: first steps
4) Core belief framework
5) Understanding and changing depressed thinking
6) Activities and mood
7) People and your mood
8) People skills
9) Depression and exercise
10)Acceptance is not defeat
11)Stages of change
The stages of change from chapter 11 are:
Precontemplation—is what generally is called “denial”. In this stage we have trouble acknowledging a problem. The denial is actually used as a defense to not face reality.
Contemplation—occurs as we move into an emotional area of becoming willing to own a problem or situation.
Preparation—is the emotional space where we balance staying where we are or moving in a new direction.
Action—is the stage that we begin implementing changes in our lives. The changes adopted here should be small and slow so that we may learn how to recognize what helps bring on the problem.
Maintenance—is achieved according to one (James Prochaska) of the authors (James Prochaska, John Norcross, and Carlo DiClemente) of how we change as “a sustained long-term effort and a revised lifestyle”.
Termination—does not mean that depression leaves forever. Instead it means that each sufferer has learned his/her own relapse prevention and used the maintenance tools introduced here to continue life without deep depression. With practice, the sufferer becomes less and less willing to stay in denial.