The Mindful Way through Depression by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, is the bestselling book on depression helping you to break the cycle of chronic unhappiness, let go of mental habits and self-destructive thoughts leading to despair, free yourself from guilt, and ‘snap out’ of depression. These four experts described mindfulness as a powerful tool in overcoming depression by organizing their knowledge and discoveries in perceptive lessons drawn from both Eastern meditative traditions and cognitive therapy.
Reviewers of this book on depression concluded that the book is:
- accessible and useful for using mindfulness training to prevent and treat depression,
- a revolutionary treatment approach for or depression sufferers,
- a priceless resource in fighting the downward spiral of negative thinking and self-doubt,
- a practical volume accompanied by a CD with a series of guided meditations that can help the depression sufferer enter the present moment and stand away from the flow of their thinking and feeling.
About the Authors
The contribution of J. Mark G. Williams has been recognized as one of the most important works made in the field of depression and self-destruction (especially suicide). His research was aimed at making the life characterized by depression more bearable and helping understand the processes that increase risk of suicidal behavior in depression sufferers. Mark Williams is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. Together with his colleagues Teasdale and Segal, Williams developed Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for prevention of relapse and recurrence in depression. Their research showed that this type of therapy decreases the recurrence rate in those who have suffered three or more previous episodes of major depression.
For more than thirty years, John D. Teasdale held senior research positions in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The importance of Teasdales research lies in getting a clearer understanding of the inter-relationships between cognition and emotion, and the ways to apply that understanding to the analysis and psychological treatment of major depressive disorder.
For over 20 years, Zindel Segal has studied and published on psychological treatments for depression combining mindfulness with conventional cognitive behavioral therapy. His work was aimed at teaching patients to observe sadness or unhappiness without judgment. When he first started working on the Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) project, Segal was studying how depression alters a person’s self-image. Segal is a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Toronto. He holds the Morgan Firestone Chair in Psychotherapy and directs the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Unit at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is a scientist and meditation teacher. He is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His practice of yoga and studies with Buddhist teachers led him to integrate their teachings with those of Western science. Kabat-Zinn teaches the technique of mindfulness meditation to help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain and illness.
About the Book
The Mindful Way through Depression was intended for clinicians who might teach MBCT, but because its clear and accessible, a version for depression sufferers was called for, and it became a great success. It is No. 1 in Top 10 depression books at Amazon.com and one of the bestselling books on depression out there.
The book is divided into four sections:
- Part I: explains what depression is, what are the causes and symptoms of depression
- Part II: describes mindfulness practices, including breathing techniques
- Part III: focuses on emotions, thoughts and employing mindfulness techniques on a daily basis
- Part IV: brings all the different elements of mindfulness together and describes the course.
What is Mindfulness?
The book defines mindfulness as a ‘particular type of awareness which incorporates attention to purpose, and to the present moment, and the adoption of a non-judgemental attitude to things as they are’ (bookreview by Dr. Paramabandhu Groves). This definition started a debate about the use of the term; Buddhists may think that certain aspects of their teachings are taken out of context, and the view of mindfulness following the contemporary Vipassana tradition is in contrast with the Indo-Tibetan views.
Book Reviews by Amazon Buyers
This book on depression is a 4.5 starred Amazon product according to the average customer review. Currently, there are 104 customer reviews in the USA and 73 in the UK (see Diagrams 1a and 1b).
Diagram 1 a or Diagram 1 b
The Mindful Way through Depression Review Quotes:
- 5 and 4-star reviews include statements such as:
‘I do not say this book totally cured me of depression (I don’t think anything ever will.) However, the information in the book has been a big help to me, and I can cope with depression much better than I did before I read the book.’ (Gary G. Miles, USA)
‘This book is very different from most books on depression that I have read and there have been many.’ (Laura Hughes, USA)
‘Mindfulness techniques have been around for over 2000 years and whilst they can appear deceptively simple, the mind finds many ways to avoid doing them! The enclosed CD has 77 minutes of different practices. For anyone wanting to learn more about thoughts being just thoughts and how to develop new ways of responding to them and thus lifting the veil of depression, this book is a great place to start.’ (S.P. Harper, UK)
‘This book has been the miracle of my life. I found it so helpful I purchased one for a friend who is depressed. If only I had this book 13years ago when this all began!’ (T. McDermott, USA)
‘I did find it full of useful information and not necessarily only for the depressed.’ (Bill K., USA)
”My favorite is the 3 minute breathing exercise which neatly sums up much of the mindfulness practice. This included on the CD that comes with the book, so can be added to an i-pod and listened to for those emergency mindfulness boaster sessions if need be! (Thomasarran, UK)
- 3-star reviews include:
‘The reader has to be very dedicated to doing the meditation excersises, while I was more interested in the self-talk and cognitive approaches mentioned.’ (Cheryl D., USA)
‘The book and CD are great but I have now had 5 CD’s out of 20 that jump and do not play properly. It is hard to meditate when the CD is faulty. May I suggest that Amazon starts to check the quality of the CD’s before send them out.’ (Gill, UK)
- 2-star reviews include:
‘I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist, however from personal experience (including a lot of meditation and mindfulness) this approach is not always effective against depression. But wait a minute, I caught myself committing the author’s sin; generalization!’ (M. Y. Sharnoubi, USA)
‘I found myself unable to do much more than skim the first few chapters. I am sure that the advice is all very sound and helpful but you have to wonder how many people with depression are going to struggle through this when their life is already a considerable uphill struggle.’ (Ed, UK)
- 1-star reviews include:
‘I was suffering depression and my psychiatrist recommended mindfulness techniques to me, but I hadn’t at that time disclosed that I had been a victim of child sexual abuse. Sitting down with the CD, I was lulled into a meditative state, and the process of mindfulness process echoed my experience of the first instance of assault.’ (R. Anderson)
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More articles on depression:
How to Overcome Depression?
Signs of Depression in Women?
Can You Inherit Depression?
Treating Depression with Herbal Remedies
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To read a few quotes by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn, read these
Quotes on Depression.
Getting Your No. 1 Depression Book
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (includes Guided Meditation Practices CD) is available to you both at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. If you live in the USA and would like to have a copy of this book, or look inside the book, check out this bookat Amazon from this page.