Dear Beth

Cognitive therapy for Depression 

Happiness is: gorgeous wild flowers adorn Ontario meadow

Hi Beth,

Today, I met your husband (Mike) at the University. I used to use his computers when I was an undergraduate student. I always find talking to Mike very pleasurable. Mike gave me your homepage address and suggested me to visit it. I like your homepage and would like to talk about a book which I read last year. I also suggested this book to one of my friends who appeared to have some depression problems.

The book's title is "Feeling Good' by Dr. D. Burns. Dr. Burns has used cognitive therapy for decreasing the intensity of depression in his patients. He believes that mood is controlled by our thoughts. Well, this is not a new finding. He does not mean that chemical disorders in the brain do not cause mood disorders. However, he has developed some methods to decreasing depression and anxiety. His method consists of recognition of the "mental error" which causes the mental disturbance and counteracting that error by a logical response. This is done on a piece of paper. I have tried these methods and in my experience it works well. Please note that I am a healthy person and have no psychological problems. I used this method just at times of hardship. My understanding is that any healthy person like myself occasionally suffers from some depression or anxiety.

Again, I appreciate your website because it is informative.

Beth replies: Thanks! I have found cognitive therapy an indispensible tool when treating both depression and anxiety. The lucky ones, like yourself, can do it using a book. Others need psychotherapy in order to be able to use the method, or to do other types of psychotherapy if cognitive therapy is insufficient.