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The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  6,024 ratings  ·  264 reviews
The Mindful Way through Depression draws on the collective wisdom of four internationally renowned cognitive therapy and mindfulness experts, including bestselling author Jon Kabat-Zinn, to help you break the mental habits that can lead to despair. This authoritative, easy-to-use self-help program is based on methods clinically proven to reduce the recurrence of chronic un ...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published June 2nd 2007 by The Guilford Press (first published June 1st 2007)
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4.06  · 
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 ·  6,024 ratings  ·  264 reviews

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Dec 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jillian by: my therapist
Shelves: nonfiction
With a heavy heart I returned this book to the library today (and requested it again!). I might need to buy it, it has so many aspects that can be returned to again and again.

My therapist recommended this book because it presents some mindful ways to deal with pain. It's much more than that though. It's effectively a roadmap for getting out of depression which I think could actually work.

It beings by explaining why we can't "think" ourselves out of depression, and trying to do so just exacerbate
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have spent years working with people who have some pretty terrible pasts to recover from, and I'm always looking for new approaches to help me help them.
There are as many books for 'self-help' as there are people with problems, and many of them are (insert your own rude word here!). I read them and imagine the reaction of my clients, who are in the middle of their own storms, to the platitudes and empty promises within.
I was delighted and surprised then to discover this book. As a strong belie
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A helpful book in understanding how depression works. The book may also provide you with some useful tools in living with depression and lessening its negative effects. The book borrows many of the techniques from the practice of meditation and applies them to the witnessing and recognition of negative thoughts generated by depression. The theory is that sadness or gloominess or the various physical sensations associated with depression are not in themselves what causes depression. Depression is ...more
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
*Being more, doing less*

Contrary to popular belief, all the analysis and problem-solving in the world can not break us free from unhappiness. The core of this book teaches how "another mode of mind altogether is required when it comes to dealing with unhappiness....being mode is the antidote to the problems that the doing mode of mind creates."

Although it may at first seem counter-intuitive, the most effective way to deal with unpleasant thoughts, emotions, and feelings is to work with---and no
I am finding this book very helpful. I picked it up after listening to a series of podcasts called The New Psychology of depression produced by Mark Williams available from Oxford University or from iTunes for free.

Apparently there is a positive correlation between the patient's interest in a treatment and it's likelihood of success so you're best off having a listen to the podcast in which Mark Williams explains the various treatments developed to cope with depression, their relative strengths
Jennifer Hughes
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life. That's all there is to it. I can't tell you how helpful it was and still is. An invaluable resource. Highly recommended.
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4/5; 4 stars; A-

I liked this book very much and found the descriptions and explanations very easy to read. There is a very good argument here for using meditation techniques to help your body and brain on a chemical/physical level. The only reason I didn't give this book five stars was I thought they could have put more information in there about the biochemical changes in your brain due to the cascade of cortisol and other hormones as part of the stress response and how these things impact depr
Brilliant! Exactly what I was looking for!

The most useful, thought-provoking and practical book I've ever read regarding meditation and mindfulness!

The audiobook is divided into 4 CDs. Depression and anxiety are only discussed in the first part of CD 1 (it touches on the causes, affects and the instinctive mistakes people make trying to "cure" it). The rest is pure gold for anyone interested. The last CD provides us with different guided meditation practices, including standing yoga, sounds, br
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The basic premise is that we (the depressed) try to use critical thinking to solve our sadness, but we end up just brooding. Rumination doesn't work--we can't problem-solve our way out of sadness. The other way to respond is to cultivate mindfulness.

"Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally, to things as they are [...] It means that we suspend judgment for a time, set aside our immediate goals for the future, and take in
Piotr Kalinowski
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, psychology
I found this book truly revealing and, in a way, life changing. Even though I was already familiar with concept of mindfulness meditation, I clearly needed to read this book to connect all the dots.

As authors explain at the beginning, the first part of the book contains description of thought processes and patterns that result in people being trapped in negative self-talk and low mood. I read it in sheer amazement over how accurate it is. Seeing it written in plain English allowed me to be much
Sarah Delacueva
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is a bit dry and hard to get into at times, but it was certainly helpful for me. The authors explain the what happens in the mind and how our best-intentioned attempts to reason or cheerlead our way out of a bad mood can actually contribute to our spiraling farther into it. The book includes a CD and several mindfulness exercises, which are designed to be used in different combinations to develop a long-term and personalized mindfulness practice. The book contains a number of vignettes ...more
Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: meditators, those suffering with anxiety, depression or chronic illness
Recommended to Heather by: Amazon
Shelves: nonfiction
I decided to read this after reading " Wherever you go, There you are" by John Kabat-Zinn who is one of the coauthors of this book. I wanted a more in depth discussion of using mindfulness techniques with depression, anxiety, rumination and chronic pain. I found what I was looking for. I discovered several useful techniques to enhance my mindfulness practice and to especially help with those specific areas. I don't think mindfulness practice is a cure-all but I think that it is a very useful too ...more
Aug 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
Forget evidence-based medicine. Let's meditate against depression. I confess I am utterly biased against all types of meditation techniques and only read this book since it was work-related. I say "read" but I skimmed through two thirds and abandoned it because it was simply too painful to read such repetitive drivel and then listen to it on the accompanying CD as well.

I admit I am not a member of any of the target audiences for this book - I'm not depressed, nor anxious, nor do I read self-hel
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
First let me state that I believe the most effective treatment for my loved one is medication coupled with group and individual therapy, with that disclaimer out of the way I chose this book to read because I also believe in mindfulness. No doubt there are those who will use the techniques outlined in the book sans medication and therapy, however for my loved one that is not an option, but The Mindful Way Through Depression offers my loved one yet another tool toward healing and not suffering fr ...more
Nov 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Mindful Way Through Depression is a well explained self help book for guiding yourself through depression using mindfulness practices and meditation. The exercises given in the book are easy to follow, although the practices themselves may be somewhat difficult. There are a lot of examples of people in given situations and their experience with mindfulness.

I gave this book four stars mainly because the examples given tended to become very repetitive. I think that because I may have a more ac
Elaine D
May 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Maybe a friend or family member of someone with depression/anxiety
Recommended to Elaine by: my therapist Dr. Hawkins
This book was recommended to me by my therapist that I see regularly. I don't have straight up depression, but I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that sometimes is accompanied by bouts of depressive behavior. I didn't find this book helpful because honestly it was just too painful to read.

I felt like the scenarios in the book were just taking my worst nightmares, writing them down, and making me read them. I could relate to SO much from the book, but it just made me sick to see it in print. T
A couple of years ago, I read Dr Mark Williams’ “Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World” as I have interest in yogic and Buddhist thought and practises and wanted some tips to better cope with a busy work life. I found that Dr Williams took a very compassionate yet scientific and practical approach. It was similar to Jon Kabat -Zinn’s “The Full Catastrophe” which married ancient yogic and Buddhist practises with modern science and approach to meet the challenges peopl ...more
Christopher Rae
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit repetitive in places, but a good guide for managing depression not when you're feeling at your lowest and are most unreceptive or unfocused, but a framework to process when you're doing okay to prepare yourself to better handle the inevitable lows. The guided meditation on the audiobook version (which I believe you can also download MP3s from their website if you bought the Kindle or print version) are great to keep around on your phone or iPad and listen to whenever needed.
Even though the title of the book suggests that the intended audience for this book is for those with depression, it would be a great shame if people focused too much on that part of the title rather than the sub-title: "Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness". In fact I think the book could just be called "How to be Happy" but I guess there are already so many books with that title, and I suppose it's those who suffer from real depression who would benefit the most from this book.

It is one o
Kelly Martin
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is changing my life. It is clearly written, a very graceful easy read. Soothing to anyone with depression or anxiety. The authors know exactly what someone with depression or anxiety needs to hear and the layout and tools are not pointless like some self help books, these tools and guidance actually really work amazingly well.

Instead of many self help books encouraging positive thinking this encourages presence, allowing the feelings and this has made me so much more compassionate tow
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his research into the effects of mindfulness on stress reduction. This book provides an excellent look at how mindfulness can help address the negative thought patterns that tend to spiral out of control and lead to long-term states of unhappiness. Also, the audio tracks of guided meditation on the accompanying CD are very good. I tend to be very wary of guided audio anything because I'm fairly sensitive to the sound of the narrating voice--it will be difficul ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
It is an excellent book, well-written; however, it offers no guarantee that depression would be ended by the practice of mindfulness. On the other hand, living mindfully is far better than living ruminatively. It always amazes me how much Buddhism is contributing to the advancement of modern medicine and psychology.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is such an important and relevant to EVERYBODY...I can't give it less than five stars. This recommendation extends even to people who are not ready to embark on mindfulness practice just yet. Just reading this book with an open mind is bound to change your perspective of how you are living.
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
this book is a rehashing of kabat-zinn's other books except he uses the word depression more. also, there is little to no evidence that mindfulness does anything for depression.
May 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I think it took years of reading similar material, but this and one other really transformed my life. Highly recommended.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology, trauma
This book is such a gift. Recently I found myself in such a dark place that getting out of bed was a huge struggle; I had absolutely no motivation even for the activities that I truly love and cherish, like yoga and meditation; and I started experiencing chronic pain in my back, neck, and shoulders. I knew the way forward, and I drug myself to the computer one day and found this book. Within the first 1/2 hour of reading it, I started to feel the dense fog lifting. It is quite amazing to me that ...more
I've never had a book that has taken me nearly 2 years to complete. Until now. I began this book in 2015 at the urging of my family doctor, after a major setback with my depression.

I had never heard much about mindfulness meditation until I read this book. The ideas are interesting. I don't know if I'm at a stage where I have time to try the 8 week program that is outlined at the end of the book. However, the small ideas about focusing on the 'now' did resonate with me and my situation.

I don't
Andrej Kamenský
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Great book to refresh mind about why I had started with mindfulness and to realize what is really IS about.

Two biggest threats are there lurking for me to grab me back to depression - rumination and aversion to unpleasant experience. And open, kind, compassionate, accepting awareness to any and all experience which can be practised is the way to prevent relaps.

Being heals. Doing mode of the mind is useful, but not in helping to solve thoughts, emotions and bodily experience.

Have you had a depr
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, practical, clearly written and very useful. The writing is clear and helpful, if a bit repetitive, but the repetitiveness serves a purpose. That said, it is a book where you have to DO the exercises and the practices to get the full benefit of it - as is true of any book teaching meditation. Meditation is an experience, repeatedly and over time. Reading about it is not the same thing.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
This is really about mindfulness, which will help if you are also (like me) someone who struggles with periods of depression. I got the Audible version, which is great because I can listen to the exercises while I am doing them.
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How has this book assisted you? 3 57 Sep 25, 2008 04:11PM  

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J. Mark G. Williams, D Phil, is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Wellcome Principal Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Experimental Psychology. He has held previous posts at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, the Medical Research Council Applied Psychology Unit (now Cognition and Brain Sciences U ...more
“Start living right here, in each present moment. When we stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, we're open to rich sources of information we've been missing out on—information that can keep us out of the downward spiral and poised for a richer life.” 15 likes
“Get out of our heads and learn to experience the world directly, experientially, without the relentless commentary of our thoughts. We might just open ourselves up to the limitless possibilities for happiness that life has to offer us .” 13 likes
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