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It’s Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self
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It’s Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  512 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Fascinating patient stories and dynamic exercises that help you connect to healing emotions, ease anxiety and depression, and discover your authentic self.

In It's Not Always Depression, psychotherapist Hilary Jacobs Hendel presents readers with a unique and pragmatic tool she calls The Change Triangle. The Change Triangle is a map--a guide to carry you from a place of
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Spiegel & Grau
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Start your review of It’s Not Always Depression: Working the Change Triangle to Listen to the Body, Discover Core Emotions, and Connect to Your Authentic Self
Morgan Blackledge
Great book. Its Not Always Depression is based on Diana Foshas, Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP).

AEDP assumes:

1. the transformation drive (i.e. the desire to heal and grow) is basic and innate to Human nature.
2. healing change occurs as the patient forms new expectations for relationships based on the secure relationship with the therapist.
3. healing is accelerated as the patient to learns to identify and completely experience core emotions that were previously too
Larry Drell,
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a psychiatrist and therapist for over 40 years I have always encouraged my patients to pay attention to how they are feeling and thinking. To deny or avoid one's true feelings and emotions leads to a multitude of problems and symptoms from states of depression to anxiety and everything in between.

This practical and clearly written self-help book written by a gifted therapist helps the reader learn the incredible importance of understanding and accepting your core emotions and the variety of
Kelly Sparks
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: humans
Shelves: favorites, health
This book is incredible.
I had two immediate thoughts when picking it up at the library.

1. I won't understand it / this information will go over my head
2. It's an older / outdated book (purely judging a book by the cover)

Both of those, it turns out, were false assumptions.

My fear with any psychology / psychoanalytical book is that it will be written only for those who have a background in the field or have studied extensively. Thankfully, Hilary writes in a way that people without PHDs can
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: counselling
The change triangle is useful and fascinating to start with but it ultimately felt a bit gimmicky. I'm not sure I learned how to get the best out of the model.

Also, I thought the title of the book was a bit misleading and the book didn't follow up on its promise to examine issues and emotions that get mistaken for depression but are something else.
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know much about this concept having just picked up this book on the basis of the title alone. Prior to reading the book I had not read Hilary's article in the NYT or anything by Diane Fosha but I was aware of the existence of AEDP, just not the details.

Usually I get bogged down by nonfiction books but I honestly could not put this book down and found myself highlighting or bookmarking about 85% of it. I found the writing to flow naturally and easily and the book made for an easy read.
Absolutely transformative. As a clinical social work student at the beginning of my career, I can already see that this will be on my therapist bookshelf for many years to come.
Linda Richardson
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I found this book fascinating! I different view on refocusing your feelings & emotions.
This book was amazing! Ill be reading it again very soon as theres so much value for me within those pages. I highly recommend this for anyone whos ever struggled with depression, feeling their emotions, rage, shame, anxiety...really anybody whos breathing. ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Its interesting that there appears to be a lot of literature recently which is focused on the use of psychotherapy of a similar psychoanalytical kind to that which Hendel discusses. It has long been suggested that our attachment styles in childhood explain our adult relationships and Hendel explains that trauma is the root cause of our psychological distress. Hendel does well to explain that this trauma may be something as simple as our caregiver responding to us in a negative way when were ...more
Fleeting Bird
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is such a blessing. I'm happy I bought it. I've been wondering for years the reason behind my extreme anxiety and depressive state. Antidepressants were not helpful at all. It is because the real reason behind it was my fear and shame that developed in me growing up with neglectful parents and constant chaos at home. Emotions were never explained or tolerated. I couldn't develop a sense of self or understanding of what I'm feeling. I've been living in imaginary states, just guessing ...more
I think the title to be misleading, but the subtitle to be very accurate. I think its more that she argues depression can be the result of avoiding fully emotionally and physically inhabiting, in her parlance, core emotions like fear, sadness and anger rather than arguing depressed people aren't actually depressed or something. This book has a really clear vision of what many people seek therapy for and how to most effectively respond to those needs and what the desired outcome is. I found the ...more
I can't decide between 3,5 and 4 stars. A good self-help book with actual, practical advice and, you know, stuff you can try. I think some people might find this approach very helpful. For me, well, I found some of it helpful, and I can use those parts, which is what - in my opinion - self-help books are good for. Take what you like and leave the rest, but at least consider it. Looking at your stuff from a different perspective is usually in itself quite useful.
Soha Wagdy
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very intriguing! Opens up new doors to how to understand and process emotions, also, how to deal with trauma and the defences we use to protect ourselves. Using the tools and thinking patterns presented definitely helped a lot. Thank you Hilary!
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a person who enjoys reading self-help books. I didnt even realise Its Not Always Depression was one until I started reading it. Luckily for me, though there are exercises and experiments aimed at improvement, there is quite a lot of neuroscience and psychology content available within these pages too. After a slightly edgy foreword by Diana Fosha, creator of an innovative approach to psychiatry called Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP for short), Hilary Jacobs Hendel ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title is off-putting. Wouldnt have read it but for the recommendation of a trusted friend. Excellent content. Basically, how to be a human with emotions 101. Seems like everyone could benefit from reading this book. I listened to the audiobook (which was great) but am ordering a hard copy as well because theres so much I want to go back and reference. ...more
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, audiobooks
Never mind helping you out of a reading slump - this book can pull you out of a LIFE slump! 'It's Not Always Depression...', by Hilary Jacob Hendel, gives some great insight into our Core Emotions and how we so often mask or deny them because we are taught to think instead of feel. Compassion for oneself is so horribly misunderstood and undervalued because we think we're being "cocky" or "self-absorbed". Yet, just stop and think for a second: how can we truly effectuate meaningful change in our ...more
Heather Connolly
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting examples in here, applying the theory to real life therapy sessions.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you want to live a life with more joy, gratitude and pride in yourself? Read this book.

This book does what it advertises: uses emotions to help people change. The Change Triangle is easy to understand and is like a map for dealing with emotions: you learn to recognize what the feeling is that is causing difficulty, why you have the emotion and the history associated with it, what defense you then turn to to avoid the difficult emotion, and then what to do in order to get back to a place of
This didn't really resonate with me. I may revisit the Change Triangle the next time I'm having a hard time, but honestly I don't think laying the points out in a triangle was effective for me (so you go around the triangle? or is it an arrow?). The examples were meaningful and I can see how someone struggling could find benefit from this more visualization-based approach. The organization of the book was non-intuitive, though, and without prior background examining one's emotions I think a ...more
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-goodread_wins
Remember the Seventies flood of enlightening self-helps that hit the market? I guess this one got trapped in a time warp. Oh, well, I guess the younger generation needs to learn this, too. *** DISCLAIMER: I won an Uncorrected Proof in a GOODREADS giveaway sponsored by Random House Publishing Group.
Samuel Muldoon
May 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a long review, so I encourage you to not to read all of it. I have divided the review into sections. Each section beginning is a good stopping point. If the first section tells you enough that you can decide to read the book or not, then don't bother reading sections 2, 3, etc...


The title, "It's not always depression," is misleading. It makes it should like the book describes ailments which produce the same symptoms as depression, but which are distinctly ***not***
Jamie Moesser
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tend to rank self-help books on these metrics:
--credibility (i.e., the background of the writer(s), which may or may not include their education level in the subject matter of the book, and also includes their personal experience with the topic, the amount of research theyve done on it, and the types of source material they draw from for that research)
--personal examples from the authors own life or from those with whom he or she has interacted go a long way in convincing me that what they
Andy Anaya
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book comprises a curriculum that should be taught in every school on the planet. I have mixed feelings about the title in that I could imagine it scaring away some readers either suggesting a message of downplaying a diagnosis or the title sounding overall hokey/boring. If you are someone who is really dedicated to noticing and working with the subtle play of our emotional and mental anatomy to come to a place of empowerment and anti-fragility in the face of habitual anxiety and paralysis, ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book says that it can contribute to rapid, dramatic change, then the first major section uses a case study of a person with trauma who learned different responses over *5 years of therapy. As a result, I didnt feel like the book did a good enough job differentiating confused and broken emotional patterns based on deep trauma and those based on the lesser traumas of cultural and parental norms and patterns.
In addition, the whiteness of this book is stunning. The fact that racism is
This is a book worth re-reading every year! I loved this easy-to-understand explanation of the triangle of emotions and change. Ever since I started it, it's helped me process emotions, better understand how I feel, and see exactly where and how I can get to a calm, openhearted state. I'm writing some of my favorite parts here, but I'd still definitely re-read it to see the up close and personal applications of the triangle with different people. Thanks so much, Dr. Hendel!

These are some of
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When we judge others for what and how much they feel, it says more about our capacity to handle the emotions of others.

I had an exceptionally bad year in 2018. In May, I experienced a distinct shift in emotional state and fell deeper and deeper into what looked awfully like a depression. I don't know if it was depression or not but I do know it made living my life considerably harder. It took thirteen months for the curtain to lift and for me to feel some light again.

So when I saw this book at
Nate Bate
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, somatic
My foray into books of this type is limited, and my perspective on these issues finds its foundation on the Bible. Many folks with my background may not spend time reading books in this category; however, I found it to be valuable and very practically helpful. In my pastoral training, no time was given to describing & and identifying the issues this book does.

The Bible is clear in describing the brokenness of sin, and that is what this book does (from a secular viewpoint). It gives us a
Oct 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

A part of me feels that this book was wasted on my stubborn self. I understand how valuable its advice and tools are but I don't feel ready to face the challenge it proposes: to fully experience, without judgement, one's emotions. The difference between core and inhibitory emotions is explained, which made me realize I mainly let myself feel that second category. That's not exactly a surprise, in fact that's the reason why I was recommended this book. And I agree, I'd recommend it to
Valerie Pate
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think that this book is a very useful, therapeutic tool that anyone could benefit from. The way we process our emotions has an incredible bearing upon the way we function. Burying or hiding from our core emotions can manifest anxiety, shame and guilt; which we in turn avoid through defensive behaviors. Hendel offers guidance on how to work through these defensive behaviors in order to get back to the core emotions that we need to acknowledge. Using the diagram of "The Change Triangle", the ...more
Kelly Casteel
1.5 stars. I liked the underlying principles but have a strongly negative reaction to how AEDP implements them. (Maybe that would be my reaction to most experiential types of therapy though?) The book diminishes the importance of psychoanalysis in favor of the idea that if you let yourself simply experience the deep feelings and old memories, afterwards everything will magically click into place and youll be healed. For me personally, I like (and need) a more equal balance of feeling the ...more
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Psychotherapist, author and blogger. Spreading the word on how emotions work as a catalyst for healing and positive change.

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“When we judge others for what and how much they feel, it says more about our capacity to handle the emotions of others.” 1 likes
“Ways to Work with Anxiety on Your Own 1. Get out of your head by turning all your attention to the soles of your feet. Feel the ground underneath them. 2. Practice your deep belly breathing. 3. Take a walk outside and observe the scenery. Name three colors, name three sounds, name three textures. 4. Remind yourself that you are anxious and therefore it is not a good time to draw conclusions about the future until you are calm. 5. Remind yourself that you are anxious and the feeling is temporary. 6. Focus on the anxious body sensations with compassion and curiosity—and without judgment—until they subside. Remember to breathe deeply as you focus. 7. Imagine a peaceful place or a time when you felt confident. 8. Imagine something soothing like beautiful music, or hot sun on your skin, or being hugged. 9. Do some exercise like jogging or yoga, or go to the gym.” 0 likes
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