Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lesson #1

Welcome to the Anxiety and Depression group. In this group we will be going thru 'The Feeling Good Handbook' by Dr David D Burns. If you don't have the book yet there's a link on the sidebar to the right.

I would like to preface the start of this group with some information. I am not a doctor or therapist, I am someone who has been thru a lot and am passionate about helping others thru support and education. I believe in cognitive behavioral therapy, which is what the book is about. It's all about teaching ourselves to think differently to reduce our anxiety and learn to deal with our depression symptoms. I will be sharing my experiences with you. There are also a few resources on the sidebar for more information. If you feel like those don't help please let me know and I will try to point you in the right direction.

Today we will begin our journey together. Every 2 weeks I will post another lesson. Feel free to go thru the book at your own pace. You can post your feelings and thoughts here or email me directly with anything you want to chat about. If you want the whole group to get the email just let me know and I will forward it anonymously. I see this group as a support group where we can all support each other. If you don't want to comment that's OK too...this is your group and you do what feels right to you.

I would like you to start by reading the preface and introduction. Then take the Burns Anxiety Inventory and the Burns Depression Checklist on pages 43 - 48. I suggest writing the answers in a note book instead of the book. It's best not to know what your last answer was. Then add the numbers up to see your score. The score won't mean anything until there are several to compare them too.

Then you can begin the book. Part one 'Understanding Your Moods' is where we will be starting. In this chapter you will read about different emotions that cause depression and anxiety. I am sure you will see yourself in some of these emotions either currently or in the past. I find it helpful to jot notes and things I am feeling in the margin of the book. It's like a snapshot of what the specific passage means to me. Following that the Ten Forms of Twisted Thinking are shown. This book is based on these ways that we think and we will learn how to change them using different techniques. I suggest you read thru page 31. There will be quite a bit of questions to answer. Just be honest with your answers. The book doesn't give an answer key because its your therapy and its your way of thinking, in other words there's no right or wrong answers. If you don't want to do that much its fine, go at your own pace. You can do a few pages at a time, whatever works for you.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book. I hope it helps you as much as me.

Sha :)

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