CBT Self-Help Books

People often ask me for recommendations for good, evidenced-based books based on cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness. There are quite a number of good ones out there, unfortunately they are vastly outnumbered by self-help books that are poorly-written, vague or unhelpful, and sometimes even harmful. The following is a list of self-help books based in contemporary psychological research, and that my clients have found helpful through the years.

Feeling Good by David Burns An easy-to-read best-selling self-help guide using CBT principles. Well-researched interventions such as cognitive restructuring and behavioral activation are explained and discussed.

Mind Over Mood by Greenberger and Padesky A self-help guide using primarily cognitive therapy techniques, it contains helpful interventions to assess the thought patterns that may be getting in the way of achieving your goals, and provides clinically-proven ways of addressing these patterns.

Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life by Stephen Hayes A mindfulness-based self-help book using principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. This is a good book for learning how to work toward big life goals while overcoming the emotional obstacles that generally get in the way.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by McKay, Wood, & Brantley A workbook providing instruction and exercises for people who have difficulty regulating intense emotions. This workbook contains exercise designed to teach mindfulness skills, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn A self-help guide to mindfulness for a variety of problems.

The Mindful Way through Depression by Williams, Teasdale, Segal, and Kabat-Zinn A self-help guide for using mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to cope with depression, and stop a relapse before it starts.

These books can provide helpful guidance on dealing with difficult emotional problems. They are however, no substitute for working with a licensed psychologist. If you have a significant psychological problem or are in significant distress, it is important to seek treatment with a mental health professional.