Skip to main content Accesibility Help
×
×
Home

Self-Help Books for People with Depression: the Role of the Therapeutic Relationship

  • Rachel Richardson (a1), David A. Richards (a2) and Michael Barkham (a3)
Abstract

Background: In the UK, bibliotherapy schemes have become a widespread source of support for people with common mental health disorders such as depression. However, the current evidence suggests that bibliotherapy schemes that are offered without guidance are not effective. It may be possible to improve the effectiveness of self-help books by incorporating into them some of the “common factors” that operate in personal therapeutic encounters, for example therapist responsiveness. Aim: The aim was to test whether and to what extent authors have incorporated common factors into self-help books. Method: A model of how common factors might be incorporated into CBT-based self-help books was developed and a sample of three books were examined against the model criteria. Results: The sampled self-help books were found to have common factors to a greater or lesser extent, but some types of common factors were more prevalent than others. Factors addressing the development and maintenance of the therapeutic alliance were less often apparent. Conclusions: Self-help books have the potential to provide a valuable service to people with depression, but further work is necessary to develop them. It is suggested that future generations of self-help books should pay explicit attention to the use of common factors, in particular developing and investigating how factors such as flexibility, responsiveness and alliance-rupture repair can be woven into the text.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Reprint requests to David Richards, Mood Disorders Centre, School of Psychology, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK. E-mail: d.a.richards@exeter.ac.uk
References
Hide All
Barker, P. (1997). A Self-Help Guide to Managing Depression. Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes (Publishers) Ltd.
Cahill, J., Barkham, M., Hardy, G., Gilbody, S., Richards, D., Bower, P., Audin, K. and Connell, J. (2008). A review and critical appraisal of measures of therapist-patient interactions in mental health settings. Health Technology Assessment, 12, 24.
Campbell, N., Murray, E., Darbyshire, J., Emery, J., Farmer, A., Griffiths, F., Guthrie, B., Lester, H., Wilson, P. and Kinmonth, A. L. (2007). Designing and evaluating complex interventions to improve health care. British Medical Journal, 334, 455459.
Department of Health (2001). The Expert Patient: a new approach to chronic disease management for the 21st century. London: Department of Health.
Dobson, R. (2003). GPs prescribe self-help books for mental health problems. Britiah Medical Journal, 326, 1285.
Faulkner, A. and Layzell, S. (2000). Strategies for Living: a report of user-led research into people's strategies for living with mental distress. London: The Mental Health Foundation.
Gellatly, J., Bower, P., Hennessy, S., Richards, D., Gilbody, S. and Lovell, K. (2007). What makes self-help interventions effective in the management of depressive symptoms? Meta-analysis and meta-regression. Psychological Medicine, 37, 12171228.
Gilbert, P. (2000). Overcoming Depression (Rev. edn). London: Robinson.
Greenberger, D. and Padesky, C. (1995). Mind over Mood: changing how you feel by changing the way you think. New York: The Guilford Press.
Hicks, D. (2006). Audit of Bibliotherapy/Books on Prescription Activity in England. Arts Council England: Museum, Libraries and Archives Council.
Hill, C. E. and Knox, S. (2002). Self-disclosure. In Norcross, J. C. (Ed.), Psychotherapy Relationships that Work: therapist contributions and responsiveness to patients (pp. 255265). New York: Oxford University Press.
Hirai, M. and Clum, G. (2006). A meta-analytic study of self-help interventions for anxiety problems. Behavior Therapy, 37, 99111.
Johnson, A. (2007). Speech in the House of Commons, by Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Health, 10 October. NHS Interim Review.
Martinez, R., Whitfield, G., Dafters, R. and Williams, C. (2008). Can people read self-help manuals for depression? A challenge for the stepped care model and book prescription schemes. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 36, 8997.
Medical Research Council (2000). A Framework for the Development and Evaluation of RCTs for Complex Interventions to Improve Health. London: Medical Research Council.
Medical Research Council (2008). Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions: new guidance. London: Medical Research Council.
Miles, M. and Huberman, A. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: an expanded sourcebook. London: Sage.
Office for National Statistics (2001). Psychiatric Morbidity Among Adults Living in Private Households, 2000. London: Office of National Statistics.
National Institute for Clinical Excellence (2004a). Depression: management of depression in primary and secondary care. Clinical Guideline 23. London: National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
National Institute for Clinical Excellence (2004b). Anxiety: management of anxiety in adults in primary, secondary and community care. Clinical Guideline 22. London: National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
Richardson, R. and Richards, D. (2006). Self-help: towards the next generation. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 34, 1323.
Richardson, R., Richards, D. and Barkham, M. (2008). Self-help books for people with depression: a scoping review. Journal of Mental Health, 17, 543552.
Roth, A. and Pilling, S. (2007). The Competencies Required to Deliver Effective Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy for People with Depression and with Anxiety Disorders. London: Department of Health.
Stiles, W. B., Glick, M. J., Osatuke, K., Hardy, G. E., Shapiro, D. A., Agnew-Davies, R., Rees, A. and Barkham, M. (2004). Patterns of alliance development and the rupture-repair hypothesis: are productive relationships Ushaped or V-shaped? Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51, 8192.
Stiles, W. B., Honos-Webb, L. and Surko, M. (1998). Responsiveness in psychotherapy. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 5, 439458.
Wilkinson, E. (2007). Access to psychological therapies almost non-existent. The Lancet, 370, 121122.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed