The Upward Spiral Workbook: A Practical Neuroscience Program for Reversing the Course of Depression by Alex Korb, PhD $17.36
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The Upward Spiral Workbook is a CBT workbook with a neuroscience base. It is designed to go along with The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time but it can be used alone.
About the author:
Dr. Alex Korb is a neuroscientist and a writer. As a researcher, he has focused on the neurological side of depression and mental illness. He writes for a column for Psychology Today called Prefrontal Nudity: The Brain Exposed. You can learn more about him here.
What we love:
I’m not always a fan of workbooks but I loved this one so much that I had to get the full book on Audible. In addition to worksheets for many established CBT exercises, this Korb includes explanations from neuroscience for how and why they will help. It seems empowering for clients to learn how to change their own brain chemistry and their lives.
The Upward Spiral Workbook is based on the idea that the things we do put us into spirals either deeper down into depression and anxiety or upwards towards health. It is organized around several of these spirals and teaches readers how to shift momentum with practical activities.
What we didn’t:
There are a few important editing errors in the workbook. The patient health questionaire (PHQ-9) and generalized anxiety disorder questionaire (GAD-7) are both scored wrong. (They are rated 1 – 4 instead of 0 – 3.) This wasn’t a deal breaker for me but I would just give readers a heads up about that or they may be confused when their results show a level more severe than they should.
The Upward Spiral Workbook is perfect for clients who need to understand the why behind what you are asking them to do and for those who are trying to avoid using psychotropic medications. Clients who just want to be told what to do won’t like it as much.
As a side note, I think every therapist should read or listen to the book this workbook is based on. It is a great introduction to the neurology behind what we do. I know that I felt more confident in some of the exercises I recommended for my clients because I was able to understand why they work.
If you know of another book we need to review, tell us about it here.