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Exploring Depression, and Beating the Blues


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Why we created the Exploring Depression Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) programme. 1. Why Does Someone with Asperger's Syndrome Become Depressed? 2. The Nature of Depression. 3. How Does Depression Look and Feel for a Person with Asperger's Syndrome? 4. What Type of Therapy Works for a Person with Asperger's Syndrome? 5. The Perception, Learning and Thinking Style Associated with Asperger's Syndrome. 6. Overview of the 10-Stage CBT Programme Exploring Depression. 7. Assessment Before Starting the Programme. 8. Stage 1: Qualities and Abilities. 9. Stage 2: What is Depression? 10. Stage 3: Tools to Combat Depression. 11. Stage 4: Art and Pleasure Tools. 12. Stage 5: Thinking Tools (part 1). 13. Stage 6: Thinking Tools (part 2) and Social Tools. 14. Stage 7: Thinking Tools (part 3) and Relaxation Tools. 15. Stage 8: Relaxation and Helpful and Unhelpful Tools. 16. Stage 9: A Safety Plan. 17. Stage 10: The Future. Recommended reading. Appendix 1. Bringing the Body into Awareness. Appendix 2. Positive Personality Adjectives. Appendix 3. Bringing the Five Senses into Awareness. Appendix 4. Daily Energy Account Form. Appendix 5. Websites/Blogspots/Support Information. Appendix 6. Relaxation for Self-awareness. Appendix 7. Time Machine Activity. Appendix 8. Mood Diary Dimensions.

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Major research-based self-help book on depression for people with ASDs, including a complete CBT self-help programme

About the Author

Tony Attwood, PhD, is a clinical psychologist from Brisbane, Australia, with over 30 years of experience with individuals with autism spectrum disorders. He is currently Adjunct Professor at Griffith University in Queensland. Michelle Garnett, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and founder and Director of Minds & Hearts: A Specialist Clinic for Asperger's Syndrome and Autism. She has specialized in autism spectrum disorders for the past 20 years, and created the first screening instrument for Asperger's Syndrome, the Australian Scale for Asperger's Syndrome (ASAS) in 1993. Michelle has been an invited speaker at many national and international conferences. She lives in Brisbane, Australia. Colin Thompson has worked as a silk-screen printer, a graphic designer, a stage manager in the theatre but never as a lumberjack in Canada or a sailor on a tramp-steamer in the South Seas. He is the author and illustrator of over 65 published books. Colin lives in Australia with his wife.


Exploring Depression and Beating the Blues is a much needed resource, in light of how common depression is among teens and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Based in established cognitive-behavioral principles of change, this user-friendly book provides poignant first-person accounts and direct, informative psychoeducation. Although developed as a self-help guide for use with minimal support from a professional, it can also be used in group or individual treatment. I have no doubt this will be a valuable resource for people with ASD struggling with depression, and their loved ones. -- Susan W. White, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, USA
The authors have created an outstanding text which is simultaneously complete yet brief, scientific yet empathic, and based on well-established principles yet groundbreaking. -- Martin L. Kutscher, MD., pediatric behavioral neurologist and author of 'Kids in the Syndrome Mix' and 'Digital Kids'
This book is a critical resource for anyone with Asperger's Syndrome struggling with depression. It offers clear step-by-step exercises for strengthening self-awareness, positive energy, social relatedness, and pleasurable activities that can lessen despair and increase a sense of hope and value in life. This user-friendly self-help book is a must-have for teens and adults on the spectrum looking for evidence-based tools to help them lead happier lives. -- Angela Scarpa, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Virginia Tech Center for Autism Research
A marvellous book that focuses on an important (and underserved) clinical problem. Full of practical advice the book offers many insights and approaches to intervention. It will be of great value to individuals with autism and Asperger's and those who support them. -- Fred R Volkmar, M.D., Irving B. Harris Professor, Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine

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