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Recommended Reading

Given the huge range of self-help books now available on the market, it can feel a bit daunting deciding what to read.  These books have been read and evaluated by healthcare professionals and have been found to be useful, effective and easy to read.

You may either borrow your chosen book from your local library or, if you prefer, buy the book from your local bookshop or online.

Full list available on Reading Well.

Panic and Anxiety:

  • Overcoming Anxiety (Helen Kennerley)
    Provides an explanation of a whole range of anxieties and fears, from panic attacks and phobias to ‘burn out’ and executive stress.
  • Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Panic: A Five Areas Approach (Chris Williams)
    Uses the proven and trusted five areas model of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help people experiencing a range of symptoms associated with anxiety, stress and panic.
  • Overcoming Health Anxiety (David Veale and Rob Willson)
    Helps readers to better understand the nature of their problems and provides them with the skills necessary to overcome it and to regain quality of life.
  • Overcoming Panic and Agoraphobia: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques (Derrick Silove and Vijaya Manicavasagar)
    Describes the nature and origin of panic / agoraphobia and teaches step-by-step strategies for recognising and dealing with panic.
  • An Introduction to Coping with Phobias (Brenda Hogan)
    Provides information on how phobias develop and what keeps them going, setting goals and starting to face your fears, and avoiding relapses and problem-solving.
  • Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness (Gillian Butler)
    Explains why social anxiety and shyness happen and sets up practical methods of resolving them.


  • Overcoming Depression and Low Mood: A Five Areas Approach (Chris Williams)
    Addresses all the common challenges faced during times of low mood and helps readers to make positive changes to their lives in a planned and achievable way.
  • Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think (Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky)
    A ‘hands-on’ workbook teaching cognitive behavioural techniques to combat a range of emotional problems, including depression.
  • Overcoming Depression: A Guide to Recovery with a Complete Self-Help Programme (Paul Gilbert)
    Provides information on understanding and treating depression, particularly the importance of developing compassionate ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.

Obsessive Compulsions:

  • Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (David Veale and Rob Willson)
    Shows you how to reduce the distress caused by disturbing thoughts, images and urges, helps you face fears and troubling situations, reduces and gradually helps you overcome compulsions, and offers advice on how partners, relatives and friends can help.
  • Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT (Fiona Challacombe, Victoria Oldfield and Paul Salkowskis)
    A practical guide that enables you to make sense of your symptoms and gives a simple plan to help you conquer OCD.

Interpersonal Matters:

  • Overcoming Anger and Irritability (William Davies)
    A self-help manual aimed at those who are constantly irritable or angry, helping sufferers understand why this occurs and how to overcome it.
  • Overcoming Relationship Problems (Michael Crowe)
    Friendly, accessible and practical, these effective step-by-step methods will help you develop and sustain a happy and mutually fulfilling relationship over the long-term.
  • Overcoming Low Self-Esteem (Melanie Fennell)
    Aids readers to understand their condition and with this knowledge, enable them to break out of the vicious circle of negative self-image, learn the art of self-acceptance and alter their lives for the better.
  • Overcoming Insomnia and Sleep Problems (Colin Espie)
    A practical description of the leading treatment for insomnia and the causes of insomnia.

Eating Disorders:

  • Overcoming Binge Eating (Christopher Fairburn)
    Provides all the information needed to understand binge eating and bring it under control.
  • Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating (Peter Cooper)
    Gives a clear explanation of the disorder and the serious health issues that can result from it, describes the treatments available, and sets out a self-help guide for those who want to tackle their difficulties for themselves.

Long-Term Health Conditions:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Frankie Campling and Michael Sharpe)
    Includes information about the rehabilitative treatments available and includes a section on the management of children and young people with the disease.
  • Overcoming Chronic Fatigue (Mary Burgess and Trudie Chalder)
    Offers sufferers a better understanding of CFS as well as strategies on breaking the vicious circle of fatigue.
  • Overcoming Chronic Pain (Frances Cole, Catherine Carus, Hazel Howden-Leach and Helen Macdonald)
    Helps you understand why pain persists when there’s no injury or disease present, explains how to use drugs more effectively, and gives guidance on how to become fitter and more active.