Self-help library

Several self-help books are available online and on short-term loan to UCL students, including about anxiety, depression, eating disorders, relationship problems, trauma and resilience.

The reading materials below that may help you learn more about your mental health and wellbeing and develop strategies to manage difficulties and better look after yourself. Please note some of the links below may require UCL login credentials.


'How to Stop Worrying' (New Edition)

Author: Frank Tallis

Description: "Worry is a natural warning system. It's your brain's way of warning that something is wrong and needs to be dealt with. But sometimes things get out of hand, and worrying starts to spoil your enjoyment of life and even to affect your health. In this easy-to-read manual, Dr Frank Tallis explains how to understand your fears, control your worries, and make it work for you in a positive way."  

Read 'How to Stop Worrying'.

'The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution'

Authors: David A. Clark and Aaron T. Beck

Description: "If you're seeking lasting relief from out-of-control anxiety, this is the book for you. It is grounded in cognitive behavior therapy, the proven treatment approach developed and tested over more than 25 years by pioneering clinician-researcher Aaron T. Beck. Now Dr. Beck and fellow cognitive therapy expert David A. Clark put the tools and techniques of cognitive behavior therapy at your fingertips in this compassionate guide."

Read 'The Anxiety and Worry Workbook'.

'Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Panic: A Five Areas Approach' (Third Edition)

Authors: Christopher Williams

Description: "'Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Panic' uses the proven and trusted five areas model of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help people experiencing a range of symptoms associated with these conditions." 

Read 'Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Panic'.

'Stop Worrying: Get Your Life Back on Track with CBT' 

Authors: Ad Kerkhof and Saida Akhnikh 

Description: "This practical book contains Cognitive Behavioural Therapy exercises to be completed, which will give you insight into the content, nature and seriousness of your worrying." 

Read 'Stop Worrying'.


'Overcoming Grief: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques' 

Author: Sue Morris

Description: "This self-help book will prove invaluable to the recently bereaved, guiding them through the painful process of bereavement."

Read 'Overcoming Grief'.

Chronic pain and long-term health conditions 

'Overcoming Chronic Pain: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques' 

Authors: Frances Cole et al.

Description: "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy treats disorders by changing patterns of behaviour and thought that may be unhelpful. It is now internationally established as a key method of helping overcome longstanding and disabling conditions, both psychological and physical. This book provides a clinically proven self-help approach to pain management based on the authors' work with sufferers at Bradford Hospital."

Read 'Overcoming Chronic Pain'.

'Living with a Long-term Illness: The Facts'

Authors: Frankie Campling and Michael Sharpe 

Description: "All long-term illnesses, whatever their diagnosis, have much in common. The difficulties and challenges that come with illness, and the strategies to overcome them, are shared by most patients. Managing an illness effectively and tackling the difficulties it causes can greatly improve how you feel and your quality of life. This book identifies the challenges posed by illness and suggests a wide variety of ways in which you might meet them."

Read 'Living with a Long-term Illness'.


'Overcoming Depersonalization and Feelings of Unreality: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques' 

Author: Anthony David

Description: "Depersonalization Disorder is when a person experiences a feeling of being detached from life around them and sometimes emotionally numb. It is often a symptom of another disorder such as anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder and particularly panic disorder, or of an illness like epilepsy or migraine, but also occurs in its own right and among users of certain drugs."

Read 'Overcoming Depersonalization and Feelings of Unreality'.

'Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think' (Second Edition)

Authors: Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky 

Description: "Discover simple yet powerful steps you can take to overcome emotional distress - and feel happier, calmer, and more confident. This life-changing book has already helped more than 1,100,000 readers use cognitive-behavioral therapy - one of today's most effective forms of psychotherapy - to conquer depression, anxiety, panic attacks, anger, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, eating disorders, substance abuse, and relationship problems."

Read 'Mind Over Mood'. 

Drugs and alcohol

'Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide to Controlling Your Drug and Alcohol Use' (Second Edition)  

Authors: Patt Denning and Jeannie Little

Description: ""Just say no" just doesn't work for everyone. If you've tried to quit and failed, simply want to cut down, or wish to work toward sobriety gradually, join the many thousands of readers who have turned to this empathic, science-based resource - now thoroughly revised."

Read 'Over the Influence'.

'Overcoming Problem Drinking: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques'

Author: Marcantonio Spada

Description: "Up to a quarter of the UK population is currently believed to misuse alcohol. This first self-help book aimed specifically at problem drinking uses an approach based on real clinical practice, first to recognize alcohol misuse and then, using proven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques, to show the drinker how to turn the tables and regain control of alcohol consumption."

Read 'Overcoming Problem Drinking'.

Eating disorders, body image and weight

'Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-Eating: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques' 

Author: Peter Cooper

Description: "Now in its second edition, Peter Cooper's sympathetic and highly acclaimed guide gives a clear explanation of the disorder and the serious health issues that can result from it. He describes the treatments available today and, most importantly, sets out a self-help guide for those who want to tackle their difficulties for themselves, with a step-by-step programme."

Read 'Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-Eating'.

'Overcoming Body Image Problems including Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques'

Authors: Alex Clarke, David Veale and Rob Willson

Description: "Many people occasionally suffer from a negative body self-image but, for an increasing number of people, this can turn into a more serious preoccupation. One per cent of the population will develop Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), a condition characterised by severe preoccupation with a perceived physical defect."

Read 'Overcoming Body Image Problems including Body Dysmorphic Disorder'.

'Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques'

Author: Christopher Freeman

Description: "Originally developed as a manual for anorexia patients at his eating disorders clinic in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Chris Freeman's is the first self-help book based on cognitive behavioural therapy to counter this most notorious and widespread of eating disorders."

Read 'Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa'. 

'Overcoming Weight Problems: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques' 

Authors: Jeremy Gauntlett-Gilbert and Clare Grace

Description: "From their ground-breaking work with CBT techniques in London's only NHS clinic for obesity, Drs Jeremy Gauntlett-Gilbert and Clare Grace have developed this accessible self-help guide, based on clinically tested methods that will help change thinking and overcome weight problems once and for all."

Read 'Overcoming Weight Problems'.

 Mindfulness and meditation

'Present Perfect: A Mindfulness Approach to Letting Go of Perfectionism and the Need for Control' 

Author: Pavel G. Somov

Description: "A revolutionary approach to overcoming perfectionism! A recent, randomized study - published by Mindfulness Journal - shows that 'Present Perfect' is effective as a standalone intervention. The study found that those who had read the book experienced a statistically significant reduction of self-criticalness, a result that was still maintained at a six weeks follow-up (Wimberley, Mintz, & Suh, Mindfulness, Nov. 2015)."

Read 'Present Perfect'.

'A Restful Mind: Daily Meditations for Enhancing Mental Health' 

Author: Mark Allen Zabawa

Description: "With 'A Restful Mind', Mark Allen Zabawa offers the first book designed to provide inspiration and support specifically for people living with mental health problems. A year of daily readings address the common life issues that arise for those with mental health problems and help those dealing with a disorder start or end each day more at peace with themselves and the world."

Read 'A Restful Mind'.

Positive mindset

'The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living' 

Author: Russ Harris

Description: "What if almost everything we believed about finding happiness turned out to be inaccurate, misleading, or false? And what if those very beliefs were making us miserable? What if our efforts to find happiness were actually preventing it? A growing body of scientific research suggests that we are all caught in a powerful psychological trap: a vicious cycle, whereby the more we strive for happiness, the more we suffer. This book provides an escape from ‘the happiness trap’, via a revolutionary new development in human psychology: a powerful model for change, known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)."

Read 'The Happiness Trap'.

'Managing Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide' 

Authors: Gillian Butler, Tony Hope

Description: "Originally published in 1995, the first edition of 'Managing Your Mind' established a unique place in the self-help book market. A blend of tried-and-true psychological counseling and no-nonsense management advice grounded in the principles of CBT and other psychological treatments, the book straddled two types of self-help literature, arguing that in one's personal and professional life, the way to success is the same."

Read 'Managing Your Mind'.

'Ten Steps to Positive Living' (Second Edition) 

Author: Windy Dryden

Description: "Written in a typically practical and straightforward style, this popular book shows how to develop a truly positive outlook. These ten steps outline skills to help people to take control, be flexible, accept reality, develop self-acceptance, accept change and improve relationships."

Read 'Ten Steps to Positive Living'.

'Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy' 

Authors: Steven C. Hayes, Spencer Smith

Description: "Get ready to take a different perspective on your problems and your life - and the way you live it. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a new, scientifically based psychotherapy that takes a fresh look at why we suffer and even what it means to be mentally healthy." 

Read 'Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life'.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

'The OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder' 

Authors: Bruce M. Hyman and Charlene Pedrick

Description: "If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), chances are that your persistent obsessive thoughts and time-consuming compulsions keep you from enjoying life to the fullest. But when you are in the habit of avoiding the things you fear, the idea of facing them head-on can feel frightening and overwhelming. This book can help."

Read 'The OCD Workbook'.

Panic and agoraphobia

'Overcoming Panic and Agoraphobia: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques'

Author: Derrik Silove

Description: "'Overcoming Panic and Agoraphobia' provides a step-by-step management program that provides the necessary skills for overcoming and preventing panic attacks and associated agoraphobia. This is an indispensable guide for those affected by panic disorders, but is also an important resource for friends and families, psychologists, and those working in the medical profession."

Read 'Overcoming Panic and Agoraphobia'. 


'Overcoming Relationship Problems: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques'

Author: Michael Crowe

Description: "Internationally respected marital therapist Dr Michael Crowe has used his tried-and-tested clinical techniques to develop this new self-help guide dealing with common difficulties in close relationships."

Read 'Overcoming Relationship Problems'.

'Coping with Envy'

Author: Windy Dryden 

Description: "Envy can be a surprising dynamic in close relationships. Sometimes this energises people so that they accomplish more; other times, envy hurts more than it helps. 'Coping with Envy' explains how to direct this force for the best."

Read 'Coping with Envy'.

Sleep disorders and problems

'Overcoming Insomnia and Sleep Problems: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques' 

Author: Colin Espie

Description: "Extensive research conducted over 25 years has established Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as the treatment of choice for insomnia. For the first time, proven CBT principles have been brought together by a practising clinician in a comprehensive self-help manual."  

Read 'Overcoming Insomnia and Sleep Problems'.


'Overcoming Your Smoking Habit: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques' 

Author: David F. Marks

Description: "Have you tried and failed to give up smoking? Most smokers have, but Professor David Marks' method has been scientifically evaluated and the programme's quit-smoking rates are among the highest on record, using a step-by-step week-long programme to help you stop smoking for good."

Read 'Overcoming Your Smoking Habit'.

Stress and resilience

'Coping with Stress at University: A Survival Guide'

Authors: Stephen Palmer and Angela Puri

Description: "'Coping with Stress at University' comprehensively covers the main problems and stresses that a student may experience during their university career. Looking at university life from a variety of angles, this book equips the student to be able to deal with stressful situations ranging from exam pressure to relationship problems, from homesickness to managing finances."

Read 'Coping with Stress at University'. 

'Developing Resilience: A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach' (Second Edition)

Author: Michael Neenan 

Description: "Some individuals emerge from grim experiences stronger in mind and spirit than others who suffered the same ordeal. In this updated and revised edition, Michael Neenan focuses on the meanings we attach to life’s adversities in order to understand how we respond to them."

Read 'Developing Resilience'. 

'Manage Your Stress for a Happier Life'

Author: Terry Looker

Description: "This book explains why you feel stressed and how to do something about it."

Read 'Manage Your Stress for a Happier Life'.

'The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook' (Sixth Edition)

Authors: Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman and Matthew McKay

Description: "'The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook' broke new ground when it was first published in 1980, detailing easy, step-by-step techniques for calming the body and mind in an increasingly overstimulated world. Now in its sixth edition, this workbook, highly regarded by therapists and their clients, remains the go-to source for stress reduction strategies that can be incorporated into even the busiest lives."

Read 'The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook'.


'Overcoming Childhood Trauma: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques'

Author: Helen Kennerley

Description: "This book will help the sufferer understand the links between past trauma and present difficulties and offers ways to gain control over these problems, allowing the individual to deal with intrusive memories, manage mood swings and build better relationships in adulthood."

Read 'Overcoming Childhood Trauma'