A Practical Workbook for the Depressed Christian by John Lockley
Reviewed by Gaius Davies, Consultant Psychiatrist at King's College Hospital, London
I welcome this book, as I did the first edition in 1991. The author has been a GP since 1976 and is described as a writer of three novels and Christian music. Dr Lockley writes out of a wide factual knowledge of depression as well as experience in his work as a family doctor. He thanks 'all those who helped me through my own depression'.
His style is usually chatty, which will help many, and annoy some. He covers the field well. He attacks vigorously the teaching that depression is always due to sin, failure or other spiritual causes. Great good would come if ignorance and prejudice were replaced with facts and sympathy; this book does that well. His own very firm views, however, sometimes jostle unhappily with the consensus views. The book seems to aim to be encyclopaedic and includes exercises for Christians. There are some areas that could be improved. The bibliography is limited: I would like to see added well known names of those who have written in this area like Roger Hurding (Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Studies) and Prof Andrew Sims (Former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists). I hope the author will revise some sections, for example, adequate explanations of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) are missing from this book, and I believe it might be improved by CBT input for the exercises.
The result of covering both the medical views and the biblical issues is a large and heavy book, yet one that is eminently worthwhile to own, especially as a resource for churches and those involved in supporting its sick members. I hope this book will be used widely and although the severely depressed person cannot read anything properly, after recovery he may do so.
Consultant Psychiatrist at King's College Hospital, London
This review article is taken from Christian Medical Fellowship's website at http://www.cmf.org.uk/literature/content.asp?context=article&id=1197
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