Books on Prescription

In June 2013 the new Books on Prescription scheme launches across England. The scheme is endorsed by health professionals and supported by public libraries.

The books recommended on the scheme provide helpful information on mental health problems ranging from depression and low mood, to anxiety and sleep problems. As well as providing valuable information, the books are practical and offer step-by-step techniques and strategies for successfully managing and overcoming mental health problems.

Books on Prescription schemes are a form of Bibliotherapy, which, when high-quality books are used, can bring many of the benefits of conventional medication without the potential side-effects associated with drugs, and often achieves good results more quickly. The schemes are usually operated by Trusts in conjunction with local Library services. Check this list to see if a scheme operates in your area: BOP Schemes or contact your local GP or library.

The thirty books currently recommended on the scheme are listed below. They have been written as self-help books but can also be read with a health professional.

Find out more about the new Books on Prescription scheme here.


Overcoming Anger And Irritability
William Davies, Robinson
A self-help manual for those who find they are spoiling the lives of both themselves and those around them by constantly being irritable and angry.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99


Overcoming Anxiety
Helen Kennerley, Robinson
A guide explaining how to overcome problem fears and anxieties of all kinds – from panic attacks and phobias to executive "burn out" – in order to regain confidence and self control. A step-by-step self-help plan is included.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99

Overcoming Anxiety: A Five Areas Approach
Chris Williams, Hodder Arnold
Written with clarity, this set of workbooks is well-structured and easily accessible; the boxes, checklists, bullet points and lack of jargon all aid those experiencing mild to moderate levels of anxiety and panic.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £19.99

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
Susan Jeffers, Vermilion
Provides the insight and tools to vastly improve the reader’s ability to handle any given situation, helping them move from a place of pain, paralysis and depression to one of power, energy and enthusiasm.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £6.99


Overcoming Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating
Peter J Cooper, Robinson
Clearly written, this book relates to all aspects of bulimia, and can be read by those suffering from the illness as well as those striving to understand its complexities.
Buy from Amazon   RRP &10.99

Getting Better Bit(e), By Bit(e): A Survival Guide for Sufferers of Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorders
Ulrike Schmidt & Janet Treasure, Psychology Press
This self-help book, whose efficacy has been proven in clinical trials, empowers sufferers to take control of their own lives and tackle their eating difficulties in their own home.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £12.95

Overcoming Binge Eating
Christopher Fairburn, Guilford
Virtually two books in one, Overcoming Binge Eating provides all the information needed both to understand the problem and bring it under control.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £13.50

Chronic Fatigue

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (second edition)
Frankie Campling and Michael Sharpe, Oxford University Press
A compassionate guide to this illness, providing both sufferers and their families, with practical advice based solely on scientific evidence. Includes advice on issues such as how to choose therapies and therapists, and how to deal with CFS in children. Also includes an overview of the history of the illness and the nature and causes of CFS. 
Buy from Amazon   RRP £14.99

Overcoming Chronic Fatigue
Mary Burgess with Trudie Chalder, Robinson
Written by expert clinicians based at the CFS Research and Treatment Unit at the University of London, this practical book is based on cognitive behavioural therapy and will help the reader to break the cycle of fatigue, leading to a reduction of symptoms and disability. It also provides advice on improving sleep, overcoming blocks to recovery, establishing practical strategies for balancing activity and rest, and dealing with stress.  
Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99

Chronic Pain

Overcoming Chronic Pain
Cole et al, Robinson
Based on cognitive behavioural therapy, Overcoming Chronic Pain sets out clinically proven self-help techniques to manage pain. The techniques contained therein will help readers become more active, relieve negative feelings, reduce their distress and manage their pain more effectively. It also explains how to use drugs more effectively and offers guidance on how to become fitter and more active, as well as offering advice on sleep and relaxation.

Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99


Overcoming Depression
Paul Gilbert, Robinson
A self-help guide using CBT, this book is full of step-by-step suggestions, case examples and practical ideas for gaining control over depression and low mood; it is an indispensable guide for those affected, their friends and families, psychologists and those working in the medical profession.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £12.99

Overcoming Depression and Low Mood: A Five Areas Approach
Chris Williams, Hodder Arnold
A series of short self-help workbooks for use by people experiencing low mood and depression. Provides accessible information and teaches key life skills, giving the reader a practical and effective way to improving how they feel.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £19.99

Mind Over Mood
Christine Padesky & Dennis Greenberger, Guilford Press
This guide draws on the authors' experience as clinicians and teachers of cognitive therapy to help clients successfully understand and improve their moods, alter their behaviour, and enhance their relationships.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £16.95

Health Anxiety

Overcoming Health Anxiety
David Veale & Rob Willson, Robinson
Using a structured, step-by-step approach, the authors explain how health anxiety develops, how to recognise what feeds it, and how to develop effective methods for dealing with it. Accessibe and reassuring.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99

An Introduction to Coping with Health Anxiety
Brenda Hogan and Charles Young, Robinson
An introductory 32-page booklet on health anxiety - what it is, what causes it, and what keeps it going. Includes CBT techniques to help you understand your symptoms, spot and challenge thoughts that make you anxious and reduce your focus on illness.  
Buy from Amazon   RRP £2.99

Obsessions and Compulsions

Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
David Veale & Rob Willson, Robinson
This accessible guide, based on cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, explains how readers can reduce the distress of intrusive thoughts, face fears and avoided situations, and overcome compulsions.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99

Understanding Obsessions and Compulsions
Frank Tallis, Sheldon Press
A comprehensive guide to self-help, explaining the principles of anxiety reduction and giving treatment instructions in easy-to-understand language.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £7.99

Break Free from OCD
Fiona Challacombe et al, Vermilion
A practical guide which will help you to make sense of your symptoms, and which provides a simple plan to help you conquer your OCD. Includes detailed information on the many different manifestations of OCD, real-life case studies and examples and advice for friends and families.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99


Overcoming Panic and Agoraphobia
Derrick Silove and Vijaya Manicavasagar, Robinson
A complete course to help the reader beat panic attacks and the stresses they cause. The authors, who have researched and taught self-help therapy, describe clinically-proven CBT techniques to manage panic.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99

Panic Attacks
Christine Ingham, HarperCollins
Contains a broad range of topics including: what to do during a panic attack; what's happening during an attack; self-help to prevent attacks from developing; information for friends and relatives about panic attacks lifestyle, therapies and complementary therapies.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £7.99


An Introduction to Coping with Phobias
Brenda Hogan and Charles Young, Robinson
An introductory 32-page booklet which discusses how phobias develop and what keeps them going, and uses CBT to help you to set goals and start to face your fears, as well as how to avoid relapses.  
Buy from Amazon   RRP £2.99

Relationship Problems

Overcoming Relationship Problems
Michael Crowe, Robinson
Written by an internationally respected marital therapist, this book uses tried-and-tested techniques to help you understand why conflict arises and how to negiotiate a happier, more positive outcome. It also discusses how to sustain a long-term relationship, develop more effective communication skills, deal with sexual problems, cope with jealousy, and negotiate with your partner.   
Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99

Low Self-esteem

Overcoming Low Self Esteem
Melanie Fennell, Robinson
Written by a leading authority on self-esteem, this reassuring and helpful guide will help you to understand how self-esteem develops and what keeps it going, and, armed with this understanding, to break out of the vicious circle of negative self-image, learn the art of accepting yourself, and alter your life for the better.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99

The Feeling Good Handbook
David Burns, Penguin
Contains techniques and practical exercises to help you cope with problems and learn how to make life a happier, more exhilirating experience. Includes chapters on anxiety, phobias and panic attacks, conquering procrastination, improving communication and improving relationships. 
Buy from Amazon   RRP £12.99


Overcoming Insomnia and Sleep Problems
Colin Espie, Robinson
Extremely well-regarded book on improving sleep. based on evindence-based techniques, this book provides all you need to conquer your sleep problems and start living life to the full. Offers the lasting benefits that prescribed medications and over-the-counter remedies rarely provide. Based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, the treatment of choice for insomnia.  
Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99

Social Phobia

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness
Gillian Butler, Robinson
Hugely popular self-help book which outlines the nature of shyness, the symptoms and possible causes and explains how to deal with upsetting thoughts, overcome avoidance and manage symptoms of anxiety through relaxation, distraction and panic management.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £10.99


The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook
Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman & Matthew McKay, New Harbinger Publications
Each chapter of this workbook, written in a reader-friendly format, follows a practical format, including a history of the technique covered, symptom effectiveness, examples, checklist, further reading and "homework".
Buy from Amazon   RRP £21.99

Manage Your Stress for a Happier Life
Terry Looker and Olga Gregson, Hodder
Diagnose and manage your stress, this practical book explains the causes of tension and show you all the differen strategies you can use to deal with it. It explains how better physical health can lead to better mental health and gives practical information on things like decluttering and work-life balance.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £12.99


How to Stop Worrying
Frank Tallis, Sheldon Press
Examines the causes of worrying, including long-term worries, helps find and solve the problems that lead to worrying.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £6.99

The Worry Cure
Robert L. Leahy, Piatkus
Techniques and advice for everypne who has ever had a sleepless night. this self-help book exp,ians why we worry and how best to defeat it. It presents and easy-to-follow programme which will help you to identify productive and unproductive worry, accept reality and commit to change, turn 'failure' into opportunity and use your emotions rather than worry about them.
Buy from Amazon   RRP £9.99

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