chapter  11
Unlearning Helplessness: Lessons from Classic Depression Therapy
Pages 14

About a half-century ago, psychologist Martin Seligman and his colleagues demonstrated two fundamental principles of depression in their laboratory: 1) that helplessness can be learned, and 2) that it can be unlearned. Psychotherapists who followed, such as Aaron Beck and David Burns, used these insights to design the most impressively effective drug-free intervention for clinical depression, cognitive therapy, and many other psychotherapists have built upon that foundation. Later, experts in the psychology of men and masculinity have added an important dimension to treating men with any kind of mental health problem: gender awareness. The purpose of this chapter is to bring you the accumulated wisdom of these clinical traditions. If you have now identifi ed your previously unnamed diffi culty as masculine depression, you can apply these insights to developing self-help strategies.