Books on prescription

Books on prescription helps you manage your wellbeing using self-help reading. The scheme is endorsed by health professionals and supported by public libraries. The books provide helpful information and step-by-step self-help techniques for managing common conditions, including depression and anxiety. 


How does books on prescription work?

The self-help books are available for anyone to borrow from their local library. Sometimes shelf-help books may be recommended by a GP, psychological wellbeing practitioner or another health professional as part of treatment.  

There are three Books on Prescription lists to choose from:


Overcoming Anger and irritability: A Self-help Guide using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques

Davies, William

Constable & Robinson


Overcoming Anxiety: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques

Kennerley, Helen

Constable & Robinson

Overcoming Anxiety, stress and Panic: A Five Areas Approach

Williams,  Chris

CRC Press

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

Jeffers, Susan


Binge eating / bulimia nervosa

Overcoming Binge Eating (new edition - 'Overcoming Binge eating: The Proven Programme to Learn to Learn Why You Binge and How You Can Stop' - available in HB and PB from 30 September 2013)

Fairburn, Christopher

Guilford Press

Getting Better Bit(e) by Bit(e): A Survival Kit for Sufferers of Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorders

Schmidt, Ulrike and Treasure, Janet


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

Cooper, Peter J.

Constable & Robinson

Chronic fatigue

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (second edition)

Campling, Frankie and Sharpre, Michael

Oxford University Press

Overcoming Chronic Fatigue: A Self-help Guide using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques

Burgess, Mary and Chalder, Trudie

Constable & Robinson

Chronic pain

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

Cole, Frances; Carus, Catherine; Howden-Leach, Hazel: and Macdonald, Helen

Constable & Robinson


Overcoming Depression and Low Mood: A five Areas Approach (third edition)

Williams, Chris

CRC Press

Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think

Greenberger, Dennis and Padesky, Christine

Guilford Press

Overcoming Depression: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques

Gilbert, Paul

Constable & Robinson

Health anxiety

Overcoming Health Anxiety: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques

Veale, David and Wilson, Rob

Constable & Robinson

An introduction to Coping with Health Anxiety  

Hogan, Brenda and Young, Charles

Constable & Robinson

Obsessions and compulsions

Overcoming Obsessive and Compulsive Disorder: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques

Veale, David and Wilson, Rob

Constable & Robinson

Understanding Obsessions and Compulsions

Tallis, Frank

Sheldon Press

Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Compulsive Disorder with CBT

Challacombe, Fiona, Oldfield, Victoria Bream and Salkovskis, Paul M.



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

Silove, derrick and Manicavasagar, Vijaya

Constable & Robinson

Panic Attacks: What They Are, Why They happen and What You Can Do About Them

Ingham, Christine

Harper Collins


An Introduction to Coping With Phobias

Hogan, Brenda

Constable & Robinson

Relationship problems

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

Crowe, Michael

Constable & Robinson


Overcoming Low Self-Esteem: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques

Fennell, Melanie

Constable & Robinson

The Feeling Good Handbook

Burns, David


Social phobia

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques

Butler, Gilian

Constable & Robinson

Sleep problems

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

Espie, Colin A.

Constable & Robinson


The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

Davis, Martha

New Harbinger

Manage Your Stress For a Happier Life

Looker, Terry and Gregson, Olga



The Worry Cure: Stop Worrying and Start Living

Leahy, Robert, L.

Piatkus Books

How to Stop Worrying

Tallis, Frank

Sheldon Press


Information and Advice

Introduction to the Psychology of Ageing for Non-specialists

Stuart-Hamilton, Ian 

Jessica Kingsley

Coping with Memory Problems

Baxendale, Sallie 

Sheldon Press

Alzheimers: Answers at your Fingertips

Bailey, Alex 

Class Health

Understanding Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementias

Graham, Nori and Warner, James 

Family Doctor

ABC of Dementia
Coope, Bernard and Richards, Felicity (eds) 

John Wiley

About Dementia: For People with Learning Disabilities

Dodd, Karen; Turk, Vicky and Christmas, Michelle 

BILD Publications


Shepherd, Jessica 

Child's Play International

Living well with dementia

First Steps to Living with Dementia

Atkins, Simon 

Lion Books

Dementia Positive

Killick, John 

Luath Press

Hearing the Person with Dementia: Person-centred Approaches to Communication for Families and Caregivers

McCarthy, Bernie 
Jessica Kingsley

Chocolate Rain: 100 Ideas for a Creative Approach to Activities in Dementia Care
Zoutewelle-Morris, Sarah 


Pictures to Share (various titles)

Bate, Helen 

Pictures to Share

Support for relatives and carers

When Someone You Love Has Dementia

Elliot-Wright, Susan 

Sheldon Press

And Still the Music Plays: Stories of People with Dementia

Stokes, Graham 


Can I Tell You about Dementia? A Guide for Family, Friends and Carers

Welton, Jude 

Jessica Kingsley

Dementia: Support for Family and Friends

Pulsford, Dave and Thompson, Rachel 

Jessica Kingsley

10 Helpful Hints for Carers: Practical Solutions for Carers Living with People with Dementia

Andrews, June 

University of Stirling Dementia Services Development Centre

Seeing Beyond Dementia: A Handbook for Carers with English as a Second Language

Salomon, Rita 

Radcliffe Publishing

Personal stories

Dancing with Dementia: My Story of Living Positively with Dementia

Bryden, Christine 

Jessica Kingsley

Dear Dementia: The Laughter and the Tears

Donaghy, Ian 


Still Alice

Genova, Lisa 

Simon & Schuster

Losing Clive to Younger Onset Dementia: One Family's Story

Beaumont, Helen 

Jessica Kingsley

Telling Tales about Dementia: Experiences of Caring

Whitman, Lucy 

Jessica Kingsley

The Little Girl in the Radiator: Mum, Alzheimer's and Me

Slevin, Martin 

Monday Books

But Then Something Happened: A Story of Everyday Dementia

Carling, Chris 

Golden Books



How to Feel Better: Practical Ways to Recover Well from Illness and Injury

Goodhart, Frances  and Atkins, Lucy 

Little Brown

Self-Management of Long-Term Health Conditions

Lorig, Kate (ed.); Holman, Halsted; Sobel, David; Laurent, Diana; Gonzalez, Virginia and Minor, Marian 

Bull Publishing


Arthritis: A Practical Guide to Getting On With Your Life

Jenner, Chris 

Little Brown

Arthritis: Exercise Your Way to Health

Coates, Paula 


Bowel Conditions

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Answers at Your Fingertips

Shmueli, Udi

Class Health

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Navigating Your Way to Recovery

Arroll, Megan and Dancey, Christine 

Hammersmith Books

Go Your Crohn Way

Nicholls, Kathleen 

Jessica Kingsley

Breathing difficulties

Asthma: Answers at Your Fingertips

Levy, Mark; Fletcher, Monica and Pederson, Soren 

Class Health

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): the Facts

Currie, Graeme P. 

Oxford University Press


Diabetes for Dummies

Rubin, Alan L. 


Diabetes: The Facts

Matthews, David; Meston, Niki; Dyson, Pam; Shaw, Jenny; King, Laurie and Pal, Aparna 

Oxford University Press

Type 2 Diabetes in Adults of All Ages (Second Edition)

Fox, Charles and Kilvert, Anne 

Class Health


Fighting Fatigue: A Practical Guide to Managing the Symptoms of CFS/ME

Pemberton, Sue and Berry, Catherine 

Hammersmith Books

Overcoming Chronic Fatigue

Burgess, Mary and Chalder, Trudie 

Little Brown

Heart Disease

Heart Attack Survival Guide

Greener, Mark 

Sheldon Press

Living with Angina

Smith, Tom 

Sheldon Press

Mental health and wellbeing

Coping With the Psychological Effects of Illness: Strategies to Manage Anxiety and Depression

Jenner, Chris 

Little Brown

Mindfulness for Health: A Practical Guide to Relieving Pain, Reducing Stress and Restoring Wellbeing

Burch, Vidyamala and Pennman, Danny 

Little Brown


Manage Your Pain

Nicholas, Michael; Molloy, Allan; Tonkin, Lois and Beeston, Lee 

Souvenir Press

Overcoming Chronic Pain

Caros, Catherine; Cole, Frances; Howden-Leach, Hazel and Macdonald, Helen

Little Brown

Pain is Really Strange

Haines, Steve and Standing, Sophie 

Jessica Kingsley

Sleep Problems

An Introduction to Coping with Insomnia & Sleep Problems, Second Edition

Colin Espie

Little Brown


Stroke: the Facts

Lindley, Richard I. 

Oxford University Press

Rebuilding Your Life After Stroke

Morris, Reg; Falck, Malin; Miles, Tamsin; Wilcox, Julie and Fisher-Hicks, Sam 

Jessica Kingsley

How I Rescued My Brain: A Psychologist's Remarkable Recovery from Stroke and Trauma

Roland, David 


Support for relatives and carers

The Carer's Handbook: essential information and support for all those in a caring role

Matthews, Jane


The Selfish Pig's Guide to Caring: How to Cope With the Emotional and Practical Aspects of Caring for Someone

Marriott, Hugh 

Little Brown

Understanding and Dealing With Heart Disease

Souter, Keith 



Go to your local Redbridge library where you can borrow the book for free. If it is not available you can reserve it for free.


Other Reading Well lists

Shelf Help is for young people. It lists books recommended by young people and health experts on topics such as ADHD, bullying, self-harm and mood swings.

Mood-boosting Books is a related scheme. It is a national promotion of uplifting titles, including novels, poetry and non-fiction. The books on this list are all recommended by readers and reading groups.

Ask at your local library for a copy of either of these lists.