The book does two important things: it disputes the prevailing view that depression is a disease and it introduces an important new therapy, one long overdue. If it did just one of these two things it would be an important book. That it does both makes it an exceptional book with the power to transform the treatment of depression and dramatically improve the delivery of therapy.
To acknowledge the reality of unhappiness is not to assert the centrality of unhappiness. In fact, it is just the opposite. By taking the common human experience of unhappiness out of the shadows and acknowledging its existence, we begin to reduce its power. The gloom can lift. It may lift of its own accord - or it may lift because you have a strong existential program in place where you pay more attention to your intentions than to your mood. It is just this type of program that Dr. Maisel's book will help readers create.