This illustrated self-help manual was designed as a basis for treatment for individuals of a wide range of ages experiencing depression. The therapeutic base of the manual is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which outlines the pathology of depression as problems in functioning rather than problems in the individual. The ACT theory of depression views problems in functioning as centered around the way negative emotions are perceived and processed through language and problematic actions or inaction as a result of cognitive distortions. Because of problems with language, the manual is illustrated to help the reader understand the foundations of ACT and how it can be used to correct the cognitive distortions and problems in functioning that lead to depressed moods. Various exercises are included in the manual that are modified versions of those developed by David Burns and Russ Harris for practical application of ACT theories. The manual uses large, basic, and black and white illustrations so that readers are able to easily connect to the message, as recommended by the critical analyses of comic and graphic formats by Scott McCloud. The manual serves to introduce audiences to the basic principles of ACT and encourage further use of ACT in daily life with a therapist or individual self-help.
Martinez, Ashley, "Learning to Swim: The ACT Approach to Living with Depression" (2014). Honors Projects. 155.