Wednesday, February 2, 2022



From Depression to Contentment: A Self-Therapy Guide is a course of therapy in your pocket. You can be your own therapist, changing the way you see yourself and your world. Not only does this save lots of money, it also is 100% confidential. The book starts with first aid, provides an understanding of the nature and causes of suffering, instructs you in research-based techniques for dealing with your problems and, finally, teaches you an actual cure for depression.

•    Every tool in this book is based on research, but presented in an easy to understand, easy to apply manner.
•    With homework assignments, you will find your inner strengths, uncover the true source of happiness and develop great resilience.
•    Learn how to put the philosophies of all great religions to practical use, even if you are an atheist.
•    This program can help you start a new life - one of meaning, positivity and purpose.
•    Unlike instructional books, this book is not only useful but also enjoyable.

"If you're depressed and need someone who 'gets' you, who has been there and who can walk you through the journey toward a life worth living, then From Depression to Contentment will be your new best friend. Bob meets you where you are and can lead you home to yourself."
-- Petrea King, CEO and founder of Quest for Life Foundation

Book Details

Title: From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide
Author: Bob Rich, Ph.D.
Genre: psychology self-help
Publisher: Loving Healing Press 2019
Print length: 155 pages


How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I became a writer because in 1980 a bunch of teenagers kidnapped me. They were playing a boys vs. girls soccer game, and needed one more male, so told me I had to help out. I was making mudbricks (adobe) at the time, and went with them, muddy boots and all.
Not surprisingly, I slipped and tore the cartilage in my knee. Let me tell you, that’s not a good idea.|
In hospital, I was bored out of my mind, so borrowed the office typewriter, (remember those?) and wrote a how-to article for Earth Garden magazine and became their owner-building expert, with a byline column for 40 years. This led to my first book, The Earth Garden Building Book: Design and build your own house. That went through 4 editions and sold hundreds of thousands of copies between 1986 and 2018.
|Later, I decided to train as a nurse, and this meant 5 nights a week in a nurses’ home where gorgeous 18-year-olds surrounded me. I had to choose between making a fool of myself or doing something creative, so I wrote short stories. The first I entered won a prize—and I was hooked. You can read this story here.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was born with the ability to heal with words. It is a karmic thing. Even in school, all the kids with problems cried on my shoulders. Trouble was, I had too much empathy, and often worried more about other people’s problems than they did.
Nursing toughened me up (the first lesson in nursing is: “It’s not your pain. You are not there to share it, but to relieve it.” In therapy, it’s even further: you are there to empower your client to relieve it.)
So, in the late 1980s I did an additional course, and I then had a psychotherapy practice until 2013.
It may shock and surprise you, but relieving suffering gives me great joy. I am odd that way. Since about 1999, I have been answering cries of desperation posted on various websites, and now people track me down thanks to many of my q&a posts in the public domain.
In fact, one of my earlier books is 50 such single-session email therapy exchanges .
I may have grown old, but I am still silly enough to be idealistic, and to make a difference. My book From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide is a tool for transforming your life. I want it to work for as many people as I can.

How long did it take you to write this book?

Fiction is far more fun to write than nonfiction. I knew I needed a book to help with depression 15 years ago, and sort of started it, but it gathered dust inside my computer, with me occasionally adding to it. Then once I decided to, I whipped it into shape in 3 months, and sent it off to my publisher.
It was 95,000 words long, and he told me (well, emailed me) that people won’t read self-help books above 50,000 words. So, he forced me to amputate much of it. I managed this in two ways: in the book I set homework tasks (you change your life by DOING, not by KNOWING), much of which includes additional reading, and I used the excised parts as the start of a companion volume, Lifting the Gloom: Antidepressant writings.

What do you hope readers will get from this book?

It is a course of therapy in your pocket. If you faithfully and conscientiously do the program, you will grow spiritually (which is the purpose of life), gain immense inner strength and resilience, and survive anything, even Bob Rich’s humor.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

I am a fan of Carolyn Howard-Johnson and her how-to books on writing. I have edited most of them, which is a very frugal way of reading. Her advice on titles for a nonfiction book is to have it brief and pithy saying exactly what the book is about, then have a long subtitle that includes the keywords your target audience is likely to use in searches.

How did you come up with your cover art?

It’s actually designed by my publisher’s cover-art expert, but the concept is mine.
Birds are among my favorite people on this planet, and the wedgetail eagle is the favorite of favorites. You can read a guided imagery script about her here.
So, that’s what I wanted on the cover. But the only print-quality pic we could find was of a foreigner: an American bald eagle. (Actually, I am far more bald than they are.)

Do you have a routine for writing? Do you work better at night, in the afternoon, or in the morning?

I participate in a monthly round robin organized by a wonderful lady who teaches writing at a university, Rhobin Courtright. One of my essays is exactly on this topic.

Name one thing you couldn’t live without.


Where do you call home?

I am a citizen of the Universe. All sentient beings are my family. Right now in this life I live on a tiny rock planet in orbit around a below-average yellow dwarf star in a fairly typical galaxy.
This planet is mostly water, and there are magnificent, intelligent aquatic creatures, but no, I am not one of them, but a land crawler. Most of the land on this mudball is currently in its northern hemisphere, though the blobs of land do move around. However, the best part is in the south, called Australia, which means Southern Land in some language.
There is a place called Melbourne, which has a population of about four and a half million land crawlers (as distinct from the cetacean owners of the planet). This is an outlying settlement of Healesville, which is 50 miles to its east. That gives me magnificent sunsets, thanks to the air pollution so many people cause.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

Only one? That’s harsh. Being constitutionally unable to follow instructions, I give you a selection from the people I admire the most:
Dalai Lama: “My religion is kindness. The aim of enlightenment is to be of service.”
Mother Teresa: “Help one person at a time, and start with the one nearest to you.”
Greta Thunberg about the Glasgow climate talkfest: “Blah blah blah.”

For what would you like to be remembered?

Only two things matter in life: what you take with you when you die, and what you leave behind in the hearts of others. Everything else is Monopoly money.
What can you take with you: Lessons learnt, gained wisdom--or the opposite: hate, bitterness, blame and the like. So, you either advance in spiritual development, or go backward, or of course a bit of each. Look after the heart, the Love, and you can let go of everything else.

What scares you the most?

We are NOW in the 6th extinction event of Earth. When we have unraveled the web of life, we also fall though the hole. This is why I have been an environmental activist since 1972.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Whatever organization I join, I soon become the convener of the Antisocial Committee, which refuses to meet, as a matter of principle.
For some lucky people, conversation is lubrication. Then there is my kind. For us, it is information. Tell me to have a chat with Amy and I’ll sit beside you like a dummy, unless you ask the right questions.
I am the genuine, patented party-pooper.
In answer to your question, I give you three guesses.

What is the most daring thing you've done?

Being born. In a past-life recall, I’ve learned that in this life, either I am doomed to witness the extinction of humanity, or be part of the team saving us. This is set out in my fictionalized autobiography, Sleeper, Awake.

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?

See previous answer.

What are you working on now?

Much of my work is environmental, humanitarian and political activism. I am here to change the world, and am doing my best. So, I am very active in the political party The Australian Greens. Australia’s voting laws are different, and voting for a small party does not prevent you from still choosing among the two dinosaurs. One are conservatives, mis-labeled “Liberal,” the others are Labor, whose policies are Liberal Lite.
Part of this is a fundraising activity for the Greens candidate in my local electorate. I currently run weekly online sessions in positive psychology, training participants to use the tools within From Depression to Contentment and Lifting the Gloom.

Oh, you mean WRITING projects?
I am well into a book on grief, working title If You Have Lost a Loved One: How to cope with grief.
I have posted snippets on my blog already. Sadly, it is greatly needed.
Four short stories, and one partly finished, are ready for a new anthology, REAL Human Nature, focusing on all that’s good about people.
My publisher has a series of “101 tips about...” and wants me to write one on depression, so that’s on the way.
There is the start of a book focusing on positive psychology, Above Normal, and several unfinished short stories that don’t fit the specs of the anthology-in-waiting.
But my major project is a 5-volume science fiction series, "The Doom Healer.” I am currently pestering agents and publishers with the first volume. All I want to say about it here is that my hero, Bill Sutcliffe, will one day be beside Harry Potter.

Finally, from Bob:

I will make sure to answer any comments, and one week after publication date of this interview, will randomly select one commenter to receive a free electronic copy of a book. Again, you have three guesses regarding title.


Bob Rich, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in psychology in 1972. He worked as an academic, researcher, and applied scientist until “retiring” the first time at 36 years of age. Later, he returned to psychology and qualified as a Counseling Psychologist, running a private practice for over 20 years. During this time, he was on the national executive of the College of Counselling Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), then spent three years as a Director of the APS. He was the therapist referrers sent their most difficult cases to.

Bob retired in 2013, but still does pro bono counseling over the internet. This has given him hundreds of “children” and “grandchildren” he has never met, because many of these people stay in touch for years. His major joy in life is to be of benefit to others, which is why he wrote a book that’s in effect a course of therapy.

You can get to know him well at his blog, Bobbing Around.

Connect with Bob:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |   Barnes & Noble  |  More