Author Archives: Cognitive Behavior Therapy News | Beck Institute Blog

About Cognitive Behavior Therapy News | Beck Institute Blog

Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a non-profit organization founded in 1994 as an outgrowth of Dr. Aaron T. Beck’s original Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania. Today Beck Institute is an international training and resource center for health and mental health professionals, educators, and students worldwide. In addition to offering training programs at our Philadelphia location, we help create or improve cognitive behavior therapy programs at universities, hospitals, community mental health centers, health systems, and other institutions. Beck Institute also provides clinical mental health services and consultations and promotes research in the field.

Use of CBT for Severe Mood Disorders in “Real World” Settings

CBT studyThe current study examined the effectiveness of brief cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for severe mood disorders in an acute naturalistic setting. The sample included 951 individuals with either major depressive disorder (n = 857) or bipolar disorder with depressed mood (n = 94). Participants completed a battery of self-report measures assessing depression, overall well-being, and a range of secondary outcomes both before and after treatment. We found significant reductions in depressive symptoms, worry, self-harm, emotional lability, and substance abuse, as well as significant improvements in well-being and interpersonal relationships, post-treatment. Comparable to outpatient studies, 30% of the sample evidenced recovery from depression. Comparison of findings to benchmark studies indicated that, although the current sample started treatment with severe depressive symptoms and were in treatment for average of only 10 days, the overall magnitude of symptom improvement was similar to that of randomized controlled trials. Limitations of the study include a lack of control group, a limitation of most naturalistic studies. These findings indicate that interventions developed in controlled research settings on the efficacy of CBT can be transported to naturalistic, “real world” settings, and that brief CBT delivered in a partial hospital program is effective for many patients with severe depressive symptoms.

Björgvinsson, T., Kertz, S. J., Bigda-Peyton, J., Rosmarin, D. H., Aderka, I. M., & Neuhaus, E. C. (2014). Effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy for severe mood disorders in an acute psychiatric naturalistic setting: A benchmarking study. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 43, 3, 209-220.

Group CBT for Adolescents with Rape-Related Symptoms

BackCBT studyground: Efficacy studies on treatment in adolescent victims of single rape are lacking, even though sexual victimization is most likely to occur during adolescence and despite the fact that adolescents are at risk to develop subsequent posttraumatic stress disorder.

Aim: The aim of this prospective observational study was to evaluate the short- and long-term outcomes of a nine-session cognitive behavior group therapy (STEPS), including a parallel six-session parents’ group on rape-related symptomatology in female adolescents (13-18 years). STEPS includes psychoeducation, exposure in sensu as well as in vivo, cognitive restructuring, and relapse prevention.

Methods: Fifty-five female adolescents with mental health problems due to single rape, but without prior sexual trauma, received STEPS while their parents participated in a support group. Subjects were assessed on posttraumatic stress (PTS) and comorbid symptoms using self-report questionnaires prior to and directly after treatment, and at 6 and 12 months follow-up.

Results: Repeated measures analysis showed a significant and large decrease in symptoms of PTS, anxiety, depression, anger, dissociation, sexual concerns, and behavior problems directly after treatment, which maintained at 12 months follow-up. Time since trauma did not influence the results. Dropout during STEPS was 1.8%.

Conclusions: The results potentially suggest that the positive treatment outcomes at short- and long-term may be caused by STEPS. The encouraging findings need confirmation in future controlled studies on the effectiveness of STEPS because it may be possible that the treatment works especially well for more chronic symptoms, while the less chronic part of the sample showed considerable improvement on its own.

Bicanic, I., de Roos, C., van Wesel, F., Sinnema, G., & van, d. P. (2014). Rape-related symptoms in adolescents: Short- and long-term outcome after cognitive behavior group therapy. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 5.

Three-Year Outcome Study Shows CBT is Effective for Anxiety Disorders in Real-World Settings

CBT studyAnxiety and related disorders are highly prevalent and costly to society. Fortunately, a large number of randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of anxiety and related disorders. A smaller number of effectiveness studies have also demonstrated that similar outcomes to randomized controlled trials can be obtained in “real-world” settings. There is minimal research, however, into long-term outcomes in effectiveness research. This study describes the outcomes of 98 individuals with anxiety and related disorders treated in an outpatient, fee-for-service setting using a case formulation CBT approach. Participants were followed up each year after their discharge, for a period of 3 years. The results indicate that patients maintained their treatment gains, with large effect sizes obtained from pre-treatment to each follow-up time point (d = 1.11–1.60). The results provide preliminary evidence to suggest that individuals treated with CBT in “real world” settings maintain their treatment gains in the long-term.

Wootton, B. M., Bragdon, L. B., Steinman, S. A., &; Tolin, D. F. (2015). Three-year outcomes of adults with anxiety and related disorders following cognitive-behavioral therapy in a non-research clinical setting. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. Advance online publication. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2015.01.007.