Yet another study shows positive effects of CBT for depression

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Depression is a common mental health problem that can affect any one of any age at any time of their lives.

The usual form of treatment for depression is anti depressant medication, often in conjunction with some form of psychotherapy.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT has been gaining increasing recognition as a highly effective therapy for treating depression and the latest study to confirm this is a study by researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Not only did they find that CBT is effective at treating depression, as many other previous studies have found, but also that it could be directly applied to the kinds of routine therapy that can be provided in a normal psychotherapy practice.

“We have been able to prove that behavioral therapy is also of considerable value under these conditions” states psychologist Amrei Schindler of the Outpatient Policlinic for Psychotherapy of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

“Although our results were not quite as positive as those reported from randomized controlled trials.”

The Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz study involved 229 people who had been referred to the outpatient department suffering from depression between the years 2001 to 2008.

Out of the 229 people, 174 completed the full course of treatment, which included 35 therapy sessions over a period of roughly 18 months.

Analysis of the data showed that 61 percent of the sample saw an improvement in their symptoms of more than 50 percent and reported significantly fewer symptoms at the end of the therapy than when they started it.

It’s also important to point out that Dr Schindler summarised the results of a before and after comparison and it didn’t matter whether patients were taking drugs or not as that didn’t appear to have any effect on the outcome

Patients usually have to wait before they start therapy and the researchers discovered that the average wait in this study was around five months and during that time there was no obvious change to symptoms during this period of waiting.

“We conclude that the improvements are de facto attributable to behavioral therapy and are not the result, or at least not alone the result, of the use of psychotropic drugs or spontaneous remission” reported Schindler.

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