Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is among the most extensively tested psychotherapies for depression. Many studies have confirmed the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a treatment for depression. This paper will provide background information about the intervention, address the target population, and describe program structure and key components. It will also provide examples of program implementation, challenges/barriers to implementing the practice, address how the practice supports recovery from a serious mental illness standpoint and provide a summary. Although there are several types of therapy available to treat depression and other mood disorders, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) has been one of the most widely used. It is thought to be very effective in treating depression in adolescents and adults. CBT is targeted to quickly resolve maladaptive thoughts and behaviors without inquiring greatly into why those thoughts and behaviors occur as opposed to other forms of psychotherapy.
Keywords: CBT, depression, therapy, recovery
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors (NAMI, 2012). It is designed to modify the individual’s normative dysfunctional thoughts. The basic cognitive technique consists of delineating the individual's specific misconceptions, distortions, and maladaptive assumptions, and of testing their validity and reasonableness (Beck, 1970). By exploring thought patterns that lead to maladaptive behaviors and actions and the beliefs that direct these thoughts, people with mental illness can alter their thought process to improve coping. CBT is different from other types of psychotherapy because the therapist and the patient actively work together to recover from their mental illness.
Hayes (2004) proposes that the history of CBT can be divided into three overlapping but distinct generations. The first generation, commencing with the groundbreaking work of Skinner (1953), Wolpe (1958), and Wysenck (1952) and into the 1960s, and developed largely in reaction to the perceived weaknesses of psychoanalytic theory and therapy (Hayes, 2004). According to Hayes, emphasis shifted towards exploration of one’s interpretation of the world and interpretation of emotionally relevant situations, and shapes experience. This second generation of developments included rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) developed by Albert Ellis, and Beck and colleagues’ cognitive therapy.
There are many different forms of CBT and the target population varies depending on the form. Some of the many different forms include: trauma-focused CBT for children, CBT for late-life depression, and CBT for adolescent depression to name a few; each form has a variety of age groups intended as its target population. For example CBT for adolescent depression has the target population of individuals ages 13-17 and...