Culturally Adaptive CBT for Traumatized Refugees and Ethnic Minority Patients

An article in the current issue of Transcultural Psychiatry (April 2012) describes how cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can be adapted for treating PTSD among traumatized refugees and ethnic minority patients. Culturally adaptive CBT (CA-CBT) is a promising, culturally sensitive therapy technique that promotes emotional and psychological flexibility. In the current article, the authors describe 12 key components of culturally sensitive treatment for traumatized refugees and ethnic minorities. This treatment model which provides patients with new, adaptive processing modes may improve care among specific cultural groups.

Hinton, D.E, Rivera, E.I. Hofmann, S.G., Barlow, D.H., & Otto, M.W. (2012) Adapting CBT for traumatized refugees and ethnic minority patients: Examples from culturally adapted CBT (CA-CBT). Transcultural Psychiatry, 49(2) 340-365. Doi: 10.1177/1363461512441595

Terapia Cognitiva Conductal [Relationship Between Neuroscience and Cognitive Therapy]

Dr. Aaron Beck answers questions from participants at Beck Institute’s first ever CBT Workshop, conducted entirely in Spanish. In this clip, Dr. Beck discusses the relationship between neuroscience and cognitive therapy. Studies show that people with depression are hypersensitive to negative stimuli at both a conscious and subconscious level. This hypersensitivity tends to disappear when patients receive cognitive and behavioral interventions to overcome their depression. www.beckinstitute.org/cbt-workshops.

SPARX: A New and Effective Computerized, CBT Self-Help Intervention for Depression

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy StudyAccording to a recent randomized control trial published in the British Medical Journal, a new computerized cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) intervention, SPARX (Smart, Positive, Active, Realistic, X-factor thoughts), may reduce depressive symptoms in adolescents seeking treatment as much or more than treatment as usual. SPARX, which is similar in presentation to interactive fantasy avatar computer games, provides CBT interventions (e.g., psychoeducation, activity scheduling, behavioral activation, relaxation training, cognitive restructuring, and homework, etc.)  and sets and monitors real-life challenges. (See video demonstration below.)

In the current study, 187 adolescents (ages 12 to 19) with depressive symptoms participated in either the SPARX intervention or face-to-face-treatment as usual, and were followed up for three months. Results showed that symptom reduction among participants in the SPARX group was as great as the usual care group. Furthermore, recovery rates for the SPARX group were higher than usual care when participants completed at least four homework modules. These findings suggest that SPARX is, potentially, a less expensive and more accessible treatment alternative for depressed adolescents in primary care settings where the demand for treatment is often unmet.

Merry, S. N., Stasiak, K., Shepherd, M., Frampton, C., Fleming, T., & Lucassen, M. F. (2012). The effectiveness of SPARX, a computerised self help intervention for adolescents seeking help for depression: randomised controlled non-inferiority trial. British Medical Journal, doi: 10.1136/bmj.e2598.

Cognitive Therapy – Negative Core Beliefs (Part 2)

Dr. Aaron Beck answers questions from participants at Beck Institute’s first ever CBT Workshop in Spanish. In this clip, Dr. Beck discusses how core beliefs influence the impact of traumatic events. The activation of negative core beliefs about one’s situation can make it even more difficult to cope with life after a traumatic event. You can ask Dr. Aaron Beck your own questions at a Beck Institute CBT Workshop. For more information visit www.beckinstitute.org/cbt-workshops.

CBT Plus Exercise Training Improves the Physical Fitness of Fibromyalgia Patients

According to a recent study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, the physical fitness of patients with fibromyalgia improves significantly following a combination of CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) and exercise training. In the current study, participants with high-risk fibromyalgia were randomly assigned to one of two groups: (1) a wait-list control (WLC) and (2) a treatment condition (TC) consisting of 16 twice-weekly CBT sessions plus tailored exercise training. Participants in the TC also attended a follow up session at 3 months post treatment. Results showed that the fitness level of participants in the treatment condition improved significantly compared to those in the control.

Van, K. S., Kraaimaat, F. W., Wirken, L., Evers, A. W. M., Van, L. W., Van, H. T., Vedder, A., … Van, R. P. L. C. M. (December 01, 2011). Tailored cognitive-behavioural therapy and exercise training improves the physical fitness of patients with fibromyalgia. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 70, 12, 2131-2133.

Cognitive Therapy – Negative Core Beliefs

Dr. Aaron Beck answers questions from participants at Beck Institute’s first ever CBT Workshop in Spanish. In this clip, Dr. Beck discusses the origins of negative core beliefs. He describes the role that parents sometimes play in the development or maintenance of core beliefs in their children. One way to avoid or ameliorate this is by training the parents in CBT techniques. You can ask Dr. Aaron Beck your own questions at a Beck Institute CBT Workshop. For more information visit our website.

CBT Plus Medical Treatment is Most Effective for IBS

According to a recent study published in the Archives of Medical Science, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in conjunction with medical treatment is more effective for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) than medical treatment alone.  Participants in the current study (50 patients diagnosed with IBS) were randomly assigned to one of two groups: (1) an experimental group that received a combination of CBT and medical treatment, and (2) a control group that received only medical treatment. Results indicate that patients who received CBT in conjunction with medical treatment fared better (80% cured) than those who received medical treatment alone. These findings suggest that CBT reduces the disability caused by IBS and that CBT in conjunction with medical treatment should be utilized in the treatment of IBS.

Mahvi-Shirazi M, Fathi-Ashtiani A, Rasoolzade-Tabatabaei SK, Amini M., (2012). Irritable bowel syndrome treatment: cognitive behavioral therapy versus medical treatment. Archives of Medical Science. 29 (1): 123-129.

2012 Beck Institute Scholarship Competition Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our full-tuition Beck Institute Scholarship Competition:

Shannon Couture
Rebecca Greif
John Guerry
Brian Hall
Cara Lewis
Nina Martin
Barbara Van Noppen
Rick Pessagno
Darunee Phukao
Shari Steinman

Our Scholarship Competition received more than 600 entries from around the world! The commitment to the study and practice of CBT shown by all of the applicants was truly inspiring.

If you missed the Scholarship Competition and you are currently a graduate student or faculty member, you would still be eligible to apply to the Student and Faculty Workshop, which is being offered at a reduced rate ($650 instead of $1200) even if you were not awarded the scholarship – click here for more information.

A Monthly Summary of Beck Institute Updates [March 2012]

In its efforts to encourage the growth and dissemination of CBT throughout the world, the Beck Institute has expanded its online presence across social media and other platforms. To keep you (our readers) informed of our most recent updates, we’ve decided to implement a monthly summary including: blogs, CBT articles, and CBT trainings, and other updates for our readers. Please use the following links to go back and read what you may have missed from March 2012:

CBT Reduces Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms in Postpartum Women

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can help reduce obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) in postpartum women. In the current study, expectant mothers, at-risk for OCS, were divided into two groups: (1) A CBT prevention program and (2) a credible control program. Results indicate that women who received the CBT prevention program had reductions in obsessions and compulsions at one, three and six months postpartum. They also reported a decrease in cognitive distortions compared to the control condition.

Timpano K, Abramowitz J, Mahaffey B, Mitchell M, Schmidt N. Efficacy of a prevention program for postpartum obsessive–compulsive symptoms. Journal of Psychiatric Research [serial online]. November 2011;45(11):1511-1517.