The Positive and Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

In this video from a recent workshop at the Beck Institute, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses CBT treatment for the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. First, Dr. Beck clarifies the difference between negative symptoms (such as social withdrawal) and positive symptoms (such as delusions and hallucinations). Then he explains that treating the negative symptoms of schizophrenia helps patients to reengage in life. As patients become more engaged, their positive symptoms (delusions and hallucinations) tend to decrease. Likewise, treatment that reduces positive symptoms helps patients to overcome their social withdrawal and engage in the real world.

For more information about CBT workshops, visit www.beckinstitute.org/cbt-training.

Group CBT for Social Phobia is Effective in Community Mental Health Clinics

According to a recent study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy, cognitive behaviour group therapy (CBGT) is effective within the community mental health setting. The current study compared outcomes from a CBGT 12-session protocol used within a research unit to outcomes from the same protocol used within a community mental health clinic (CMHC). Though participants in the CMHC sample had more severe symptomology and life interference; were more likely to use medication, have lower education attainment and socioeconomic backgrounds, and suffer from comorbid disorders, most of these differences were unrelated to outcomes. Results suggest that CBGT is transportable to and comparably effective within the CMHC setting.

McEvoy, P. M., Nathan, P., Rapee, R. M., & Campbell, B. N. C. (April 01, 2012). Cognitive behavioural group therapy for social phobia: Evidence of transportability to community clinics. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 50, 4, 258-265.

The Versatility of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

In this video clip from a recent 3-day CBT Workshop at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses the similarities and differences between CBT for Depression and CBT for Schizophrenia. Dr. Beck explains that both treatments aim to help patients relinquish their feelings of alienation and to elevate their beliefs about themselves and their future. Treatment for Schizophrenia also addresses the specific symptoms of schizophrenia, such as paranoia and hallucinations, which require specialized cognitive and behavioral techniques. For information about training in cognitive behavior therapy, visit our website.

Online Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Reduces Perceived Stress Levels

Cognitive Behavior Therapy StudyThere is evidence that Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can be an effective intervention for a wide range of chronic health problems.  Previous research suggests that mindfulness practices help alleviate stress. The authors of the current study sought to determine if online MBCT would also help decrease perceived stress levels among a self-referred sample.  Participants (100) took part in a 6-week mindfulness based stress reduction and cognitive therapy intervention program. They completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) before the program, after the program, and at 1-month follow up.  Results showed that online MBCT significantly reduced perceived stress levels; perceived stress levels remained stable at the 1-month follow up; and pre and post effect sizes were equivalent to levels found in other mindfulness and cognitive therapies delivered face-to-face. This study provides preliminary support for online based MBCT.

Krusche A., Cyhlarova E., King S., Williams J.M.G.  Mindfulness online:  A preliminary evaluation of the feasibility of web-based mindfulness courses and the impact on stress.  BMJ Open 2012; 2: e000803 doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000803

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression

In this clip from a recent 3-day workshop at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses CBT strategies for suicidal patients facing a number of losses or negative events (e.g., loss of job/family/assets/health/etc.) Dr. Beck explains that depression stems from the meaning one attaches to life events rather than the events themselves. For example, a person who is vulnerable to depression might believe, “Losing my job means I am worthless.” Dr. Beck then uses a patient example to demonstrate cognitive restructuring, a key CBT strategy for treating depression.

To learn more about Cognitive Behavior Therapy, visit our website.

CBT is Effective for Cocaine Addiction

A recent study published in Addictive Behaviors sought to determine whether the use of D-cycloserine (DCS), a cognitive enhancer, would improve the effects of CBT treatment and boost abstinence and treatment retention goals among cocaine addicts. Forty-four patients were randomly assigned to receive TAU (12-Step technique), four weeks of CBT treatment combined with DCS medication, or four weeks of CBT treatment combined with a placebo medication.

Results indicate that the condensed form of CBT was more effective than TAU. Furthermore, the addition of DCS did not increase CBT efficacy. In fact, the CBT plus placebo group showed slightly greater abstinence and retention rates than CBT plus DCS. This study adds to previous research that supports the use of CBT to promote relapse prevention and functional recovery among patients with cocaine addictions.

Kennedy, A. P., Gross, R. E., Whitfield, N., Drexler, K. P. G., & Kilts, C. D. (2012) A controlled trial of the adjunct use of D-cycloserine to facilitate cognitive behavioral therapy outcomes in a cocaine-dependent population. Addictive Behaviors, 37(8), 900-907.

Restructuring Negative Core Beliefs

In this clip from a recent 3-day workshop at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses the nature of negative core beliefs. Dr. Beck explains that core beliefs never go away; however, they can become latent with CBT treatment, diminishing their adverse effects. Latent core beliefs can become reactivated, but can then be quieted (or deactivated) again using CBT treatment strategies. Dr. Beck provides an example of strategies therapists can use to help clients restructure their negative core beliefs.  www.beckinstitute.org/cbt-workshops

Social Competence Influences CBT Treatment Response in Anxious Youth

According to a recent study published in Child Psychiatry & Human Development, there are significant associations between measures of social functioning and the severity of a child’s principal anxiety disorder. Further, social competence is likely to influence several key elements of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and CBT treatment response.

Participants (161, ages 7-14) diagnosed with a principal anxiety disorder participated in a randomized clinical trial. They received either individual CBT treatment, family CBT treatment, or an active comparison treatment (family-based education, support, and attention). According to results, children rated to be more socially competent by their mothers prior to treatment were more likely to respond positively to CBT and were less likely to have their initial anxiety continue to meet diagnostic criteria at a 1-year follow up, than children rated less socially competent. Future research should explore the mechanisms through which social competence may impact treatment response and mediators of the relationship better poor social functioning and anxiety in youth.

Settipani, C. A., Kendall, P.C. (2012). Social functioning in Youth with Anxiety Disorders: Association with Anxiety Severity and Outcomes from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Child Psychiatry & Human Development.

A Monthly Summary of Beck Institute Updates [May 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 May 2012:

See what you missed in April