Group Cognitive Behavior Therapy

In this video from a recent CBT workshop at the Beck Institute, Dr. Aaron Beck explains how CBT techniques used during individual therapy can be effectively applied in the group setting. Dr. Beck discusses the “the 3 C’s”, a CBT technique in which patients are taught how to “catch”, “check”, and “correct” their automatic thoughts. In group-based cognitive behavior therapy, patients can use the “the 3 C’s” to help each other recognize and modify automatic thoughts they experience.

To learn more about cognitive behavior therapy training and workshops, visit

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Chronic Disease

In this video from Beck Institute’s recent CBT Workshop for Students and Faculty, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses cognitive behavior therapy for patients coping with medical problems.  Dr. Beck explains that depression associated with disease derives from the meaning one attaches to the physical ailment. It is neither realistic nor is it a derivative of disease, itself. Instead, patients who experience physical symptoms of disease may have exaggerated feelings of helplessness which leads to feelings of worthlessness. The depression they experience derives from the negative value judgments they make of themselves.

For more information on CBT workshops and training, visit our website.

Individualized Internet-CBT Reduces Symptoms in Adults with Panic Attacks

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, individually tailored, internet-based cognitive behavior therapy (iCBT) may help alleviate panic symptoms and comorbid anxiety and depression. The current study examined the efficacy of iCBT for adults with reoccurring panic attacks. Participants (n=57) were randomly assigned to either receive treatment immediately (n=29), or to a waitlist control group (n=28).  Treatment included eight weeks of therapist-guided and individually-tailored, modular CBT designed to target participants’ comorbid symptoms. At post-treatment, 67% of participants in the experimental group showed significant improvements in symptoms, as compared to 11% in the control group. At a 12-month follow up, 70% of participants interviewed had maintained improvements. These results suggest that tailored iCBT may be a valuable, short- and long-term treatment option for individuals with panic and comorbid anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Silfvernagel, K., Carlbring, P., Kabo, J., Edström, S., Eriksson, J., Månson, L., & Andersson, G. (2012). Individually tailored internet-based treatment for young adults and adults with panic attacks: Randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14(3) e65.

CBT for Childhood Trauma

In this video from Beck Institute’s recent CBT Workshop for Students and Faculty, Dr. Aaron Beck summarizes the process of treating patients who have experienced childhood trauma. Analyzing childhood experiences is an integral part of developing cognitive formulations of many individual patients, especially those with Axis II disorders. Sharing this formulation with patients often helps them to modify their maladaptive beliefs about themselves. In some cases, it is necessary for patients to relive a traumatic childhood experience (via imaginal exercises) to help them formulate an objective, dispassionate view of their experience at both the intellectual and emotional level.

Beck Institute hosts specialized workshops throughout the year including, CBT for Children and Adolescents. For more information, visit our website.


Community-Based CBT Workshop for Insomnia

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Sleep Research community-based, Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) workshops can be effective and accessible for participants suffering from symptoms of insomnia. Although insomnia is highly prevalent, individuals seek help infrequently and accessibility of treatment is often limited. The current study examined the effectiveness of large scale, one-day CBT-I workshops. These workshops were advertised and open to the public. Those who participated (n=151) were randomly assigned to either attend an experimental workshop and follow up sessions immediately (n=75), or to the waitlist control group (n=76).

The CBT-I workshops were significantly effective in reducing insomnia symptoms among participants at a 3-month follow-up. According to ratings on the insomnia severity index, symptoms reduced 17.6% in the experimental group, but only 3.5% in the control group. Participants also completed sleep diaries which support these results. The workshops proved to be accessible to the public, as 50% of participants had never sought help in the past. Further, they were rated as “very high” in satisfaction, with 90% of participants feeling “mostly or completely satisfied.”

This study indicates that treatment for insomnia can be delivered quickly and effectively within a large group (about 30 participants at one time). Further, CBT-I workshops designed for the public may increase the accessibility of effective treatment for individuals who might not otherwise seek help.

Swift, N., Stewart, R., Andiappan, M., Smith, A., Espie, C.A., & Brown, J.S.L. (2012) The effectiveness of community day-long CBT-I workshops for participants with insomnia symptoms: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Sleep Research, 21, 270-280.

Training Laypeople in Cognitive Behavior Therapy when Resources are Limited

In this video from Beck Institute’s recent CBT Workshop for Students and Faculty, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses the notion of training laypeople in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) when resources are limited. Dr. Beck cites an empirical study indicating that, with proper supervision, laypeople at the bachelor’s level can be effective with some clients. Dr. Beck also discusses his own research in which he has been able to train high school graduate level individuals to understand and utilize basic cognitive restructuring methods with mentally ill, homeless people. The trainees involved in Dr. Beck’s research were also able to use some of the CBT techniques they learned on themselves to reduce burnout and increase empathy toward their homeless clients.

To learn more about cognitive behavior therapy training visit our website.

Universal School-Based CBT Prevention Programs Reduces Anxiety in Children

According to a recent study published in Behavior Therapy, universal school-based cognitive behavior prevention programs may provide benefits for children who suffer from or are at risk for symptoms of anxiety. The FRIENDS program was developed in Australia in 2000. It is a cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) based early prevention program designed to help children with symptoms of anxiety. The children learn valuable strategies such as recognizing their anxiety, identifying and challenging their anxious thoughts, using coping skills, and self-rewarding for hard work and achievements.

The current study, based in Germany, consisted of children (n=638) from 14 different schools. Participants were separated into groups by school, either practicing the FRIENDS program (n=302) or participating in the control condition (n=336). After completion, the children who participated in the FRIENDS program showed significant reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms and had lower perfectionism scores at a 12 month follow up. There was no significant difference in the efficacy of the FRIENDS program based on gender; however, age showed to be a factor. The younger children (age 9-10) benefitted from the program earlier on, whereas the older children (age 11-12) showed program gains after 6 to 12 months. This suggests that older children may need to practice strategies in real-life settings before reaping full benefits. Higher parent participation also predicted greater reductions in anxiety at post-intervention.

This study supports the efficacy of a universal school-based CBT prevention program in a new country and shows that universal CBT prevention programs may be beneficial to school children, worldwide.

Essau, Cecelia A.,  Conradt, Judith,  Sasagawa, Satoko,  & Ollendick, Thomas H. (2012). Prevention of Anxiety Symptoms in Children: Results From a Universal School-Based Trial. Behavior Therapy, 43(2) 450-464.

Systems of Psychotherapy (Part 4)

In this video from Beck Institute’s recent CBT Workshop for Students and Faculty, Dr. Aaron Beck explains that when delivered effectively, many therapies are helpful in the treatment of depression in the short-term; however, in the long-term, their effects may not be lasting. On the other hand, research indicates that depressed patients treated with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) tend to continue to improve overtime. Dr. Beck attributes this durability of CBT to patients’ acquisition of new skills (learned in treatment) which they are able to utilize post-treatment and throughout their lives.

To view parts 1-3 of this video visit the Beck Institute Youtube channel.