How to Become Highly Skilled in CBT

In this video from a recent Beck Institute Workshop, Drs. Aaron and Judith Beck discuss the process of improving as a therapist. Like most skills, excellent therapy skills are achieved over time with good training and experience. Dr. Aaron Beck emphasizes the importance of utilizing patient feedback, as well as learning from colleagues and supervisors. Dr. Judith Beck discusses the importance of keeping an open mind in one’s progression as a therapist, including incorporating new techniques from other fields of therapy within the CBT framework.

Beck Institute provides several training opportunities for CBT therapists. For more information visit our website.

CBT Demonstrates Long-Term Effectiveness for Adults with Anxiety

According to a new study published in Behaviour Research and Therapy, research has demonstrated that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has long-term effectiveness for adults with anxiety disorders. The current study sought to examine the immediate and long-term effectiveness of CBT treatment within a naturalistic, outpatient setting. Participants (n=181) included individuals with the primary diagnoses of OCD, GAD, social phobia, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and specific phobia who had received at least 3 (and on average 14) CBT sessions with a therapist, using CBT interventions exclusively, in an outpatient, fee-for-service setting. At post-treatment, 113 participants (62%) were identified as “responders” or “remitters” (i.e., much or very much improved). Of these, 87 participants (77%) maintained their status as “responders” or” remitters” at one-year follow up. These findings suggest CBT outcomes for anxiety disorders among clinic patients are effective in both the short- and long-term.

DiMauro, J., Tolin, D. F., Domingues, J., & Fernandez, G. (2013). Long-term effectiveness of CBT for anxiety disorders in an adult outpatient clinic sample: A follow-up study. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51, 2, 82-86.

The Human Element in CBT

In this video from a recent Beck Institute Workshop, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses the importance of the therapeutic alliance in CBT. Today, such skills as empathy, warmth, and understanding are emphasized in all of the psychotherapies and associated with successful outcomes. Dr. Beck explains that “knowing the patient’s story” is key to establishing a “human element.” CBT therapists are trained to utilize CBT techniques, not robotically, but within the context of the client’s individual conceptualization and personal “story.”

Beck Institute hosts a number of workshops on a wide variety of topics throughout the year. For more information visit our website.

CBT Reduces Menopausal Symptoms Following Breast Cancer Treatment

According to a recent study published in The Lancet, CBT can help reduce menopausal symptoms among women following breast cancer treatment. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats are fairly prevalent among female breast cancer patients (65-85%) following treatment.  In the current study, researchers sought to determine whether CBT can help breast cancer patients effectively manage menopausal symptoms. Participants included 96 women recruited from breast clinics in London, UK. They were randomly assigned to received either group CBT (90-minute weekly sessions for 6 weeks) or usual care. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 9 weeks, and 26 weeks following intervention. At the 9 week follow up, CBT significantly reduced menopausal symptoms, improved mood, sleep, and quality of life among group CBT participants. These results were maintained at 26 weeks. These findings suggest that incorporating CBT into breast cancer programs may be beneficial to breast cancer survivors with problematic menopausal symptoms.

Mann, E., Smith, M. J., Hellier, J., Balabanovic, J. A., Hamed, H., Grunfeld, E. A., & Hunter, M. S. (2012). Cognitive behavioural treatment for women who have menopausal symptoms after breast cancer treatment (MENOS 1): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncology, 13, 3, 309-318.