Group CBT is Effective for Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder in Japan

According to a recent study published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) effectively reduces symptoms of generalized social anxiety disorder (SAD) and improves quality of life among Japanese patients for up to a year post-treatment. The present study aimed to identify the long-term efficacy and predictors of group CBT among patients diagnosed with SAD in a naturalistic setting in Japan. From July 2003 to August 2010, outpatient participants (n=113) received 12-20 group-based CBT sessions and were assessed at 1-year follow up points. The researchers then compared treatment completers to those who had dropped out. According to results, group-based CBT significantly reduced symptoms of SAD among patients, and these improvements were maintained for up to one year post-treatment.

Kawaguchi, A, Watanabe, N, Nakano, Y, et al. (2013). Group cognitive behavioral therapy for patients with generalized social anxiety disorder in japan: Outcomes at 1-year follow up and outcome predictors. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 9, 267-275.

CBT for People with Disabilities

In this video from a recent CBT workshop at the Beck Institute, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses how to use cognitive therapy with people who have disabilities. He discusses how an individual’s specific negative beliefs about his or her disability can lead to other disorders, including depression and suicidality. Dr. Beck then outlines three main objectives for therapists working with patients with disabilities.

To attend a workshop at the Beck Institute, visit our website.

CBT is Effective for Adherence and Depression in HIV-Infected Injection Drug Users

A recent study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy for adherence and depression (CBT-AD) can be an effective treatment for decreasing depression and increasing adherence to medication in HIV-infected injection drug users. The present study examined the effects of time-limited CBT-AD on participants with HIV and depression, and currently receiving treatment for their injection drug use.  Participants (n=89) ranged from age 18 to 65 and were randomly assigned to receive either CBT-AD (n=44) or enhanced treatment as usual (ETAU) (n=45). Participants in the intervention group received 9 treatment sessions over a period of 3 months, involving 11 informational, problem-solving, and cognitive behavioral steps. At each step, the participants and the therapist collaboratively defined the problem, generated alternative solutions, made decisions about the solutions, and developed a plan for implementing them.

At post-treatment, the intervention group showed significant improvements.  The Beck Depression Inventory showed a significant reduction in symptoms of depression in the CBT-AD group (M=5.1 points) compared to the ETAU group (M= <1 point). A 40% decrease in symptoms of depression was shown from baseline to post treatment with CBT-AD. These clinically significant improvements were maintained at the 12 month follow up. The Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS) showed that during the CBT-AD intervention, adherence improved 11.8% from baseline and 11.3% more than the ETAU condition. However adherence gains were not maintained at follow-up. It is proposed that continued adherence counseling may be necessary to maintain adherence gains, even when depression symptoms improve.

Depression and substance abuse are the most comorbid disorders associated with HIV-infection, and it is suggested that even a small change in adherence can result in improved outcomes for HIV patients. The results of this study suggest that the integration of CBT-AD into substance abuse counseling may be useful for decreasing depression and improving adherence to medication (with continued sessions) in HIV-infected patients with a history of injection drug use.

Safren, S.A., O’Cleirigh, C.M., Bullis, J.R., Otto, M.W., Stein, M.D., & Pollack, M.H. (2012) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adherence and Depression (CBT-AD) in HIV-Infected Injection Drug Users: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80(3), 404-415.

Ways for Therapists to Stay Motivated

In this video from a recent Beck Institute Workshop, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses techniques for therapists to remain motivated in their practice. He discusses the importance of distancing oneself from concerns and worries. Dr. Beck gives examples of how therapists can distance themselves, including meditation as well as monitoring and responding to their own cognitions.

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