CBT for Patients with Epilepsy and Depression

A recent literature review published in Epilepsia examined the effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as a treatment for depression in individuals with epilepsy (PWE). The systematic and qualitative review investigated both randomized controlled trials (RCTs), as well as case series via OVID. Databases utilized in this review included MEDLINE, PsychINFO, and the Cochrane EBM Reviews. All of the studies featured subjects with epilepsy, employed CBT, included a valid outcome measure for depression, and had been published in the English language, in a peer-reviewed journal. Two different researchers worked independently to determine if studies met the above inclusion criteria.

The researchers analyzed 14 distinct outcome papers in the literature review. These included 13 CBT trials, of which 6 were randomized controlled trials and 7 were case series. In half (3 of 6)of the RCTS, positive effects of CBT on depression were reported. A review of content revealed that the effective RCTs specifically tailored CBT to improve depression. Two of three RCTs that failed to find depression-related effects focused on improving seizure-control. This pattern was also observed in the case series investigated in this review. Overall this review suggests that CBT may be an effective treatment for depression in patients with Epilepsy. Given the small number of studies included in this review and methodological limitations, further research is warranted.


Gandy, M., Sharpe, L., & Perry , K. (2013). Cognitive behavior therapy for depression in people with epilepsy: a systematic review. Epilepsia, 54(10), 1725-34. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2013.06.096

The Blueprint of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

In this video from a recent Beck Institute Workshop, Dr. Aaron Beck describes cognitive theory and concepts. He provides examples to illustrate how CBT is employed to modify key negative beliefs and perceptions.

For CBT resources, visit our website.

CBT is Effective for Bulimia Nervosa

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a more effective and efficient treatment for binging and purging associated with bulimia nervosa than psychoanalytic psychotherapy. In the current study, 70 patients with bulimia nervosa were randomized to receive either 2 years of weekly psychoanalytic psychotherapy (n=34) or 20 sessions of CBT during a 5-month period (n=36). The Eating Disorder Examination Interview was administered to measure participant progress, before treatment at baseline, after 5 months, and after 2 years. While both treatments resulted in improvement, there was a significant difference in outcome between the two groups. After 5 months of treatment, 42% of patients in the CBT group had stopped binging and purging compared to 6% of patients in the psychoanalytic psychotherapy group. At 2 years, 44% in the CBT group and 15% in the psychoanalytic psychotherapy group had stopped binging and purging. Despite the considerable difference in treatment duration, CBT was more effective and generally faster in relieving binging and purging.

Poulsen, S, Lunn, S. Daniel S.I., Folke, S. Mathiesen, B.B., Katznelson, H. Fairburn, C.G. (2013). A Randomized Controlled Trial of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy or Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Bulimia Nervosa. American Journal of Psychiatry, doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.12121511

A Monthly Summary of Beck Institute Updates [November 2013]

In its efforts to encourage the growth and dissemination of CBT throughout the world, 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, CBT trainings, and other updates for our readers. We’re very excited about some of the new developments at Beck Institute, including our new Core Curriculum. Please use the following links to go back and read what you may have missed from November 2013:

Click here for a complete schedule of Beck Institute workshops

See what you missed in October 2013