The Future of Research in Cognitive Behavior Therapy

In this video from a recent Beck Institute workshop, Dr. Aaron Beck discusses topics in Cognitive Therapy requiring further research. There are many areas that may benefit from further study including research on how genetic variations predispose individuals to psychiatric disorders, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment, and the use of technology in CBT treatment.

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Determining Treatment Length in CBT

In this video from a recent Beck Institute workshop, Drs. Aaron Beck, Judith Beck, and Torrey Creed discuss the variability in length of CBT treatment. While many clients improve after 10-20 sessions, determining the length of treatment is a collaborative process that depends on the client’s goals and individual case formulation. Factors associated with length of treatment often include the severity of illness, personality, and level of support.

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CBT is Effective for Health Anxiety in Medical Settings

According to a recent study published in the Lancet, researchers have discovered that a short course of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) may be an effective and inexpensive method of reducing health anxiety among patients in medical clinics. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Health Anxiety in Medical Patients (CHAMP) study included 444 participants with health anxiety who were attending different medical clinics across six UK hospitals. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 5 to 10 sessions of CBT (n=219) or standard care (n=225). After one year, twice as many patients in the CBT group reached normal levels of health anxiety.  These improvements were sustained for 2 years, and there was no significant cost difference between the two groups. These findings suggest that a wider application of CBT in medical care may be beneficial to patients in medical settings.

Tyrer, P., Cooper, S., Salkovskis, P., Tyrer, H., Crawford, M., Byford, S., Dupont, S., … McLaren, E. (2014). Clinical and cost-effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy for health anxiety in medical patients: a multicentre randomised controlled trial.The Lancet, 383, 9913, 219-225.

Addressing Multiple Problems in Treatment

During a recent Beck Institute workshop, Drs. Aaron Beck, Judith Beck, and Torrey Creed discuss how to address multiple problems in treatment. Dr. Judith Beck stresses the importance of discussing the client’s new or current problem but also remembering to review homework from the previous session which may have been used to target a different problem (or problems) addressed previously. Further, using case conceptualization to guide treatment helps the therapist identify common threads within the conceptualization and maintain treatment continuity.

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