DIAGNOSIS: Depression

TREATMENT: Cognitive Group Therapy for Depression


  • Basic premise: Aaron T. Beck’s cognitive theory of depression proposes that persons susceptible to depression develop inaccurate/unhelpful core beliefs about themselves, others, and the world as a result of their learning histories. These beliefs can be dormant for extended periods of time and are activated by life events that carry specific meaning for that person. Core beliefs that render someone susceptible to depression are broadly categorized into beliefs about being unlovable, worthless, helpless, and incompetent. Cognitive theory also focuses on information processing deficits, selective attention, and memory biases toward the negative.
  • Essence of therapy: In cognitive therapy (CT), clients are taught cognitive and behavioral skills so they can develop more accurate/helpful beliefs and eventually become their own therapists.


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Bockting, C. L., Schene, A. H., Spinhoven, P., Koeter, M. W., Wouters, L. F., Huyser, J., Kamphuis, J. H., & DELTA Study Group. (2005). Preventing relapse/recurrence in recurrent depression with cognitive therapy: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(4), 647-657.

Janis, R. A., Burlingame, G. M., Svien, H. Jensen, J. & Lundgreen, R. (2021). Group therapy for mood disorders: A meta-analysis. Psychotherapy Research, 31(1).

Scott, M. J., & Stradling, S. G. (1990). Group cognitive therapy for depression produces clinically significant reliable change in community-based settings. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 18(1), 1-19.