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This study reports on analyses carried out by the authors on five ‘end of therapy’ evaluations conducted with clients who had received a brief course of cognitive therapy for depression. The clients' evaluation was based on Elliott's (1996) Change Interview Schedule. The transcripts were then analysed using grounded theory methods, and arranged into 10 categories and three category clusters. The category clusters included ‘the listening therapist’, ‘the big idea’ and ‘feeling more comfortable with self’. Clients' reported cognitive and emotional processes fit with Stiles et al.'s (1990) assimilation model.