THE USE AND NATURE OF PRESENT-FOCUSED INTERVENTIONS IN COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIORAL THERAPIES FOR DEPRESSION

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Abstract

To improve cognitive and behavioral therapies (CBT) for depression, several approaches recommend an increased focus on the occurrence of problems as they occur in the therapeutic relationship or in relation to the live therapy process, referred to as present-focused. A lingering question has been the degree to which CBT therapists already engage in present-focused work. This study utilized sessions from recent trials of CBT for depression and, in Phase I, raters identified present-focused interventions on a turn-by-turn basis. Phase II raters used a qualitative analysis to determine categories of present-focused interventions. Results indicated that therapists rarely focused on the therapeutic relationship; when they did, it was often transient and lacking in the elaborations suggested by newer approaches. Therapists more often performed therapy process and emotion focused interventions, but these also tended to lack elaboration.

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