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Mechanisms of Change in Depression Treatment (USA 2015)

November 14, 2015 @ 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm PST

logo for ABCT 2015 convention

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: 60 minute symposium held at the 49th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)

Symposium 104: Mechanisms of Change in Depression Treatment

CHAIR – Dr Padesky is unable to attend ABCT. An alternative chair will be announced on-site.
Christine A. Padesky (Center for Cognitive Therapy, Huntington Beach, California)


  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression Using Mind Over Mood: The Differential Impact of CBT Skill Use on Symptom Alleviation by Lance Hawley (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada)
  2. The Effects of CBT for Adult Depression on Dysfunctional Thinking: Results of Two Meta-Analyses by Pim Cuijpers (Dept of Clinical Psychology, BU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Ioana Cristea (Dept Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
  3. Patient’s Attributions of the Causes of Sudden Gains in CBT Alone Versus CBT Plus Medication for the Treatment of Depression by Ramaris E. German (Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Robert J. DeRubeis (Dept of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennslvania)

Psychotherapy researchers have identified mechanisms of change associated with the onset and maintenance of depression symptoms. Although CBT is an empirically validated treatment for depression, the specific mechanisms by which effective CBT treatment leads to symptom alleviation are not entirely clear. Improving our understanding of mechanisms of change can help to clarify how to best disseminate principles for effective depression treatment.

This symposium presents results from three recent clinical studies which examined mechanisms underlying depression treatment response. The first study by Hawley et al. utilizes a longitudinal Latent Difference Score framework to examine whether there is a dynamic association between the client’s use of essential CBT skills (behavioural activation, cognitive restructuring, and core belief strategies) and depression symptom change, for clients receiving group CBT treatment using Mind Over Mood. The second presentation by Cuijpers and Cristea summarizes findings from meta-analyses investigating the role of dysfunctional thinking in CBT, pharmacotherapy and other psychotherapies as well as recent randomized trials examining moderators of outcome. The study by German, et al. examines the relationship of clients’ attributional style, sudden gains, and subsequent outcome during CBT alone as compared to CBT plus medication for depression treatment.

Our discussant will provide an overview of how these findings can help improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of structured psychological treatment approaches, in order to optimize treatment response.


  • SUMMARIZE data from three recent clinical studies examining the mechanisms underlying depression treatment response
  • RELATE these findings to several clinically relevant theories involving the nature of change during depression treatment
  • DISCUSS the implications of these findings for dissemination of effective treatments for depression

November 14, 2015 @ 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm
720 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago IL 60605 USA
This symposium is FREE with paid conference registration.
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)
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November 14, 2015
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm PST
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Hilton Chicago
720 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605 United States
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