Discuss the Effectiveness of Cbt as a Treatment for Depression

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Discuss the effectiveness of CBT as a treatment for depression Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking psychotherapy that is now commonly available through general practice as a low cost alternative treatment to antidepressant drugs. Individuals with depression, a mood disorder, are found to have low levels of neurotransmitters (Schildkraut, Green & Mooney, 1985) and were traditionally treated with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). According to NHS statistics, SSRIs were prescribed more than ten million times in 2000, the most popular being Prozac and Seroxat. As these medicines were proving so successful, why should being able to talk to someone about the way we feel be a possible alternative? It is thought that depression is caused by either a missing genetic component (Hodgkinson, Mullans & Girling, 1990) or through low levels of the neurotransmitters (Schildkraut, Green & Mooney, 1985). SSRIs work in 60-80% of sufferers of depression, but do also have side-effects including dizziness, sweating, increased heart-rate and poor concentration (Martin, Carlson and Buslist, 2010) CBT is an evidence-based and cost-effective form of treatment that has been successfully applied a broad range of psychopathologies (Butler, Chapman, Forman and Beck, 2006). A CBT intervention can assist an individual make sense of the overwhelming problems that bring on the feelings of hopelessness associated with depression by breaking them down into smaller parts. The importance of the cognitive forces in an individual’s life and the way they impact the maintaining psychopathology, has led to the theory of cognitive therapy developed for depression (Beck, 1967, 1976). Beck argued that each individual has a set of cognitive beliefs against which that individual will measure the relative position of self, the world and the future. The relative positioning of these beliefs (or schema), (Beck, 1967, 1976) in the external environment being experienced by...
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