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Score Another One for Cognitive Therapy

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Score Another One for Cognitive TherapyThere are many things a person is unable to change.  A few examples are, who will win the World Series and Super Bowl this year or any year. However, there are many things each can change. One of these is the way we think about our lives and ourselves.

According to Daniel Strunk, co-author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University, people with severe depression are when the therapist puts the focus on negative thoughts rather than changing behavior.

Strunk conducted a study with Melissa Brotman of the National Institute of Mental Health and Robert DeRubeis of the University of Pennsylvania. Their results appear online in the journal, Behaviour Research and Therapy.

The findings from this carefully done piece of research demonstrates the fact that is thinking rather than acting that is most important in therapy. In other words, behavioral change can follow once people are feeling better.

In addition, those with milder forms of depression can feel encouraged by this. Work books, like those of Ken Burns, "The Feeling Good Handbook," teach readers the cognitive techniques to change their thinking from negativity to more realistic and helpful.

So, it is not a matter of "Don't do what I do," as much as use cognitive techniques to change your thinking from depressing to realistic and helpful.

Your comments and questions are encouraged.

Allan N. Schwartz, PhD