Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 441–457

On second thought: Where the action is in cognitive therapy for depression

  • Jacques P. Barber
  • Robert J. DeRubeis

DOI: 10.1007/BF01173905

Cite this article as:
Barber, J.P. & DeRubeis, R.J. Cogn Ther Res (1989) 13: 441. doi:10.1007/BF01173905


In this paper, we attempt to put forward an oft-ignored model for describing cognitive change during cognitive therapy for depression, while discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the three models of change described by Hollon, Evans, and DeRubeis. Along the way we point out some of the conceptual ambiguities regarding cognitive processes and contents as they have been applied in the cognitive therapy literature. We propose that short-term cognitive therapy works primarily through the teaching of compensatory skills. Our proposal is motivated, in part, by the paucity of differential effects of cognitive therapy when compared with antidepressant medications on existing cognitive measures, when at the same time there are reports of differential relapse prevention for these two treatments. In addition, we describe a set of features that a measure of compensatory skills should possess.

Key words

depressionmodels of changecognitive therapy

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques P. Barber
    • 1
  • Robert J. DeRubeis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA