Implementing Transdiagnostic Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy in Adult Public Behavioral Health: A Pilot Evaluation of the Feasibility of the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA)

  • Roselyn PetersonEmail author
  • Doyanne Darnell
  • Lucy Berliner
  • Shannon Dorsey
  • Laura Murray
  • Maria Monroe-DeVita


Few evidence-based psychotherapies are provided in adult public behavioral health (PBH), despite the need for such treatments. The common elements treatment approach (CETA) was developed for use by lay providers in low- and middle-income countries and may have relevance in PBH given its unique application with individuals with multiple diagnoses including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. This study utilized data collected as part of the implementation of CETA in 9 PBH agencies in Washington State with 58 providers, including a 2-day workshop and 6 months of consultation. Outcomes included provider-perceived skill in CETA delivery, training and consultation completion rates, and perceived appropriateness of CETA for clients. Thirty-nine (67%) providers completed requirements for training and consultation, and delivered CETA to a total of 56 clients. Perceived competence in delivering CETA improved over time, as well as client symptom scores. CETA shows promise for feasible and effective implementation within US-based PBH systems.


Transdiagnostic treatment Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, evidence-based practices Adult public behavioral health Comorbid disorders 



The authors would like to acknowledge USAID/Victims of Torture Fund as the funder for the design, development, and early feasibility and effectiveness trials of CETA in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The fourth and fifth authors are CETA developers; both have been paid to provide CETA trainings. The remaining authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic StressUniversity of Washington MedicineSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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