Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 184–192 | Cite as

Reports of Therapy Skill Use and Their Efficacy in Daily Life in the Short-Term Treatment of Depression

  • Ariana C. Hoet
  • Chris J. Burgin
  • Kari M. Eddington
  • Paul J. Silvia
Original Article


Previous studies have shown that the use of therapy skills in between sessions is an important mechanism of symptom improvement. The current study expands this line of research by using a diary approach to examine the use of therapy skills in daily life. A sample of 39 depressed adults (85% female, mean age 38) were signaled twice per week throughout the course of either cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or self-system therapy (SST). Results showed that, on days when participants reported greater use of therapy skills, they reported better mood and functioning in almost all domains. Additionally, participants in CBT reported greater use of cognitive skills while participants in SST reported greater use of self-regulatory skills. This study demonstrates that repeated assessments of daily events and experiences, which prevent retrospective reporting biases, further confirm the importance of therapy skill use as a mechanism of action in psychotherapy.



This study was funded by NIMH (Award No. MH090414-02).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Ariana C. Hoet, Chris J. Burgin, Kari M. Eddington, and Paul J. Silvia declared that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ariana C. Hoet
    • 1
  • Chris J. Burgin
    • 2
  • Kari M. Eddington
    • 1
  • Paul J. Silvia
    • 1
  1. 1.UNCG Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.Tennessee Technological UniversityCookevilleUSA

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