Cognitive Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder: Current Status
The view that psychological treatments have little to offer to the management of major depressive disorder is still not uncommon. A decade ago the evidence from clinical trials was broadly consistent with that view: The few trials that had been conducted generally indicated the relative ineffectiveness of traditional psychotherapies in producing symptomatic improvement in major depression. However, more recently encouraging evidence has been reported for the effectiveness of a new generation of highly structured psychological treatments, often incorporating a behavioral or cognitive-behavorial approach. Such evidence now convincingly demonstrates that in outpatients with major depressive disorder some of these treatments can achieve symptomatic reduction on average as great as that shown with tricyclic antidepressants. There is also some evidence to suggest that, compared to antidepressants, these psychological treatments can have a prophylactic effect in preventing relapse or recurrence following termination of treatment.
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