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For Major Depression, Behavioral Therapies Out-do Meds

03 Nov

Romanian researchers from Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania, undertook a randomized clinical trial to investigate the relative efficacy of rational-emotive behavior therapy (REBT), cognitive therapy (CT), and pharmacotherapy in the treatment of 170 outpatients with nonpsychotic, major depressive disorder.

The patients were randomly assigned to one of the following: 14 weeks of REBT, 14 weeks of CT, or 14 weeks of pharmacotherapy (fluoxetine or prozac). The outcome measures used were the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and the Beck Depression Inventory.

No differences among treatment conditions at posttest were observed.  REBT had a larger and significant effect over the medication, and CT had a less large effect over medication (a nonsignificant one) at 6 months follow-up,  on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression only.

Citation:  David D, Szentagotai A,Lupu V, Cosman D. Rational emotive behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and medication in the treatment of major depressive disorder: a randomized clinical trial, posttreatment outcomes, and six-month follow-up. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2008 Jun; 64 (6): pages 728-46. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award