July 25, 2006

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy use expanding in England

Dan pointed out this interesting article in The Guardian newspaper in the UK on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

A little more conversation

It is hailed as a quick fix for depression, schizophrenia, ME - even infertility. Now the government sees it as the answer to Britain's widespread mental health problem. So what is cognitive behavioural therapy? And does it really work? Helen Pidd investigates


Even CBT's greatest proponents admit readily that the treatment has its limits and caution against billing it as healthcare's great white hope. "There is the danger that CBT is being oversold as a cure-all. But no treatment is a cure-all," says Philippa Garety, professor of clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry and head of psychology at the South London and Maudsley Trust, who has conducted a lot of research into CBT and schizophrenia. "What is true, however, is that CBT is useful for quite a number of problems because so many things are related to how we experience and make meaning of the world."

It seems unbelievable that a condition such as schizophrenia, which is not just "all in the mind" but, most people now accept, is a brain disease, can be ameliorated by a talking therapy such as CBT. But, says Garety, CBT can - not as an exclusive treatment, but typically as an adjunct to medication. "Medication often helps change people's acute psychotic experiences, to reduce the over-arousal of the brain, but it doesn't always help to change how they felt about them at the time. As an example: a schizophrenic man who, after medication, had stopped seeing things jump out of mirrors at him, was still acutely troubled by the sense that he was being watched. He thought there were cameras on every street corner, above his bed, in his flat. Nothing was private any more and he was very distressed about it. Although the acute episode had been resolved, he couldn't change the way he felt, and he didn't want to take drugs in the long term. CBT was able to help him, because we looked at how he was making sense of his experiences, and at his triggers. We looked at why when a family member phoned up and said, 'Are you ok? you sound down,' he interpreted that as meaning that they had put a camera in his flat which is how they knew he was having a bad day. We were able to unpack these thoughts and feelings in the context of his relationships, and discuss what we termed his 'paranoid default'. After 20 hours of CBT spread over a year, this man (who had been schizophrenic for 10 years) stopped thinking that he was being watched."

Read the full article: A little more conversation

More information on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

Treatment of Schizophrenia via Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Review of CBT for psychosis - Harvard University Presentation/video


I am looking for an experienced Psychiatrist with Cognitive and Behavioral therapy for my son. He is 32 and was Dx'd at age 25. Psychiatrists said he is "higly functional". But hasn't been in a recovery/rehabilitation program.

I was at National NAMI convention and this therapy was mentioned as the best. Can anyone help me to find a Psychiatrist with experience with this type of therapy?
Thank you for the help. It is greatly appreciated.

Adela Detrinidad
Phone #619-216-2538

Posted by: Adela Detrinidad at July 31, 2006 04:17 PM

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