RATIONAL EMOTIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY VERSUS COGNITIVE THERAPY VERSUS PHARMACOTHERAPY IN THE TREATMENT OF MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER: MECHANISMS OF CHANGE ANALYSIS

Aurora Szentagotai, Daniel David, Viorel Lupu, Doina Cosman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapies (CBT) are among the first-line interventions for major depressive disorder (MDD), and a significant number of studies indicate their efficacy in the treatment of this disorder. However, differential effects of various forms of CBT have seldom been analyzed in the same experimental design. On the basis of data collected in a randomized clinical trial comparing the efficacy of rational-emotive behavior therapy (REBT), cognitive therapy (CT), and pharmacotherapy (SSRI) in the treatment of MDD, the present article investigates the theory of change advanced by REBT and CT. Measures included to test the two theories of change assess three classes of cognitions: (a) automatic thoughts, (b) dysfunctional attitudes, and (c) irrational beliefs. The results indicate that REBT and CT (and also pharmacotherapy) indiscriminately affect the three classes of cognitions. On the long term (follow-up), a change in implicit demandingness seems more strongly associated with reduced depression and relapse prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-538
Number of pages16
JournalPsychotherapy
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • REBT
  • SSRI
  • cognitive therapy
  • major depressive disorder
  • theory/mechanism of change

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