CBT IN THE NEWS
CBT and ACT for Pain
EveryDayHealth.com, examining a 2013 study in the European Journal of Pain and a 2011 study in the Journal Arthritis Research and Therapy, explored how Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) successfully managed pain in fibromyalgia. In the Pain study, ACT had positive effects on pain-related functioning, mental health–related quality of life, self-efficacy, depression, and anxiety in 40 women with fibromyalgia. The participants attended 12 weekly group ACT sessions. In the Arthritis study, CBT was helpful in reducing pain catastrophizing in people with fibromyalgia. Catastrophizing, generally, is believing that something is — or will be — much worse than it actually is. In pain catastrophizing, a person magnifies the actual or anticipated pain he’s experiencing.
There was lots more in the studies, including combatting "pain fog" and working around fatigue.
To read the full article, which includes links to the research articles discussed, see
For those looking to talk to a CBT therapist, including those who use ACT, see
As many as one quarter of adolescents experience anxiety; and around 6% of people have anxiety their entire lives. According to Emily Bilek, who treats children and adolescents, normal fears are adaptive, but when anxiety interferes with life, or it becomes a "presence," and the sufferer or someone in the family says "something's got to give," it's time to seek help. She said the cause of the anxiety isn't important; treatment will have a positive effect, and CBT is the gold standard of care.
Bilek says that avoidance (of the thing that makes us anxious) narrows life. Often, anticipating the fear or even the physical changes that come with the anxiety is often worse than the thing feared.
We tend to over-predict negative outcomes and under-predict our own resiliency.
For the entire interview, see video ; for those interested in how we might treat, look at minute 13.
For more on anxiety, see ANXIETY Fact Sheet and this news
School and Your Nervous Kid
A little nervousness is good, especially with unknown situations, such as a new school with new kids, new teachers, new subjects. But some of our kids experience a LOT of anxiety, so much so that one in four meet criteria for a doctor to diagnose them as having anxiety.
And, according to doctors quoted in the Washington Post , anxiety is underreported.
How can a parent tell if his, or her, child is anxious, rather than nervous? According to Mary Alvord, it's likely to be anxiety if the child's fears and actions get in the way; or if the parent is accommodating the child.
For more on anxiety, see ; for more on school refusal, see
To find a therapist who uses CBT, see
Anxiety in a Changing World
Teens are facing monumental changes in their world. More options, greater access to more things, and different social interactions. Good? Or Bad? Those changes, and the effects they're having on today's teens, are discussed by a number of prominent psychologists who specialize in helping children and teens.
Stress on the Rise
Based on what books are selling, this seems to be true, especially among people living in traditional "blue" states, and not so much in decidedly "red" states.
The Washington Post puts this in context in a fascinating article, and even provides some resources, including, drum roll please, us. A number of prominent psychologists are quoted, one each from a red, blue, and purple state.
For more on anxiety, see
or, for one of many books on the subject, see our recommendations at Self-Help Books
Shaq and Shark
CBT helped Shaq overcome his fear of sharks:
This article from The Inverse outlines Shaq's course of Exposure Therapy, and quotes ABCT member Mitchell Schare in describing how Exposure Therapy works to reduce fears. What a role model! Stories like this reduce mental health stigma.
OCD and Doubt
This article in Self magazine describes the role of reassurance-seeking in OCD. OCD is a disease that thrives on doubt and uncertainty in a world where certainty is not realistic. The article describes the concept of accommodation, when family members and friends "give in" to the OCD by answering reassurance-seeking questions. While this allows someone suffering from OCD to feel better in the short term, it exacerbates the symptoms in the long term. Instead, CBT for OCD helps people realize the role of this reassurance and reduce it, often through responses that might initially come off as counter-intuitive and unsupportive.
To read the article, click here
For more information about OCD, see our fact sheet here
To find a therapist who treats OCD, click here
CBT for Back Pain
The Washington Post outlined various approaches to relieving back pain. The paper outlined the steps to take, and the order in which to use them. CBT is suggested immediately after exercise and yoga and well before meds, acupuncture, chiropractic. Surgery is below the fold. The recommendations for CBT for back pain are from Consumer Reports and are based on the results from a JAMA study. Interestingly, if one is looking for a therapist, the paper suggests going to ABCT's website. Well, congratulations, all you well read people: you found us.
For information on pain management, see
And, for a therapist, like the good people at Consumer Reports and the Washington Post recommend, see
CBT for Health Anxiety
The New York Times addresses CBT for Health Anxiety in this article, "A New Approach to Treating Hypochondria." Jane Brody describes health anxiety as a vicious cycle: "health-related fears can be exaggerated by physical symptoms that develop as a result of anxiety about being sick or getting sick. Anxiety itself can cause a rapid heart rate, chest pain, nausea and sweating that patients then misinterpret as a sign of physical illness. "
Though this type of therapy is not new, CBT helps patients recognize unhealthy beliefs and learn to cope with anxiety provoking situations.
Read the full article here
CBT Effective in Combating Suicide
ABCT member Judith Beck outlines the ways that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works as an effective treatment for suicidality. She describes how creating a safety plan provides hope, and how CBT uses clear steps to teaching people to solve problems and prevent relapses.
Read her article in the New York Times here
It's not just celebrities; in fact, suicides are on the rise across the country, in 49 of our 50 states. Ben Carey, in the New York Times, traces some of the probable causes, and the correlational statistics attending them.
Carey notes that the "biggest increases have been in states like Oklahoma, Montana and Wyoming where gun ownership, drug use and economic hardship are common. Among middle-aged people across the country, marriage rates have declined, and social isolation has increased." Carey is careful not to say that more guns, higher drug usage, and increase poverty are the reason, but he notes their increased presence and increased suicide rates.
To add evidence, though, to the impact of the availability of guns on suicides, Carey notes that "a handful of states have passed legislation allowing authorities to seize firearms from people deemed mentally unstable or 'dangerous.' In a study of these laws in two states, Indiana and Connecticut, researchers at the University of Indianapolis found that the legislation led to reductions in gun-related suicides, compared to the expected numbers: they were 7.5 percent lower in Indiana in the decade following enactment, and 13.7 percent lower in Connecticut in the year since strict enforcement began.
To read Carey's full article, see
In addition, we have a number of resources that might be useful in understanding suicide or in dealing with its aftermath.
For a list of treatment providers who work with depression and suicide, check out ABCT's Find-A-Therapist page here
Parenting behavior can have a large impact on childhood independence. Andrea Peterson lays out the research on childhood independence for her article in the Wall Street Journal. ABCT member Alan Kazdin recommends that parents encourage their children to "practice" independence in small, low stakes situations. Others encourage children to begin helping with household chores from a young age, with the ultimate goal, according to former ABCT president Anne Marie Albano, of having children be self sufficient by the time they leave to college.
It is sooooo worth the read
Middle School Resilience
NPR features the Resilience Builder program, developed by ABCT member Mary Alvord. This program is a form of group therapy designed to help students who are struggling with both trauma and everyday anxiety caused by things like bullying or moving schools. By teaching social and emotional skills, Alvord argues that if students can learn this kind of resilience, they can better adapt to the world around them.
To listen to or read more about it, click here
Apps for Anxiety
This Medical News Bulletin article reviewed a recent important study on mobile apps aimed to help children with anxiety. The study, published in Behavior Therapy, evaluated 121 apps found in Google Play and the Apple Store.
These apps targeted children with anxiety and their families, and were meant to enable families access mental health treatment techniques to help their children.
The study found that while most of these apps were free or low-cost, few of them contained evidence-based treatment components, with only 1/5 utilizing any form of exposure, one of the most integral parts of CBT for child anxiety.
The author of the article discusses the utility of these apps along with or independent of standard CBT treatment, and also reflects on the challenges facing those teams trying to create these kinds of mental health related apps.
With technology becoming an increasingly prevalent aspect of healthcare, it is important to stay up-to-date with these developments and understand how apps such as the ones reviewed in the cited study can help or hinder treatment.
Read [article] to find out more!
A copy-right protected version of the article appears in Behavior Therapy; you can read the abstract, or if you or your institution is already a subscriber,
see the full article here
This recent New York Times article discusses Mariah Carey's recent disclosure regarding her struggles with mental illness.
Carey was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder in 2001, in the midst of an extremely successful career, but kept her mental health struggles a secret until recently because of her fears that stigma would end her career.
The last year has seen a wave of celebrities disclosing their personal mental health battles, inspiring others to follow suit in an effort to stomp out the stigma of mental illness.
For individuals struggling with bipolar disorder, characterized by extreme mood swings ranging from mania to extreme depression, accurate and timely diagnosis as well as both CBT and psycho-pharmaceutical interventions are critical to best care practices.
Disclosures from celebrities like Mariah Carey help to increase awareness and can encourage individuals who are suffering to seek help.
In addition to making an effort to destigmatize mental illness, ABCT also has a "Find a Therapist" page with an extensive list of therapists and their areas of expertise to help those who are beginning the journey toward mental health and wellness.
To learn more about Bipolar Disorder, see
The Persistent Effects of Childhood Trauma
Junot DÍaz, an award-winning author, opens up about his long struggle with the experience of childhood trauma
He describes how his experience of childhood sexual assualt led to severe depression, suicidal behaviors, and difficulties in relationships for decades. He finally was able to begin removing the “mask” of trauma with the help of a dedicated therapist.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD can help individuals recover after a traumatic experience. Learn more about PTSD and its treatment by visiting the VA’s National Center for PTSD website
You can also read more about the effects of and treatment for Childhood Sexual Abuse
"Courage is what we display when we face our fears and anxieties and take the risks of tackling the challenge despite those feelings."
Philip Eil describes his own experience with, as well as treatment for, anxiety. He describes anxiety as "a kind of ingenious, shape-shifting villain that knows the things I care about, and attacks them," and how Exposure Therapy helped him cope better by facing his fears.
Read the full article here
To find out more about anxiety, see the following fact sheet
For information on how to choose a therapist, click here
Warning Signs in Kids
A new study warns that kids who self-harm are at a much higher risk for suicide.
Violent self-harm may even be the indication of a failed attempt. However, the lead author of the study points out that forms of CBT, especially DBT, or dialectical behavior therapy, can teach kids positive coping skills, thereby reducing risk.
For more on the study, see
For more on self-harm, see on YouTube or read here
There's a great review of a scientific paper that explains the mechanism by which therapists help those suffering from OCD confront it and, one hopes, reduce its hold.
They explain "exposure" and how it works, which is requiring the person to confront precisely what he, or she, has been working so hard to avoid.
Exposure is done in a controlled way, so, for instance, a person with a snake phobia isn't thrown, a la Indiana Jones, into a pit of pythons.
To read more, see
For those interested in learning more about OCD, see
And to find a CBT therapist to help guide you to a freer life, see
Campus Mental Health
Recent surveys a have identified a significant increase in college mental health problems, according to a recent article published in Time Magazine. In a 2015 report, The Center for Collegiate Mental Health noted a 30% increase in college students seeking mental health services on campus, and according to a survey conducted by the American College Health Association, this past year saw a definitive increase in college students’ symptoms of depression, suicadality, and anxiety. This important article highlights a rising mental health crisis in a vulnerable population, and discusses several proposed solutions, including the work of past ABCT president Anne Marie Albano.
Read to find out more about this problem and how we as clinicians can be involved in providing college students with evidence-based mental health care
For more information on depression and anxiety, see DEPRESSION and ANXIETY DISORDERS
Cost of Popularity
Teens will get as much from this article as their parents, as the Washington Post explores various notions of popularity, ways to think about, its cost, and even some of the effects later in life. Not surprisingly, ABCT members feature prominently in this article on parenting and problem solving.
In "The Day I Realized I Couldn't Handle My Anxiety Alone," Author Andrea Peterson discusses the difference between feeling worried and having anxiety eat away at your life. She experiences physical symptoms of anxiety and worried thoughts. Through a combination of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, medication, and exercise, she gets her life back on track.
To read the original article, click here
For more information about Anxiety Disorders, see the following fact sheet
For information on what to expect from Cognitive Behavior Therapy, click here
To find a CBT therapist in your area, click here
"Everyone is Going Through Something"
NBA player Kevin Love opens up about having a panic attack in the middle of a basketball game, and his search for treatment. Read the full article here
Panic attacks are defined as a sudden rush of intense fear or dread, which usually goes along with several physical symptoms and thoughts. Panic attacks can be treated through a variety of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques.
To read more about panic attacks and their treatment, see the following fact sheet
"In the Mirror, A Fractured Reflection"
Country star Lindi Ortega talks about her experience with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) in a personal piece about her struggles with this condition related to OCD, the effects of social media, and how facing the condition, therapy and exposing herself to be in the spotlight has was been transformative.
Read the full article here
BDD is condition related to OCD, characterized by intrusive thoughts and unwanted preoccupations with imagined or slight defect in appearance. BDD can be treated with CBT techniques.
To read more about OCD and related conditions like, BDD and treatment, see the following fact sheet
Online cognitive bias modification
The internet offers a promising way to deliver therapeutic skills with lower barriers than in traditional clinic-based practice. Bethany Teachman describes a new program developed by her lab that seeks to train individuals to have more healthy (nonthreatening) interpretations of ambiguous stimuli. Individuals are presented with short scenarios via their computer, phone, or tablet; the descriptions include an ambiguous element that is resolved at the end of the description. The individual completes a word fragment in the scenario to “cement” the positive interpretation, then completes a comprehension question.
To see the article:
Internet-based programs such as this one, as well as more comprehensive programs ( see ) may help to provide critical, evidence-based skills to the millions of people worldwide who suffer from psychological disorders.
Teachman’s group is actively testing their interpretation training programs to help determine how the training works and for whom; participation is available at: https://mindtrails.virginia.edu
Fighting anxiety doesn't always mean trying to relax. ABCT members Simon Rego and Mary Alvord speak to Real Simple magazine about why the classic advice to "just relax" when you're anxious doesn't work.
They discuss how to use effective techniques to fight anxiety and stress without calming yourself down, including facing your anxiety head on, and redefining relaxation in a way that speaks to you.
Read the full article
For more on anxiety, see and stress, see
To find a CBT therapist who can help you fight back, see
One in five Americans suffer from mental illness. This article highlights one family's experience with depression, as well as the toll it can take when suffered in silence.
The good news is that CBT can help
For more information on depression, see ; to learn more about what therapy is see
You can also scan some of our recommended self-help books on depression, including
Parenting, CBT, and the Anxious Child
The Wall Street Journal and New York Times feature the role of CBT in treating childhood anxiety.
The Wall Street Journal talks to CBT experts Anne Marie Albano, Eli Lebowitz, Andrea Chronis-Tuscano, and Jill Eherenreich-May about the role of parenting in maintaining and treating childhood anxiety. They discuss the role of helping parents reduce problematic behaviors related to their child's anxiety, while teaching parents to deal with their own feelings.
The full article is available here
The New York Times highlights CBT as an effective treatment for childhood anxiety. They talk to ABCT member Stephen Whiteside about his metanalysis published in JAMA comparing CBT to medication. "The most helpful form of therapy, Dr. Whiteside said, according to the evidence, is exposure-based cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves helping kids face their fears in a supportive environment."
Read the full article here
For more information on anxiety, see
for more on how CBT can help in parenting, see
to hear Anne Marie Albano explain more about childhood social phobias, hear her on YouTube
And for a list of CBT therapists, see
the CBT for Depression
A Psychology Today blog featured a discussion of
living with depression, including dealing with the early stages. The bottom line
is that the author states that depression can often be managed with professional
assistance, and he recommends CBT as one of the most effective approaches. He
also highlights his own book, which he found in ABCT's Self-Help Book
Recommendations directory. For the full article, see
For our Self-Help Book directory, see
http://www.abct.org/SHBooks/; for more on depression, see
http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_DEPRESSION, and, for a
directory of therapists who use CBT, see http://www.findcbt.org/xFAT/.
Photo courtesy of Pedro Ribeiro SimÃµes, modified by Sertion.
Conquering Negative Thinking
The New York Times recently ran an article discussing the origins of, and cures for, negative thinking. We are, the article postulates, "built to over learn from negative experiences... and under learn from positive ones" as an effective way of avoiding saber tooth tigers, and more recently, poisonous plants and wasp nests. Most of this, though, is now maladaptive behavior. One psychologist cautions that merely trying NOT to worry is precisely the wrong approach, saying "worry and obsessions get worse when you try to control your thoughts." Think Pink Elephants. Now, don't. They go on to suggest mindfulness and acceptance as effective techniques, and offer another piece of advice: Actively FIND the positive. To read the article, see http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/03/well/mind/the-year-of-conquering-negative-thinking.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fwell&_r=0. For more on Worry, see http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_WORRY; for more on obsessions, see http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_OBSESSIVE_COMPULSIVE; to find a CBT Therapist, see http://www.findcbt.org/xFAT/; and to learn more about the therapeutic experience and how you can benefit from it, see http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_GUIDELINES_CHOOSING
Consumer Reports, in its February issue of this year, the "Sleep Issue," covered various fixes for sleep problems. Most sleeping pills fared poorly in doing what they're prescribed to do, and come with all kinds of side effects, including auto accidents whose rates match those driving under the influence. But CBT has none of those side effects, provides more sleep time, on average, than the pills, and can even be used to wean you off those pills if you want a longer sleep and clearer morning.
Photo courtesy of Sasikiran 10
CBT on Campus
Florida's public university system is planning to add psychological resources to aid their anxious students. They'll be emphasizing CBT instead of self-medication or, worse, leaving problems unaddressed. Says one therapist, whose patients are primarily those who mirror the university population, "CBT is an effective treatment for college students with anxiety disorders, depression, insomnia, OCD, body-dysmorphic disorder, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, among other conditions." To read more, see http://folioweekly.com/The-Kids-are-NOT-All-Right,16559. To better understand anxiety, see http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_ANXIETY; ; and to get a better handle on how to find a CBT Therapist, see http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_GUIDELINES_CHOOSING. Need a CBT therapist, check out http://www.findcbt.org/xFAT/
photo courtesy of BjØrn Som Tegner.
The Wall Street Journal reported that doing therapy in the morning, taking a nap afterward or adding a medication that enhances learning are just a few of the methods scientists use to make cognitive behavioral therapy work better.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/for-better-talk-therapy-try-napping-1480352207. Thinking of therapy, see our directory of therapists at http://www.findcbt.org/xFAT/ and see how to choose your therapist at http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_GUIDELINES_CHOOSING
Congratulations Dr. Craske
Professor Michelle G. Craske at UCLA is the recipient of the 2017 the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP) Distinguished Scientist Award. This award is made to individuals who have made an extremely important career contribution to the science of clinical psychology and represents the highest award that SSCP can give. Michelle is the immediate past-president of ABCT, a former president of SSCP, and chaired the Anxiety Disorders subgroup for DSM-5. She is an acknowledged leader in the psychopathology and treatment of the anxiety disorders and in recent years has extended her work to depression as well. She is without question one of the best and the brightest in the field and we are honored to make this presentation.
Photo courtesy of Joe Mabel.
CBT Helps Psychosis
New study finds that, When added to medication management visits, CBT interventions improve the therapeutic alliance, reduce stigma associated with psychosis, build skills to self-monitor and manage symptoms, reduce reliance on medication, and promote recovery.These interventions reinforce skills learned by patients Psychiatrists will find the extra few minutes spent with the patient to be personally enriching and professionally satisfying while improving outcomes and satisfaction for patients and their families. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/special-reports/brief-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-interventions-psychosis.
The Portland Tribune featured an article on childhood anxiety, trying to find a way to walk the line between normal worry, you know, about school, clothes, what Suzy thinks, and anxiety that interferes with their functioning and their joy. There are some good tips here, including one on social media: "Social media has been particularly rough on children, especially when itâ€™s being utilized negatively.... Not only is it important to monitor your child's online activities; it's also important to watch how they react to what they are doing online." to read the entire article, see: http://portlandtribune.com./pt/244-health/321707-197973-worried-about-your-childs-mood-or-behavior-. For more on anxiety, see our fact sheets on anxiety http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_ANXIETY, bullying http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_BULLYING and how to choose a CBT therapist http://www.findcbt.org/xFAT/.
Dealing with Social Anxiety
It's two months of parties coming up with the holidays, what with turkeys and wreaths and that ball that drops once a year. For those of us with social anxiety, that's scarier than the holiday just passed. One magazine has a number of tips from several experts in the field. And, as you'll read in the final recommendation, all the experts recommend CBT if that anxiety is getting in the way of your life: http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/how-overcome-social-anxiety-without-alcohol. For more information on anxiety, social anxiety, and CBT, see http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_ANXIETY, http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_SHYNESS" and http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_GUIDELINES_CHOOSING. Or, to find a threapist to help, see http://www.findcbt.org/xFAT/.
Photo courtesy of James Kim.
CBT reduces anxiety, panic
Targeted CBT reduces anxiety and panic. An article in the Irish Times, posits that "The first insight is that anxiety pathways in our brain can be reshaped by our mind â€“ a process called neuroplasticity. This is best done with the harnessed use of our mind. Targeted CBT exercises can reshape our anxious mind and, in turn, the very anxiety pathways creating the problem." There's much more in http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/how-can-you-deal-with-panic-attacks-and-social-anxiety-1.2817907
A new preventative antidrug program identifies the traits that put children and adolescents at risk for addiction. Teachers and students are taught CBT skills to cope with the underlying emotional issues related to increased risk of addiction. The New York Times article explores the traits and how they are often not the ones that seem apparent. Read more:
Photo courtesy Faisal Akram, Dhaka, Bangladesh
BT for Sleep
Behavior Therapy was shown to be a better first choice for help in reducing sleeplessness than pills. The results and details can be found in an article in Psychiatric News
Oil on canvas, "Peanut Butter, The Binges," by Maria Raquel Cochez
Binge-eating disorder can be treated with talk therapy or drugs
Reuters followed up on a meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and reported that a research team led by Kimberly Brownley of the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill conducted a meta-analysis of studies using CBT, second-generation antidepressants and the amphetamine, lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) for treatment of binge-eating disorder, all of which have been deemed effective. Researchers highlight the success of CBT in changing the associated thoughts and resulting behaviors of binge-eating disorders.
POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP, POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
CBT and Job Stress
Fox 55 in Springfield, Illinois urges its audience members who are stressed about the job search process to consider CBT. The article discusses the importance of challenging thoughts that could lead to anxiety and depression which can in turn result in maladaptive behaviors that interfere with the job search process (e.g., avoidance). Frustration/distress intolerance, global ratings of worth, and catastrophizing are cited as the primary culprits. "Talk Therapy" Helps Job Hunters. for more information on stress, see a full range of books that might help at our self-help book directory, including this one on stress, http://www.abct.org/SHBooks/?shTab=1&action=11&vBookID=236, or this on overcoming worry, http://www.abct.org/SHBooks/?shTab=1&action=11&vBookID=204, and see our fact sheet on stress: http://abct.org/docs/Members/FactSheets/ANXIETY.pdf.
Therapuetic Approaches for Insomnia
Psychiatric Times discusses a therapeutic approach that combines elements of common treatment approaches for bipolar disorder. Referred to as CBT-IB (cognitive-behavior therapy for insomnia & bipolar disorders), this approach combines elements of CBT for insomnia, social rhythm therapy, chronotherapy, and motivational interviewing. To break it down, this therapy incorporates sleep hygiene, regular sleep and wake routines, integration of therapeutic light and darkness to address circadian rhythms. The article acknowledges the limited research dedicated to this combined approach, but is still worth a read. CBT-IB: A Bipolar-Specific, All-Around Psychotherapy. For more on insomnia and how sleep is affected, see our excellent fact sheet on Circadian Rhythms: http://www.abct.org/Information/?m=mInformation&fa=fs_SLEEP_CIRCADIAN
Gerald Patterson, in Memoriam
Gerald Roy Patterson left us on August 22nd, 2016, surrounded by his family. Jerry was born in North Dakota to a family that worked on the railroad and in the iron mines; he grew up in northern Minnesota, where his love for nature developed. After receiving his doctorate from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Patterson became one of the first investigators to develop empirical measurements of family interactions and propose and test new theories and evidence-based treatments for troubled families with that data.
Dr. Patterson's many awards include a Presidential Citation and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Psychological Association, the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota, an honorary doctorate from the University of Norway, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Research in Aggression, and a Merit award from the National Institute of Mental Health for excellence in research.
ABCT and APA past president Dr. Alan Kazdin said, "... Gerald R. Patterson's contributions to psychology include widely-cited coercion theory, early leadership in the behavior therapy movement, ground-breaking and paradigmatic research on aggression and antisocial behavior, and the development and empirical testing of parent management training."
He is the founder of the Oregon Social Learning Center in Eugene, where he continued to work until the last. He has devoted more than 40 years to the study of processes that disrupt family functioning and the development of "coercion theory," a data-based schema that explains these processes.
His books on parenting, "Families, Living with Children" and "Parents and Adolescents" have been read by millions. He has published over 200 hundred peer-reviewed articles, dozens of book chapters, and books on parenting, the outdoors, as well as poetry.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Marion Forgatch; his five children; and five grandchildren.
Three things I learned about anxiety by giving a TED talk about anxiety
Steve Hayes shares his experience, and his pain, while showing his TED talk
Suicide Rates Increasing
NPR features an article that highlights increasing suicide rates. Their article focuses on troubling increasing rates, especially heartbreaking among adolescent girls.
It also points to the need to increase access to services for youth of all ages and socio-economic strata.
And it speaks to screening for early intervention and prevention, which is not something that we do regularly, consistently, or comprehensively in the US. It speaks to the continued stigmatization of persons with mental health problems that prevent them from seeking help.
And, it speak to the lack of evidence-based treatments, like CBT and DBT, being available in the community.
To see the article
CBT for ADHD Getting More Play
The implications of treating kids with ADHD with CBT first is getting lots of play in more specialty conduits well beyond CBT's traditional reach.
The topic got lots of play when Ben Carey of the New York Times highlighted a pair articles that demonstrated the utility of CBT in treating ADHD.
What's fascinating is that other areas, like a site dedicated to kids with learning disorders, has picked it up:
The blog ends with this cutting remark: ï¿½I think this is a very important study, and the take-home is that low-cost behavioral treatment is very effective,ï¿½ said Mark Stein, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Washington, ï¿½but the irony is that that option is seldom available to parents.ï¿½
CBT Reduces ADHD Effects...
The New York Times' Benedict Carey talks about several studies investigating CBT's effects on ADHD symptom outcomes.
He writes that those students who began treatment with CBT all had better outcomes, regardless of the types of treatment used later on.
Further, he found that by using CBT as a treatment approach in the beginning, treatment costs were reduced annually by an average of $700, when factoring in direct and indirect costs.
To see the article, click here
Get Some Sleep
CBT for Insomnia (CBT-I) has been shown to be at least as good as, and sometimes better than, medication in fighting insomnia.
Read why, and how. Then sleep on it
Stefan Hofmann provides insights into Social Anxiety, its relative commonness, and techniques CBT therapists might use to help sufferers confront it effectively
For more information see
Depression rates are holding steady and suicide rates are decreasing, so why do folks think Millennials are more prone to both?
Mitch Prinstein and others join NPR in exploring this
Patients with multiple sclerosis suffering from fatigue can benefit from an online CBT-based fatigue management program. Other benefits from the program include improvements in anxiety and subjective cognitive impairment.
For more on this, please see
Money for Clinical Research in CBT
Dr. Richard Friedman, a well-known psychiatrist in New York, recently published an Op-Ed article in the New York Times, which made a strong case for increasing federal funding for research on psychotherapeutic interventions.
NPR's All Things Considered had a program about how people who consider suicide also consider the means, and one means is guns.
With September as Suicide Prevention Month, maybe it's time to remove triggers to your loved ones' realized suicide.
For more on suicide, see
CBT and Depression
The New York Times' article, covering a replication study of Paxil's effects is in stark contrast to CBT's long-term effectiveness in treating depression, its long-lasting positive effects, and its absence of negative side-effects.
To learn more about CBT and depression, see also
Reducing Anxiety Over the Internet
An internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ICBT), structured to simulate face-to-face treatment, may be a suitable option for adolescents with anxiety disorders
For more information on Anxiety, see
To learn more about what questions you might ask the therapist, see
Examining Emotion in Procrastination
An article in the Wall Street Journal discusses the role of emotion in procrastination. Impulsivity and poor negative emotion tolerance may be just as important as poor time management strategies in facilitating procrastination. Exposing procrastinators to stressful feelings or thoughts is linked to decreased procrastination
BT Helps Insomnia
Cognitive Behavior Therapy shown to reduce insomnia symptoms and sleep disturbance in individuals with co-existing psychiatric symptoms: here
Huffington Post discusses how online therapy may bring down barriers to therapy and help bring therapy to those who otherwise couldn't, or wouldn't, use it.
An online CBT program may help those clients who normally wouldn't receive treatment due to financial constraints or those with limited access to therapists:
CBT for Panic
What's the best way to treat panic?
CBT according to an article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The next best thing is staying in treatment.
For more, see
and for more on Panic, see
Many of us look at college as a new adventure, and as a way to leave the past behind, but, not surprisingly, who we are tends to follow us.
Join Anne Marie Albano as she gives us ideas for helping in smooth transitions
After The Crash
The recent Metro-North crash reminds us the trauma that passengers, family, and even onlookers, such as those waiting in their cars at the crossing, experience in the aftermath of a horrendous tragedy.
For some, the trauma is now; others may experience difficulties later, suffering from the delayed symptoms common in PTSD sufferers.
No, it's not confined to soldiers at war; not even confined to those hurt.
For information on PTSD and Trauma, please see our Fact Sheets.
For those who might want to talk to a CBT therapist, please see our Find a CBT Therapist directory.
The Secret History Of Thoughts
A new NPR program, Invisibilia, explores some of how thoughts work, and how they become maladaptive. Alix and Lulu then look at how CBT and some third wave treatments approach maladaptive thinking, centering on one person's fear he was going to kill his wife.
To hear the podcast, listen
Healthy eating or disordered eating?
Eating healthy is great, but when the quality and composition of meals becomes a time consuming preoccupation interfering with daily functioning of causing malnutrition, we may be dealing with orthorexia, a type of eating disorder, fortunately, this disorder appear to respond well to CBT approaches that are typically used for eating disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder.
For more information on eating disorders, see our fact sheet
Exposure therapy helps heal prolonged grief
Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) is a potentially disabling condition that affects approximately 10% of those who lose a loved one.
New research (link ) shows that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) that includes exposure therapy to promote emotional processing of memories of the death is superior to CBT alone in reducing PGD severity.
For more on bereavement and grief, see
What Is Your OCD IQ?
How much do you really know about obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?
OCD is often misconstrued or made light of in the popular media. In truth, it is a chronic condition that affects 2-3% of the U.S. population and is associated with marked functional impairment and quality of life deficits.
Fortunately, treatments such as cognitive behavior therapy and certain medications have been found effective.
Look at coverage in the New York Times, [link ],
or, for more information on OCD, see
Internet-CBT equal to face-to-face group CBT for chronic tinnitus
Chronic tinnitus (a condition that causes ringing or buzzing in the ears) can be debilitating.
A new study [link ]
compared fact-to-face group CBT with Internet-delivered CBT and found that both groups showed equally large improvements in measures of tinnitus severity and interference relative to waitlist control.
CBT Trumps Medications for Social Anxiety Disorder
A huge meta-analysis (link ) of 101 studies with more than 13,000 social anxiety disorder participants found that CBT had larger effect sizes than medications and other talk therapies.
The authorsï¿½ conclusion? CBT "should be regarded as the best intervention for initial treatment".
For more information on shyness and social anxiety, see
Childhood trauma could lead to adult obesity
A new meta-analysis, [link ], including over 100,000 adults, finds that childhood abuse greatly increases the risk of developing obesity as an adult.
For more information on child abuse, see :
or for information on obesity, see
CBT for Sleep May Benefit Psychiatric Disorders
Results from a new study [link ] show that CBT for insomnia is effective for veterans with sleep disorders.
Moreover, CBT for insomnia lead improved symptoms of comorbid psychiatric disorders as well. For more information on sleep disorders, see
Most People Have Unwanted Thoughts, International Study Finds
What if I hit someone with my car?
What if I contracted HIV? What if I left the iron on and my house burns down? If you have ever had thoughts like this, youï¿½re not alone.
A new study [link ] finds that these kinds of unwanted, intrusive thoughts are actually quite common, even among people who donï¿½t have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
For more on OCD, see
CBT greatly reduced anxiety in grade school children
Childhood anxiety is very common and has been found to increase the risk of mental health problems in adulthood. A new study [link ] found that CBT greatly reduced anxiety levels in schoolchildren ages nine to 10 years old. This finding is important because strategies that can effectively reduce anxiety early on have potential for decreasing the huge social and economic burden associated with anxiety disorders over the lifespan.
Learn more about childhood phobias, social anxiety, and school refusal:
[link 2 ]
CBT for conversion disorder reduces psychogenic nonepileptic seizures
Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures are a conversion disorder that affect up to 400,000 people in the US.
A new clinical trial [link ] found that CBT, with or without sertraline, led to a reduction in seizures
and an improvement in comorbid symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, in patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures.
Online Psychotherapy Gains Fans and Critiques
The demand for online psychotherapy is growing rapidly. Research on the efficacy of delivering treatment online and guidelines to protect patients and therapists are racing to catch up. NRPï¿½s morning edition covers the story.
ADHD Medication Not Related to Suicidal Behavior
A new study [link] published in the British Journal of Medicine found that ADHD medication does not increase suicide attempts or suicide, as was previously feared.
For more on ADHD, see
What it scrupulosity?
ABCT member Dr. Abramowitz discusses religious OCD, or scrupulosity, with CNN [link].
Scrupulosity is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder in which obsessions have moral or religious connotations.
For more on OCD, see
Fighting the war within
60 Minutes gets an inside look at how two specific types of CBT (prolonged exposure and cognitive processing therapy) can help veterans suffering from PTSD.
Learn more about Trauma:
Learn more about PTSD:
Kids with OCD benefit from family-based exposure therapy
A new study found that family-based exposure and response prevention (EX/RP) was effective in reducing symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD)and improving daily functioning in young children between the ages of five and eight with OCD.
The results indicate that with appropriate parental support, even younger children can benefit from EX/RP:
The scars of childhood bullying are still evident 40 years later
New research shows
that the effects of childhood bullying are still evident nearly 40 years later. Individuals who were bullied during childhood had poorer physical and psychological health and were at an increased risk of depression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal thoughts.
Need Therapy? There's an app for that.
A quick look at the latest research from the intersection of CBT and mobile technology.
NPR on CBT:
CBT can improve physical and psychological well-being
A new study found that CBT for depression and diabetes management effectively improved blood sugar control and relieved depression symptoms in patients with poorly-controlled type 2 diabetes.
Link to press release
For more information on depression, please see
CBT Provides Lasting Benefits to Anxious Kids and Teens
A recent study found that CBT (with and without a medication for anxiety) was an effective treatment for youth with moderate to severe anxiety disorders. Moreover, the benefits of treatment were maintained 6 months after treatment with the help of monthly booster sessions.
To read more, see ;
and for more information on childhood phobias and social anxiety,
see this and
CBT Benefits Patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is an under-recognized body-image disorder that affects an estimated 1.7 percent to 2.4 percent of the population. In an recent randomized-controlled trial, researchers found that CBT significantly improved patients' BDD symptoms and level of disability, and was associated with high levels of patient satisfaction.
To read more, see
For additional help, we have many self-help books, including this one
Help For Chronic Pain
New Study Finds Mindfulness Effective For Chronic Pain
Prescription opioid medications are a leading treatment for chronic pain, which affects nearly one-third of Americans. Misuse of prescription painkillers can lead to addiction or overdose.
Now, new research published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology shows that Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement, or MORE, can significantly reduce pain and opioid
misuse in chronic pain patients.
To read more about the study, see
to find out more about Chronic Pain, see
CBT helps cancer patients get a good nightï¿½s rest
Cancer patients often struggle with sleep problems. A new study at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine found that mindfulness-based stress reduction and CBT for insomnia can help patients get a much-needed good nightï¿½s rest
for more information, see our fact sheet on insomnia
OCD patients show greater improvement with CBT than with medications
"OCD patients on serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) should be offered EX/RP before being offered an addition of antipsychotic medications, given the greater efficacy and safety of EX/RP. We hope that these data will impact clinical practice and help more patients with OCD achieve wellness."
Lead Author, Dr. Blair Simpson
To read more about OCD see
To find a therapist to help you confront your OCD see
Seminal ADHD study is re-evaluated by its authors
ADHD, the second most prevalent diagnosis in children, has long been treated primarily through drugs, a treatment that was fueled, in part by the study, Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With A.D.H.D.
Now, according to the New York Times, the studyï¿½s authors are suggesting perhaps CBTï¿½s value was understated. Says one of the studyï¿½s authors, ï¿½I hope it didnï¿½t do irreparable damage. The people who pay the price in the end is the kids.
Thatï¿½s the biggest tragedy in all of this.ï¿½
To read the full Times article, see
and to read more about ADHD, see
"Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Proven Effectiveness"
by Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D. in Anxiety Files November 23, 2011
A debate continues to rage on the efficacy of CBT and psychoanalytic psychiatry. The most recent salvo can be found on Bob Leahyï¿½s Psychology
Today blog in which he responded to David Allen, M.D,'s blog regarding the limits of CBT.
The direct link to Bobï¿½s post is at
or you may want to visit the
ABCT facebook page to see a discussion of the discussion.
"The Forgotten Patients" Forbes.com September 3, 2010
Roughly 35,000 Americans commit suicide each year; another 1.1 million make attempts; while 8 million have suicidal thoughts. But Forbes Magazine details a treatment approach, DBT, developed by one of our members, Marsha Linehan, that has changedï¿½and savedï¿½lives.
Read more ...
Long-time member Edna Foa is named TIME Magazine Time 100ï¿½ for her work in treating PTSD
"Bipolar: Tips for Life" WWW.WEBMED.COM
In the second segment of Tips for Life, Bob Leahy, ABCTï¿½s President, offers tips to help bipolar sufferers deal with the financial repercussions, giving examples of techniques and strategies that work.
"Prevent Depression in Teens With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy" US News.com June 4, 2009.
Serious depression afflicts 2 million teenagers each year and puts them at greater risk of suicide and depression throughout life. But Cognitive behavioral therapy can prevent teenagers from becoming clinically depressed, even if their parents are depressed, too.
Depression Leads to Misperceptions of Criticism from Spouses
People who are feeling depressed or who are having marital problems often complain that their spouses are critical of them.
Read more ...
One Session Exposure Therapy May Work for Reducing Anxiety
One-Session Treatment (OST) is a form of exposure therapy for the treatment of fears and phobias.
Read more ...
CBT plus Zoloft is "gold standard" treatment for child anxiety
In the combined treatment group, 81 percent of children were much improved by three months, compared with 60 percent in the therapy-only group, 55 percent in the sertraline-only group, and 24 percent in the placebo group.
Read more ...
"More and More, Favored Psychotherapy Lets Bygones Be Bygones." The New York Times. February 14, 2006.
This New York Times article documents the radical shift in psychotherapeutic techniques that has taken place over the past 20 years. Traditional psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies have become "totally eclipsed by cognitive behavioral approaches."
"Dump the Couch! And Ditch the Zoloft: A new therapy revolution is here." Forbes. April 9, 2007.
Forbes magazine hails CBT as part of "a new therapy revolution." Read the article to learn why CBT treatment is preferred over traditional "talk therapy" and medication.
"A Change of Mind: Thanks to managed care, evidence-based medical practice, and changing ideas about behavior, Cognitive Therapy is the talking cure of the moment." The Washington Post. September 3, 2002.
The Washington Post calls CBT "the fastest growing and most rigorously studied kind of talk therapy, the subject of at least 325 clinical trials evaluating its efficacy in treating everything from depression to schizophreniaï¿½ one whose benefits can persist and enhance one's life."
"Press Release: NICE guidelines to improve the treatment and care of people with depression and anxiety." National Institute for Clinical Excellence. December 6, 2004.
The British National Health Service (NHS) now recommends CBT over medication as the first-line treatment for most types of depression and anxiety.
"Dr. Oz Goes to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Camp." The Oprah Winfrey Show. May 21, 2008.
Dr. Jonathan Grayson is a special guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Dr. Grayson, a leading OCD specialist, demonstrates the dramatic success of a CBT technique called exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy with a group of 6 individuals attending "OCD Boot Camp."
"A Clutter Too Deep for Mere Bins and Shelves." The New York Times. January 1, 2008.
Dr. David Tolin, director of the anxiety disorders center at the Institute of Living in Hartford, is featured in a New York Times story on compulsive hoarding. The article write that "cognitive behavioral therapy may help: a recent study of hoarders showed that six months' therapy resulted in a marked decline in clutter in the patient's living space."
"Clutter and Hoarding." Voices in the Family, WHYY-National Public Radio. March 3, 2008.
At the conclusion of this radio program, Dr. Tolin compares the failures of traditional talk therapy to alleviate the "locked in" plight of compulsive hoarders to the delivery of results through in-house CBT treatment.
"Virtual reality program could help veterans cope with PTSD." The Hartford Courant. December 4, 2007.
This article describes Dr. Melissa Norberg and Dr. David Tolin use of virtual reality simulations as a supplement to CBT treatment to help Iraq War veterans recover from PTSD. According to Dr. Tolin, "cognitive behavioral therapy holds the only hope of a lasting reduction of symptoms of PTSD."
"Worried in America: Facing Fears." ABC News. April 3, 2008.
Dr. Robert Leahy, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, and other CBT therapists appear on this special news program. People suffering from severe, even crippling anxiety are taught how to cope with their fears in a dramatically short amount of time.
"The Worry Cure' Book." The Early Show, CBS News. December 6, 2005.
Dr. Leahy shared some advice and insight from his book, "The Worry Cure: Seven Steps to Stop Worrying from Stopping You", with Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith. Dr. Leahy's book outlines CBT-based strategies to help people suffering from anxiety take back control of their lives:
"Taking Anxiety Down a Notch." The New York Times. October 30, 2005.
The New York Times calls Dr. Leahy's book a "lucid, practicalï¿½ manual for the psycheï¿½ [which] engaging and persuasively coaxes self-tormentors to have mercy on themselves."
"Cold Feet." Weekend Today Show, NBC.
Watch NBC's Weekend Today Show host, Lester Holt, face down his phobia of snakes with the help of Dr. Michael Otto, exposure therapy, and a trip to the zoo.
"Teen Faces Down Anxiety Disorder." Good Morning America, ABC News. May 20, 2006.
This article recounts how an adolescent struggling with a lifelong panic disorder received "new hope" after beginning intensive CBT treatment at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University.
"Lotus Therapy." The New York Times. May 27, 2008.
In this recent article, Dr. Steven Hayes discusses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is a form of CBT treatment that incorporates the ancient practice of Eastern mediation to alter fundamental psychological processes.
"Ease anxieties with a capsule?" The New England Cable Network. August 13, 2008.
The New England Cable Network (NECN) recently reported on the preliminary success of a 4-year, federally funded study that aims to treat severe anxiety in as few as 5 sessions of CBT. The study, which is conducted by researchers at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CARD), uses talk therapy in conjunction with an experimental medication.