Cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of depression in children and adolescents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Depression and low mood in children and young people are unfortunately common with severe episodes effecting up to one in ten young people by the age of 18 (1). Low mood and depression significantly impair everyday functioning, impact on developmental trajectories, interfere with educational attainment and increase the risk of attempted and completed suicide as well as major depressive disorder in adulthood (2).Of the psychological interventions available Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been the most extensively researched .CBT is a structured form of psychotherapy which focuses upon the relationship between cognitions, emotions and behavior. Programmes typically involve a number of core interventions including emotional recognition, self-monitoring, self-reinforcement, activity scheduling, identification and restructuring of biased and distorted cognitions and the development of problem solving and inter-personal skills. The effectiveness of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has been demonstrated in a number of randomized controlled trials and has been recommended as a first line treatment for depressive disorders in children and young people (3, 4). However recent better designed studies have failed to find CBT to be superior to medication (5, 6).

This presentation will provide a brief overview of CBT programmes for the treatment of childhood depression. Results from some of the recent randomised controlled trials will be reviewed and limitations and areas for future research will be highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberRT2.3
Pages (from-to)25
Number of pages1
JournalChild and Adolescent Mental Health
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event1st Excellence in Child Mental Health Conference - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 30 Nov 20113 Dec 2011


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