the 46th European Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies Congress, Stockholm, Sweden, 31 August - 03 September 2016, pp.703
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely used treatment for depression. Most research has demonstrated the
effectiveness of CBT for depression (Cuijpers et all. 2014). CBT can be also implemented in group format. Cognitive
Behavioural Group Therapy (CBGT) has some advantages such as efficiency, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness (NICE,
2009). Moreover, working with a structured therapy program has a lot of benefits (Dobson & Shaw, 1988). Studies have
shown that manualized therapies are frequently used and effective in the treatment of depression (Gökdağ & Sütcü, 2016).
However, there is no structured treatment program in this respect in Turkey. Consequently, the aim of this study is to
prepare a manualized CBGT intervention program for depression and evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
Participants have recruited from Ege University Student Psychological Counseling Services. They were assessed by clinical
psychologists to evaluate the depressive symptoms. The inclusion criteria of the research were presence of depressive
symptoms and willingness to participate group format cognitive behavioral therapy. After the evaluation, 25 undergraduate
students (14 female) had met the inclusion criteria and were assigned one of the five groups considering their time
schedule. However 19 participants completed the therapy program and pre and post-test evaluations.
In this study, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS) were
used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment program. In order to reduce depressive symptoms, an 11-session CBGT
program has been developed by researchers. This program comprises 11 group sessions, each of which approximately 2
hour duration with components of the sessions based on the CBT techniques and homework. There are 4 to 6 participants
per group, led by two therapists. In the first session, therapists first aim to introduce CBT and its approach for depressive
symptoms. Sessions 2-3 mainly covers behavioral components of CBT, including activity scheduling and relaxation.
Sessions 4-8 focuses on cognitive techniques, namely explanations about nature of automatic thoughts, exercises on
notifications of cognitive distortions and finally cognitive restructuring. Sessions 9-10 are about problem solving techniques.
The final session is on review of whole therapy sessions and giving personal and program based feedbacks to participants
about relapse prevention, given by therapist as well as group members.
Paired Samples t test results showed that significant improvement was observed on all measures. BDI pre-treatment (M
= 23.05, SD = 6.6) was significantly more than post-treatment (M = 9.47, SD = 6.9), t (18) = 7.37 p < .001, d = 1.69. BAI
pre-treatment (M = 20.65, SD = 10.9) was significantly more than post-treatment (M = 12.88, SD = 9.3), t (16) = 3.05 p <
.01, d = .74. Finally, BHS pre-treatment (M = 11.35, SD = 2.9) was significantly more than post-treatment (M = 6.12, SD =
4.5), t (16) = 4.62 p < .001, d = 1.12.
Our results suggest that CBGT of 11 weekly sessions reduces depressive symptoms which are consistent with literature
findings. Although this study has some significant outcomes, there are some limitations such as absence of compare groups
and small sample size. In conclusion, our findings support that CBGT is effective for reducing depressive symptoms.