Therapist Competence Key for Some

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 9 (UPI) — Therapist competence is the key to effective cognitive therapy for some patients, U.S. researchers said.

Researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus found depressed patients — especially patients who also suffered from anxiety or who had become depressed at an early age — showed greater symptom improvement when therapists more competently followed cognitive therapy guidelines.

“People with depression who don’t have complicating issues like anxiety are fairly likely to show benefit even if they don’t see the most highly-rated therapists,” study co-author Daniel Strunk said in a statement.

The study, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, advised patients with substantial anxiety or a history of depression beginning at an early age did best if they had the most highly-rated treatment.

Strunk and colleagues had videotapes of therapy sessions with 60 adults and six therapists rated by two researchers using the Cognitive Therapy Scale — a measure of skills used by the therapist accrediting organization, The Academy of Cognitive Therapy. The patients completed questionnaires to measure depression levels.

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