Enduring Effects for Cognitive Behavior Therapy in the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety

Annual Review of Psychology

Vol. 57:285-315 (Volume publication date 10 January 2006)
First published online as a Review in Advance on August 25, 2005
https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.57.102904.190044

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that cognitive and behavioral interventions have enduring effects that reduce risk for subsequent symptom return following treatment termination. These enduring effects have been most clearly demonstrated with respect to depression and the anxiety disorders. It remains unclear whether these effects are a consequence of the amelioration of the causal processes that generate risk or the introduction of compensatory strategies that offset them and whether these effects reflect the mobilization of cognitive or other mechanisms. No such enduring effects have been observed for the psychoactive medications, which appear to be largely palliative in nature. Other psychosocial interventions remain largely untested, although claims that they produce lasting change have long been made. Whether such enduring effects extend to other disorders remains to be seen, but the capacity to reduce risk following treatment termination is one of the major benefits provided by the cognitive and behavioral interventions with respect to the treatment of depression and the anxiety disorders.

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