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Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly Volume 24, Number 2 • 2010 CBT Basics: A Group Approach to Teaching Fundamental Cognitive-Behavioral Skills Sophie D. Macrodimitris, PhD Foothills Medical Centre, Alberta Health Services Kate E. Hamilton, PhD Peter Lougheed Centre, Alberta Health Services Barb J. Backs-Dermott, PhD Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre, Alberta Health Services Kerry J. Mothersill, PhD Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre, Alberta Health Services CBT Basics I is a psychoeducational group program originally developed as a pre-individual therapy introduction to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) skills for clients presenting with depression and/or anxiety disorders. We describe the development and content of this six- session introductory CBT group and provide data from a 3-year pilot program. The results support the potential for symptom improvement and CBT skill acquisition, and provide pre- liminary evidence for the group’s potential to enhance accessibility to CBT. Future directions for the development of this group are discussed, including expanding to a 10-session group model incorporating mindfulness meditation. Keywords: CBT; group; psychoeducation; depression; anxiety R ecent clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for depression (National Institute for Clinical Excellence [NICE], 2007a; Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Clinical Practice Guidelines Team for Depression, 2004) and anxiety (NICE, 2007b; Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Clinical Practice Guidelines Team for Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia, 2003; Swinson et al., 2006) recommend cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as an equivalent, and in some cases (e.g., specific phobia, panic disorder), more effective treatment than medication. These guidelines recognize several years of randomized controlled trials consistently demonstrating the cost-effectiveness (e.g., Antonuccio, Thomas, & Danton, 1997) and efficacy (Chambless & Hollon, 1998; Chambless & Ollendick, 2001; Otto, Pollack, & Maki, 2000; Otto, Smits, & Reese, 2005; Vos, Corry, Haby, Carter, & Andrews, 2005) of CBT for depression and anxiety. Recent advances in CBT, such as the incorporation of mindfulness 132 © 2010 Springer Publishing Company DOI: 10.1891/0889-8322.214.171.124 CBT Basics Group Therapy Program 133 meditation techniques (Segal, Williams, & Teasdale, 2002), also demonstrate reduced relapse rates (Ree & Craigie, 2007). A major limitation to CBT acknowledged in CPGs is accessibility (NICE, 2007a, 2007b). CBT is typically taught in specialized psychology graduate training programs, and it is difficult for other mental health care professionals to obtain adequate training (Hamilton & Dobson, 2001; Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Clinical Practice Guidelines Team for Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia, 2003). Recen
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