Research bulletins

Research bulletins

Treating adolescents experiencing depression - What aspects of CBT matter most?

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is recommended as a first-line treatment for moderate and severe depression in adolescents (NICE, 2005). It is also recommended for persistent mild depression that doesn’t respond to less intensive treatments such as supportive counselling, group CBT, or guided self-help.This research bulletin provides a review of recent evidence for the use of CBT with adolescents experiencing depression, with a particular focus on what components of CBT are important when working with this population (e.g., behavioural activation, cognitive restructuring, etc.). This is to assist clinicians who work with adolescents experiencing depression to understand how they may best cater the treatment to meet the needs of adolescents and to highlight potential innovations in the field.

Physical activity interventions for depression in young people

‘Lifestyle medicine’ – which refers to low-cost, low-risk interventions that focus on factors such as physical activity, sleep, and nutrition – is increasingly seen as an important part of holistic mental health care. To achieve full recovery from mental ill-health, strategies are needed that target the symptoms and functional impairments, as well as the negative physical health consequences that commonly go hand-in-hand (Sarris et al., 2014). In the context of depression, physical activity has been suggested as a stand-alone or add-on treatment, both for its potential mood-boosting properties and its ability to produce physical health benefits (Salmon, 2001). This research bulletin provides an overview of recent evidence for the use of physical activity interventions for young people (12-25 years) experiencing depression.

What’s the evidence for third wave cognitive behaviour therapies for depression in young people?

The third wave of cognitive behaviour therapies (CBT) is an evolving area of mental health treatment that has received considerable interest in recent years. They consist of novel therapeutic approaches characterised by themes such as mindfulness, acceptance, dialectics, and cognitive fusion. This research bulletin reviews the evidence for third wave CBT interventions in treating depressive symptoms in young people, with a focus on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Mindfulness Based Therapy.