Effectiveness of targeting the vulnerability factors of depression in cognitive therapy

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996 Jun;64(3):623-7. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.64.3.623.


I. H. Gotlib and C.L. Hammen's (1992) psychopathology model of depression was used as a conceptual framework for studying the process of change in an effective course of cognitive therapy (CT) for depression. Archived CT transcripts from 30 depressed outpatients in the Cognitive-Pharmaco-therapy Treatment project (S. D. Hollon et al., 1992) were studied. An observational coding system was used to assess whether therapists focused on the cognitive, interpersonal, and developmental vulnerabilities of depression and whether these interventions were associated with symptom reduction. Therapists maintained a primarily cognitive focus, but it was interventions that addressed the interpersonal and developmental domains that were associated with improvement. A developmental focus also predicted a longer time of recovery and better global functioning over the 24-month followup period. These findings are consistent with recent theoretical developments in cognitive therapy and with the psychopathology research on depression.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / therapeutic use
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imipramine / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Development*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Set, Psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Imipramine