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NICE Guidelines on Treatment of Depression in Childhood and Adolescence: Implications from a CBT Perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 February 2006

James Murray
Guernsey Health and Social Services
Sam Cartwright-Hatton
University of Manchester, UK


The National Institute for Clinical Excellence recently published their guidelines on the treatment of depression in children and young people. This article critically reviews these guidelines in terms of their likely impact on BABCP members and the services in which they work. The evidence base that underpins the guideline is very sparse. There is particularly limited information on which to base guidance to therapists working with younger children. The use that has been made of this evidence is discussed, and some controversial interpretations are criticized. Implications for services and therapists are outlined. In particular, attention is drawn to the pressing need for very substantial additional training if the guidelines are to be implemented correctly. Some suggestions for deployment of staff with differing levels of knowledge and expertise in CBT are offered. Finally, challenges for the field as a whole are discussed. In particular, a great deal more research is needed into the effectiveness of psychological therapies versus wait list and versus each other and medications, and into the levels of training required to provide competent CBT to children and adolescents.

Leading Article
2006 British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies

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