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Helpful aspects of metacognitive therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy for depression: a qualitative study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 September 2015

Nanna S. Straarup*
Affiliation:
Psykologerne Johansen, Kristoffersen & Pedersen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Stig Poulsen
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
*
*Author for correspondence: Dr N. S. Straarup, Psykologerne Johansen, Kristoffersen & Pedersen, Østbanegade 9, 1. th., DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark (email: nanna@scherfig.dk).

Abstract

Six clients in cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) or metacognitive therapy (MCT) were interviewed about their experiences of therapy with a focus on helpful elements. Clients in both CBT and MCT mentioned the positive and informal relationship with the therapist as helpful. However, while clients in both therapies emphasized insight into the causes of depression and modification of negative maintenance patterns as helpful, the understanding of depression and the remedies for the condition differed. Clients in CBT focused on previous negative experiences as the cause of present maintenance patterns and mentioned changing negative thought patterns as helpful. Clients in MCT stated that the realization that rumination was their key problem and that they could choose not to engage in negative thinking had been crucial. Furthermore, clients in CBT tended to describe increased personal strength and self-confidence as the main gain from therapy, whereas MCT clients mentioned improved ways of coping with thoughts or problems. The importance attributed by the clients to technical factors differs from previous qualitative studies conducted across various therapeutic approaches, which have typically concluded that common therapeutic factors are more important than specific factors. It does, however, correspond with conclusions from other qualitative studies focusing explicitly on CBT.

Type
Original Research
Copyright
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2015 

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References

Recommended follow-up reading

Barnes, M, Sherlock, S, Thomas, L, Kessler, D, Kuyken, W, Owen-Smith, A, Lewis, G, Wiles, N, Turner, K (2013). No pain, no gain: depressed clients’ experiences of cognitive behavioural therapy. British Journal of Clinical Psychology 52, 347364.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
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