Psychotherapy for depression works! But how? : Investigating the effects and mechanisms of cognitive therapy vs. interpersonal psychotherapy for major depressive disorder

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Depression is a serious health problem that is paired with significant functional limitations and high social costs. Both cognitive therapy (CT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) have proven effective in reducing the symptoms associated with depression. Unfortunately, these treatments do not offer sufficient relief for all people with depression, and the risk of relapse is extremely high. Improving these forms of treatment is therefore essential. An important step involves gaining a better understanding of the effects and mechanisms of both treatment interventions. This was the topic of a major treatment study among 182 adults with depression. The research findings reveal that CT and IPT had similarly positive effects on reducing the symptoms of depression and that these effects were greater than those in a control group that placed participants on a waiting list. Unfortunately, the underlying mechanisms of these therapeutic effects remain unclear.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Huibers, Marcus, Supervisor
  • Arntz, Arnoud, Supervisor
  • Peeters, Frenk, Co-Supervisor
Award date18 Sept 2015
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789090291406
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • depression
  • psychotherapy
  • effectiveness
  • underlying mechanisms
  • treatment research

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