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Re: Williams: Guest expert on depression and anxie

Posted by psycjw on April 13, 2005, at 16:32:57

In reply to Re: Williams: Guest expert on depression and anxie psycjw, posted by NikkiT2 on April 13, 2005, at 13:53:47

hi nicki
tricky one to answer

my main focus on cbt training is based on training courses in how to use a range of written and computer based cbt self-help materials aimed at depression, anxiety and bulimia with one on anorecia on the way (details at - written materials focus)

the i'm not supposed to feel like this book essentially took another book called Overcoming Depression: a five areas approach and re-wrote it from a faith perspective.

in the clinical setting where i work (glasgow, uk) we've done a lot of training in how to use these self-help materials and especially the five areas approach (helping the person consider the various situations, relationships and practical problems facing them, and considering their altered thinking, feelings, physical symptoms and behaviour that occur as part of anxiety and depression. The Overcoming depression: a five areas approach version doesn't mention God/prayer etc per se, but allows people to identify any problems/thoughts they themselves face - and this might for them include spiritual issues. the "I'm not supposed to feel like this" (Christian) version was generated to meet a separate need that i and some friends perceived (ie how depression is a tricky issues in churches and how often non-evidence based approaches are used to help people).

Training wise most of my "work" focus is on disseminating and evaluating the effectiveness/impact of these sorts of packages. i have done very little training so far on the i'm not supposed to feel like this (christian package) - so far just to the Christian Medical Fellowship in the UK ( - and later this year to another uk-based group the association of christian counsellors.

i personally see no incompatability between faith and cbt approaches. practitioners though who have a faith need to be very careful in how they work with others who are unwell. if for example someone is referred to see a doctor/practitioner then what they should be offered is good treatment. in the uk for example if someone comes to the national health service what they are coming for is a treatment like a psychological therapy or antidepressant not prayer/a faith based intervention - that can be sought through churches.

i guess what i'm coming round to say is that i think practitioners of all faiths and none need to be aware of/knowledgable about spiritual issues in the people they work with as there are often doubts/fears/issues that may be important for the person to consider- yet never impose their own faith in health care settings - there's just too much scope for abuse.

my own solution to this dilemma is the idea of this cbt self-help book aimed at christians with depression. this will allow the effective cbt style of working to be more widely used (i hope!) by a range of chrch workers and directly by the individuals involved - hopefully with support from their church. this is not too dissimilar to my work focus which is in disseminating cbt self-help (the secular kind!) to provide wider access to cbt delivered through these self-help methods and by non-cbt specialists

interestingly in the UK (and US) there are increasing focuses on this idea of using cbt self-help built into clinical services as a means of providing care to many many people - and this style of working is recommended to be offered as an equal alternative to antidepressants for moderate depression, and preferable to antidepressants for mild depression.

sorry its a rather convalated answer! - basically in reply the question, i do lots of work/training around cbt self-help, but so far relatively little training to date in the faith based approach - and then only to people with a specific faith. i agree though that these are perhaps wider skills/issues that people should be aware of as practitioners.

chris w




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