Lewinsohn Depression Course

Among the various types of mental health problems that can arise, one of the most well-known is probably depression.

It is not in vain, it is the most common mental health problem with anxiety. It is a highly disabling condition in which the subject maintains a sad mood and / or a loss of the ability to experience pleasure where he has found it before, in addition to other issues such as extreme passivity, hopelessness , insomnia or excessive sleepiness, loss of appetite and the desire to do things and even thoughts of suicide.

In short, depression is a condition which generates great suffering for those who suffer from it and which is very limiting. Fortunately, however, depression can be treated with different types of treatment strategies. With Beck’s cognitive therapy, one of the best known and considered effective is the so-called Lewinsohn Depression Treatment, Which we will talk about in this article.

Lewinsohn’s Depression Adjustment Course: What is it?

Lewinsohn’s Depression Treatment Course, also known as CAD, is one of the largest and most effective treatment programs for depressive-type mood disorders and primarily for major depression ( who led).

CAD was conceived by Peter Lewinsohn as a group therapy, and in which the role of the professional becomes more of a group instructor in which different related areas are worked on and trained in suffering from depressions. It has several versions, dedicated to different sectors of the population, in several of which it has proven to be effective.

It is a psycho-educational and essentially behavioral program (Although it also works on cognitive elements), with a very clear and defined structure and consisting of a total of ten sessions, as well as two other accompaniments and follow-ups after the intervention itself. These last two sessions would take place in a month and six months.

main components

During the twelve main sessions that make up this program, we work as we have discussed several aspects relevant to the treatment and prevention of major depression. Specifically, we can find four main components.

1. Plan enjoyable activities

One of the first aspects to work on and one of the most basic and fundamental is carrying out a program of enjoyable activities. The aim is to generate a series of strategies, guidelines and activities alongside the topic that will help you increase the proportion of positive and pleasant experiences and reduce the frequency of aversives. The goal is for the person to be able to link their emotions to their actions and to change them so that they can gradually modify the former.

In this sense, it is not only a matter of literally programming activities that the subject can find positive and generate pleasure or at least a decrease in anhedonia or discomfort (which is also sought after), but It also aims to train aspects such as positive and assertive communication, time management and relaxation..

2. Social skills training

Another aspect covered in the CAD is interaction and social skills. In this sense, work will be done to facilitate communication and encourage the learning of various strategies, guidelines and skills that allow smooth interpersonal interaction. In this sense, the group app can be very useful, as it facilitates the use of role plays and the modeling of different skills..

Aspects such as defending one’s own rights, thoughts and positions in an assertive manner, expressing doubts, needs and opposition and various types of interactions with one or more people are worked on, generally in increasing order of difficulty . This facilitates both reducing the discomfort that interactions can cause in people who have difficulty for them, as well as expressing and working the personal discomfort caused by depression.

3. Modification of cognitions

Although this is a psycho-educational and primarily behavioral program, the truth is that Lewinsohn’s course for coping with depression also incorporates cognitive elements. Specifically and similar to Aaron Beck’s cognitive therapy, the third of the fundamental aspects to be addressed is cognition modification and cognitive restructuring.

This phase is characterized by work on the beliefs and thoughts of the patients, trying to locate the main cognitive biases present in the thinking of the depressed person. We first work to identify the subject’s thoughts, hypothesize them and try to come up with possible thoughts and interpretations, and then generate behavioral experiments in which the subject can test their beliefs in a controlled manner.

4. Orientation and life plans

The last of the major components of the course for treating Lewinsohn’s depression is to review the patient’s major core values, their vital focus, and the most important goals and plans for the subject. It is about analyzing each of these aspects and how they converge in the life of the subject, how they affect it and to what extent it is directed towards them.

The presence of intermediate stages in the achievement of its own objectives can also be observed., As well as the difficulties that may arise.

5. Clinical utility

The Lewinsohn Dealing with Depression Course is a program whose main indication is, as the name suggests, the treatment of major depression and other disorders that are accompanied by depressive episodes.

It is a program that has been shown to be effective thanks to several studies, And this is how we said it is considered to be of great relevance when applying treatment for depression in populations of specific areas. It is effective in adults, children and the elderly, but it has been shown to be particularly relevant in the treatment of depression in adolescents. In this particular sector, it is considered to be one of the most important psychological treatments for the treatment of depression in adolescents. It is also effective in adults, children and the elderly. Although it was designed to be used in groups, it is also effective in individual therapy.

Although it focuses on treating depression, it is also useful not only when the disorder is already present, but also in its prevention. In addition to the subject itself and especially in the case of adolescents and children, the separate application to parents has also proved useful.

Bibliographical references:

  • Lewinsohn, PM, Antonuccio, DO, Steinmetz, JL and Teri, L. (1984). The course Tackling Depression: A Psychoeducational Intervention for Unipolar Depression. Eugene, OR: Castalia
  • Lewinsohn, PM, Clarke, GN, Hops, H. & Andrews, J. (1990). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of depressed adolescents. Behavioral therapy, 21: 385-401.
  • Pérez Álvarez, M. and García Montes, JM (2001). Effective psychological treatments for depression. Psicotheme, 13 (3).

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