Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Focus on Positive Themes Alleviates Some Depression

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Focus on Positive Themes Alleviates Some Depression

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Positive psychotherapy, an approach that focuses patients' attention on the positive aspects of their lives, produced dramatic improvements in individuals with moderate to severe depression in a small pilot study.

The subjects were students (mean age 22 years) seeking treatment at the University of Pennsylvania's counseling center; all met DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder and had scores of at least 50 on both the Zung Self-Rating Scale for Depression and the Outcome Questionnaire.

Fourteen subjects were randomized to individual positive psychotherapy (PPT) and 16 to treatment as usual (TAU), while a nonrandomized group of 17, receiving both TAU and antidepressant medications, was included for comparison, Tayyab Rashid, Ph.D., reported at a meeting on positive psychology, sponsored by the Gallup Organization.

Thirteen of the subjects dropped out, leaving 11 in the PPT group, 10 in the TAU group, and 12 in the combination group.

At the end of treatment, the positive psychotherapy group fared better at relieving depressive symptoms on all outcome measures. …

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