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Thinking patterns can lessen depression

think happy thoughts

There is now evidence to show that depression can be treated by targeting style of thinking through repeated mental exercises. The approach is called cognitive bias modification.

A new study reveals an innovative psychological treatment called “concreteness training”. It can reduce depression in just two months and could work as a first line self-help therapy. The research comes out of the UK from the University of Exeter and suggests that this style of treatment could help the 3.5 million people in the UK living with depression.

People with depression have a tendency towards destructive abstract thinking and general negative thinking. Concreteness training (CNT) is an innovative treatment that hits this tendency dead on. It is believed that repeated practice of CNT with shift the thinking style of people who suffer from these bad thought patterns.

Overall a group using CNT was able to shift from severe to mild depression in the first two months and maintained it over the next six months. Other participants in the study remained at the severely depressed level. “This is the first demonstration that just targeting thinking style can be an effective means of tackling depression. Concreteness training can be delivered with minimal face-to-face contact with a therapist and training could e accessed online, through CDs or through smartphone apps. This has the advantage of making it a relatively cheap form of treatment that could e accessed by large numbers of people. This is a major priority in depression treatment and research, because of the high prevalence and global burden of depression, for which we need widely available cost-effective interventions,” said Professor Edward Watkins of the University of Exeter.

Source: ScienceDaily, University of Exeter

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