Facilitating Cognitive Change and Enhancing CBT Skills in the Treatment of Depression

Prof. Daniel R. Strunk

Tuesday, 4 October 2022


5 October 2022


PLEASE NOTE:  This event is over 2 days:

Wednesday 5th October 2022  -  13.30 - 16.30 hrs

Thursday 6th October 2022  -  13.30 - 16.30 hrs

Cognitive therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression is a well-established evidence-based treatment. CBT offers acute benefits comparable to state of the art pharmacotherapy, with the considerable advantage of long-term benefits that persist when treatment is discontinued. Although establishing the mechanisms of a psychotherapy definitively has been difficult, a body of carefully conducted studies suggest that the experience of cognitive change and the development of CBT skills appear to play an important role in explaining CBT’s effects. By utilizing ongoing measures of patients’ experience of cognitive change and the development of CBT skills over the course of treatment, our research has been highlighting how therapists can foster these key change processes. Utilizing cognitive change procedures with high adherence to the treatment model in ways that elicit positive contributions from clients appears to be key.

The event will be equivalent to 5.1/2hrs of CPD.


This workshop will:
- Provide a theoretical framework for promoting cognitive change and facilitating clients’ mastery and use of CBT skills.
- Describe how to communicate and reinforce the importance of gaining facility with CBT skills and promote clients’ success in improving their skill
- Consider various obstacles to the successful promotion of cognitive change and CBT skill promotion and how these obstacles can be addressed in ways that are consistent with the treatment model.

Learning Objectives

You will learn:
- Methods for recognizing and monitoring cognitive change and CBT skill development
- How to help your clients recognize the value of these factors in their work
- Approaches to overcoming lack of engagement in CBT that tends to limit positive change
- Highlight options for addressing obstacles, objections and concerns in ways that elicit positive contributions from clients

Training Modalities

Didactic content, demonstrations, experiential components, polls, Q&A.

Key References

Conklin, L. R. Strunk, D. R., & Cooper, A. A. (2018). Therapist behaviors as predictors of immediate homework engagement in cognitive therapy for depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 42, 16-23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-017-9873-6
Schmidt, I. D., Pfeifer, B. J., & Strunk, D. R. (2019). Putting the “cognitive” back in cognitive therapy: Sustained cognitive change as a mediator of in-session insights and depressive symptom improvement. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 87, 446-456. https://doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000392
Strunk, D. R., Brotman, M. A., & DeRubeis, R. J. (2010). The process of change in Cognitive Therapy for Depression: Predictors of early inter-session symptom gains. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48, 599-606. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2010.03.011
Strunk, D. R., DeRubeis, R. J., Chui, A., & Alvarez, J. A. (2007). Patients’ competence in and performance of cognitive therapy skills: Relation to the reduction of relapse risk following treatment for depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75, 523-530. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.75.4.523
Vittorio, L. N., Murphy, S. T., Braun, J. D., & Strunk, D. R. (2022). Using Socratic questioning to promote cognitive change and achieve depressive symptom reduction: Evidence of cognitive change as a mediator. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 150, 104035. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2022.104035
Whelen, M. L., & Strunk, D. R. (2021). Does cognitive behavioural therapy for depression target positive affect? Examining affect and cognitive change session-to-session. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 89, 742-750. https://doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000679

About the presenter

Dan Strunk is Professor of Psychology at The Ohio State University. He has authored over 80 publications, with a special focus on the process of change in CBT for depression. Much of his empirical work involves using sophisticated analytic strategies for longitudinal data to advance our understanding of the role of key therapeutic procedures and change processes for promoting positive clinical outcomes. His work has been published in journals including the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Behavior Research and Therapy, Behavior Therapy, and Cognitive Therapy and Research. In 2017, he co-edited the Oxford Handbook of Mood Disorders. At Ohio State, he teaches and works extensively with both undergraduate and graduate students. For the past 15 years, he has directed the Depression and Treatment Research Clinic at Ohio State, where he trains and provides clinical supervision to advanced doctoral students.

Who should attend

This workshop is suitable for mental health practitioners across disciplines. Therapists who practice high intensity CBT as well as standard-course CBT will benefit from this presentation, as will clinicians of all levels of experience.