Dissemination Centre Show menu
Cognitive therapies

Cognitive therapies for depression

While depression is often treated with anti-depressant medication, there is good evidence that cognitive therapies are also effective. These are 'talking therapies' which aim to help people with depression to minimise the impact of negative thoughts and develop strategies for coping with difficult feelings or situations.

There are a range of these therapies, but this Highlight looks at new evidence relating to two types: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). The NHS Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies programme has improved access to these therapies, although availability is still variable and there are waiting lists in some areas.

NHS staff member

Evidence at a glance

The findings boiled down, alongside practical questions for healthcare professionals and patients.

Read more

Woman doing computerised CBT programme

Is computerised CBT effective?

For patients with mild to moderate depression, could help be a few mouse clicks away?

Read more

GP consulting patient

When medication hasn't worked

What treatment options work when anti-depressants alone aren't effective?

Read more

Therapist talking to woman with depression

Avoiding relapse without medication

Could mindfulness-based CBT offer an alternative to continuing anti-depressants?

Read more

Therapist talking to patient and taking notes

About the research

Find out more about the studies in this area and how their findings fit with current guidance. 

Read more

1 in 5

people affected by depression at some point during their lifetime.

£3bn

the cost to health services from depression per year in the UK.

80%

recurrence rate for people who have experienced several periods of depression.

Keep up to date with the latest health research by email

Subscribe

Get in touch

Find us on LinkedIn Find us on YouTube

National Institute for Health Research, Room 132, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2NS

© 2016 NIHR, all rights reserved