The evidence base for cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression is discussed with reference to the review document Treatment Choice in Psychological Therapies and Counselling (Department of Health). This identifies the need to deliver evidence-based psychosocial interventions and identifies CBT as having the strongest research base for effectiveness, but does not cover how to deliver CBT within National Health Service settings. The traditional CBT model of weekly face-to-face appointments is widely offered, yet there is little evidence to support these traditions in the outcome literature. Reducing face-to-face contact by introducing self-help into treatment may be one method of improving access. The SPIRIT course is discussed which teaches how to offer core cognitive–behavioural skills using structured self-help materials.
- © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2003