New paper indicates counselling is comparable to CBT in treating depression

New paper indicates counselling is comparable to CBT in treating depression

"I am delighted to inform you that following a collaboration between BACP and the University of Sheffield an academic paper has been published in BMC Psychiatry which explores the comparative effectiveness and efficiency of counselling and CBT in IAPT.

The paper is free to access, and the link is at the end of the summary below. Please do disseminate this paper as widely as you can."


BACP and the University of Sheffield have collaborated on an analysis of IAPT data collected as part of the National Audit of Psychological Therapies (NAPT).

On a data set of over 33000 clients experiencing depression, results indicated the two therapies to be comparable in terms of overall reliable and clinically significant change.
· Counselling received a greater number of referrals with moderate to severe depression than CBT.
· Counselling achieved comparable outcomes in fewer sessions than CBT
Using multi-level modelling we found a significant site effect, indicating the variability between sites to have a greater impact on client outcomes than therapy type.
The most effective site had a recovery rate twice that of the least effect site – meaning that if the 16 least effective sites had been as effective as average sites, approximately 1000 more clients would have recovered in one year.

Key messages

· There is no evidence to suggest CBT to be superior to counselling.
· Counselling is more efficient than CBT, therefore there are potential cost implications to the NHS
· Building on previous evidence, these results suggest it is time to stop comparing small differences between therapies and focus on factors other than therapy type that lead to effective therapy

The full paper can be accessed for free here

By |2017-06-13T07:16:38+00:00June 13th, 2017|General Blog Posts|0 Comments

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