Research about “sudden gains” for patients with treatment-resistant depression

The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology published “Sudden Gains in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression: Process of Change” on 4-21-16.

(the link is to the abstract, and the full article must be purchased for $11.95). The article reports on a study of patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) who, fortunately, had a surge of progress, with reduced symptoms and improved functioning that usually was sustained at a 12-month follow-up assessment.  The study focused on the therapist’s possible contributions to this “sudden gains” phenomenon, and found that therapists who “demonstrated greater competence in case conceptualization”, and also patients who had experienced “more hope and emotional processing” in sessions prior to the sudden gains were significant factors.

mhconcierge’s take: TRD is one of the most common treatment challenges faced by many mental health professionals.  This study identifies some factors to be aware of when treating a patient with TRD: we may want to obtain consultation or otherwise takes steps to improve our understanding of the patient, and – to the degree possible- it is important to help them have hope.  Sometimes this seems to come from sources beyond our control…..

This article comes to our attention via the prolific psychology posting service provided by Ken Pope, Ph.D.

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