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Post-holiday blues got you down? IU's Cognitive Behavioral Research and Training Clinic offers free psychotherapy

Jan. 10, 2013

Ah, a new year: a time of resolutions, re-entry into the workplace after winter vacation … and for some people, a time of increased depression and anxiety.

The IU Cognitive Behavior Therapy Research and Training Clinic is now offering free psychotherapy for adolescents and adults struggling with depression or anxiety. Located in IU's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, the clinic is one of three centers for the clinical training of IU doctoral students. All services are provided by advanced graduate students in clinical psychology, who are closely supervised by IU faculty members.

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Cara C. Lewis, assistant professor in the IU Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, said this particular CBT program began in January 2012. The clinic serves three interlocking objectives, she said: to provide psychotherapy to the IU community and to the broader community, as well as to provide an opportunity for training of advanced doctoral students, and for the conduct of training and intervention research to determine what leads to effective treatment.

"Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been demonstrated to be effective for a wide range of disorders -- panic, phobias, social anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder," Lewis said. "It's linked to the most-improved client outcomes."

Protocols are based upon symptom clusters, so panic disorder could be treated in as few as six sessions, for example, while treatment for depression could last up to 20 sessions depending on severity, with the average number of sessions around 10-12, she said. 

The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy technique emphasizes the element of structure. The therapist helps the client to set an agenda targeting critical life issues, as well as incorporating homework to help clients achieve change without medication. "It's very present-focused," Lewis said. In contrast to other forms of psychotherapy, CBT is typically brief (or time-limited), focused on the present, problem-solving oriented and focused on building skills that can be used for the rest of client’s lives.

Currently, six advanced doctoral student therapists are conducting the therapy sessions, Lewis said.

The clinic offers comprehensive diagnostic evaluations, and both individual and group treatment for depression and anxiety. All services are currently free of charge.

Visit http://www.indiana.edu/~iuclinic/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-clinic/ or call 812-855-2312 option 4 to schedule an initial evaluation.

About the Department of Psychological and Brian Sciences

The mission of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences is to lead scientific advances through state-of-the-art experimentation and theory with the goal of understanding how the entire brain-behavior system works, from molecular neuroscience to cognition to the social behavior of groups. Through the application of cutting-edge discoveries to real world problems, through the training of the next generation of scientists, and through training citizens who will apply their knowledge in many fields from medicine to industry to public service, the department accepts the responsibility to translate scientific knowledge into practical solutions for problems that impact human lives.

IU is home to the oldest continuing psychology laboratory in America, opened by William Lowe Bryan in 1888. Researchers in the department have included many breakthrough thinkers such as B.F. Skinner, J.R. Kantor, Esther Thelen and William K. Estes. The department continues to develop new opportunities in advanced research in the field of psychological and brain sciences.

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