Training Addiction Counselors to Implement CBT for Depression

Published in: Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, v. 38, no. 4, July 2011, p. 313-323

by Kimberly A. Hepner, Sarah B. Hunter, Susan M. Paddock, Annie Jie Zhou, Katherine E. Watkins

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Many clients in publicly funded substance abuse treatment programs suffer from depression yet lack access to effective mental health treatment. This study sought to examine whether addiction counselors could be effectively trained to deliver group CBT for depression and to ascertain client perceptions of the treatment. Five counselors were trained in the therapy and treated 113 clients with depression symptoms. Counselors demonstrated high fidelity to the therapy and client perceptions of the therapy were positive. Our results suggest that training addiction counselors to deliver group CBT for depression is a promising integrated treatment approach for co-occurring depression and substance disorders.

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