The primary focus of classic cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression and anxiety is on decreasing symptoms of psychopathology. However, there is increasing recognition that it is also important to enhance wellbeing during therapy. This study investigates the extent to which classic CBT for anxiety and depression leads to symptom relief versus wellbeing enhancement, analysing routine outcomes in patients receiving CBT in high intensity Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) Services in the UK. At intake, there were marked symptoms of anxiety and depression (a majority of participants scoring in the severe range) and defcits in wellbeing (a majority of participants classifed as languishing, relative to general population normative data). CBT was more efective at reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression than repairing wellbeing. As a result, at the end of treatment, a greater proportion of participants met recovery criteria for anxiety and depression than had moved from languishing into average or fourishing levels of wellbeing. Given the importance of wellbeing to client defnitions of recovery, the present results suggest a greater emphasis should be placed on enhancing wellbeing in classic CBT.
- Positive affect
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy