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MDLinxNew Talking Therapy for Depression Could Be More Effective and Cheaper than CBT

Augmented depression therapy shows potential as effective, cost-efficient depression care

A promising new approach in depression care, termed augmented depression therapy (ADepT), has demonstrated promising results in a pilot study from the University of Exeter, potentially outperforming the current standard treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Key Points:

  • Augmented depression therapy (ADepT) has demonstrated encouraging preliminary signs of efficacy, surpassing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in certain aspects.
  • ADepT focuses equally on reducing depressive symptoms and fostering well-being, effectively targeting anhedonia, a core component of depression often missed by current therapies.
  • 82 adults with moderate to severe depression participated in the pilot trial, and results suggested ADepT was at least as effective as CBT, if not better, at promoting well-being and reducing depressive symptoms.
  • Economic analysis indicated ADepT to be as cost-effective as CBT while delivering better quality of life outcomes.

Additional Points:

  • The trial was spearheaded by Professor Barney Dunn, a Clinical Psychology professor at the University of Exeter.
  • Participants in the study were primarily selected from NHS Talking Therapy service waiting lists in Devon, UK.
  • ADefT was developed to be seamlessly incorporated into the current therapeutic framework, requiring minimal additional training for existing CBT therapists.


  • If validated in subsequent trials, ADepT may offer both clinical and economic advantages over current therapeutic modalities in depression treatment, marking a significant advancement in mental health care.

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“In ADepT, we encourage clients to take a new perspective to their difficulties, aiming to learn to live well alongside depressed mood. The primary goal is to help clients identify what is important to them in key life areas, take steps towards living a life in a way that is consistent with these values, and to take opportunities and manage challenges while they do so that they can experience well-being and pleasure.”

Professor Barney Dunn
University of Exeter
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