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Am Psychol. 1991 Apr;46(4):368-75.

Cognitive therapy. A 30-year retrospective.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Philadelphia.


Several lines of investigation have evolved from the initial cognitive model of depression and other disorders. A large number of studies have tested the cognitive model using both clinical and laboratory-based strategies. In general, studies that most closely approximate the clinical conditions from which the theory was derived are supportive of the cognitive model of depression. Studies of anxiety and panic, although fewer, generally support the cognitive model of anxiety and panic. The application to the treatment of clinical problems has been promising and supports the concept of cognitive specificity. The cognitive therapy of depression has led to the utilization of specific cognitive strategies based on the specific conceptualizations of a given disorder to a wide variety of disorders. Study of abnormal reactions has also provided clues to the cognitive structure of normal reactions.

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