Transdiagnostic cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of emotional disorders: A preliminary open trial

Kelly R. Harris, Peter J. Norton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objectives: To assess the efficacy of a transdiagnostic cognitive behavioral therapy (tCBT)protocol for the treatment of emotional disorders with individuals that have a principal or comorbid depressive diagnosis. Methods: Treatment-seeking adults meeting diagnostic criteria for a depressive disorder were enrolled in a 12-week tCBT open trial aimed at addressing the underlying core pathology of emotional disorders. Clinician severity ratings (CSRs)regarding principal and comorbid diagnoses, and overall severity as well as clinical global impression-severity (CGI-S)ratings were assessed at pre- and post-treatment and 4-month follow-up. Clinician's provided a clinical global impression–improvement (CGI-I)rating post-treatment and at 4-month follow-up. Depressive and anxiety symptoms were measured at pre-treatment and session-by-session using self-report measures (BDI-II and ADDQ). Results: Repeated measure ANOVAs indicated a reduction in principal diagnosis severity, overall severity, and CGI-S with large effects observed post-treatment (Cohen's ds = 1.29–1.92)and at 4-month follow-up (Cohen's ds = 0.77–1.04). Mixed-effect regression modelling demonstrated a decrease in depressive and anxiety symptoms over the course of treatment. CGI-I ratings identified 63.64% participants as treatment responders both post-treatment and at 4-month follow-up. Limitations: The uncontrolled nature of the trial and small sample size are the main limitations to generalizability of the findings. Conclusions: The findings, although preliminary, provide additional evidence for the utilization of tCBT in the effective treatment of emotional disorders. Further research into the implementation of the tCBT for emotional disorders protocol through a randomized controlled trial involving groups of participants with a range of emotional disorder diagnoses is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101487
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression
  • Transdiagnostic

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