Psychotherapy banishes winter blues.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Cognitive therapy (Health aspects)
Cognitive therapy (Comparative analysis)
Phototherapy (Health aspects)
Phototherapy (Comparative analysis)
Seasonal affective disorder (Care and treatment)
Seasonal affective disorder (Patient outcomes)
Pub Date: 12/22/2009
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Winter, 2009 Source Volume: 12 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Canadian Subject Form: Cognitive-behavioural therapy; Cognitive-behavioural therapy
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 216961275

Cognitive behavioral therapy may be a better remedy for people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) than light therapy, a new study suggests.

Like many mental illnesses, SAD can be treated and managed by various methods, including light therapy, medication, and cognitive behavior therapy. People with less severe cases can often find some relief through regular exercise and outdoor activity, experts say.

In the September issue of the journal Behavior Therapy, Kelly Rohan, a psychologist at the University of Vermont, and her colleagues compared the treatments in 69 people with SAD who were randomly assigned to receive light therapy, psychotherapy, both, or nothing.

Six weeks after treatment started, 80% of those receiving combination therapy were in remission, compared to 50% for cognitive behavior therapy and the same for light therapy. About 20% of those in the control group experienced remission.

"It's an up-front investment, three hours of therapy a week in total over six weeks, whereas light therapy is 30 minutes a day and not just for six weeks," Rohan said. "Light therapy depends on a lot of time and effort, a minimum 30 minutes in front of the fixture every day of the symptomatic months every year. I don't know how many people are willing to do that."

Atlanta Journal Constitution (2009, October 29). Psychotherapy Beats Light Treatment for SAD. Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved October 29, 2009, from html
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