CBT for Depression

Overcoming Depression: Taming the BEAST | S.E.T. Therapy Programs at CNS Integrated Behavioral Health & Medicine


Program Description

The Overcoming Depression: A Cognitive Therapy Approach1 Program was developed by Dr. Aaron Beck at the Center for Cognitive Therapy and later substantially revised and updated over the past 30 years. This program is based on the idea that when you are depressed, your own internal processes are at work. What this means is that if we can begin to identify and understand the thinking patterns associated with depressed mood we can then recognize the connections between negative thinking, low moods, and withdrawn behavior.

Based on the idea that depression is a “beast” to be tamed, the treatment utilizes an acronym to help you understand the goals of treatment. Goals for therapy are related to understanding how each aspect of your life contributes to depression: Biology, Emotions, Activity Levels, Situations, and Thoughts.

The therapist and patient will work together, utilizing the patient workbook to review weekly readings and to learn new skills to help identify, monitor, and overcome depression. The BEAST Program provides the therapist and patient a roadmap for overcoming the various facets of depression and systematic manner for attaining the skills that future depressive experiences are less frequent, of shorter duration, of reduced depth, and cause less dysfunction. The program will help to develop a set of coping strategies and skills so that you can proactively deal with depression and prevent it from compromising your quality of life.

Supported by Research

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective therapies available for the treatment of depression. In fact, CBT can be at least as effective as antidepressant medication in treating depression.  In addition, the effectiveness of cognitive therapy in preventing relapse exceeded that of antidepressant medication a controlled study over a two year period.

To see a large summary of the research on the benefits CBT for Depression please refer to this article:

Garratt, G., Ingram, R.E., Rand, K.L., & Sawalani, G. (2007). Cognitive processes in cognitive therapy: Evaluation of the mechanisms of change in the treatment of depression. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 14(3), 224-239.


Is this Program Right for You?

    • Feel physically ill but your doctor has trouble identifying medical causes?
    • Generally fatigued throughout the day?
    • Sad most of the time? There are very few times when you are happy?
    • Have difficulty getting started?
    • Have noticed low levels of motivation?
    • Spending less and less time with friends and family? Isolating?
    • Often have pessimistic view of life and the possibility of making positive changes is out of your control?



  1. Freeman, A., Gilson, M., Morgillo Freeman, S., and Yates, M.J. (2009). Overcoming depression: A cognitive therapy approach. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.