If depression is making it more difficult for some unemployed people to land a job, one type of therapy may help, research suggests. The findings indicated that 41 per cent of unemployed or underemployed people undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) found a new job or went from part-to full-time work by the end of the 16-week treatment for depression.
Those who had a job but found it difficult to focus on and accomplish work tasks because of depression said the treatment helped to significantly reduce these problems, the researchers said.
“CBT helps patients overcome these views by teaching them that the experience of depression is not their fault and that they can take steps to improve their concentration and accomplish work more successfully even when experiencing depressive symptoms,” said researcher Daniel Strunk from The Ohio State University.
For the study, published in the journal Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, the team involved 126 people who participated in a 16-week course of CBT, that teaches coping skills that help patients counteract and modify their negative beliefs.
In this study, 27 patients were seeking to improve their employment status (land a job or go from part-to full-time) at the beginning of treatment. Eleven of them (41 per cent) had succeeded by the end of the 16 weeks.
CBT had a clear impact for those who had jobs and reported at the beginning of the treatment that depression was hurting their effectiveness.
The findings showed that one way CBT had this effect was by reducing patients’ “negative cognitive style,” or the extent to which patients view negative events in overly pessimistic ways, according to the researcher.