The Spirituality Augmented Cognitive Behavioural Therapy- evidence based meaning therapy for depression and demoralisation

Russell F. D’Souza, Mary Mathew


Objective: To explore and describe the Spiritually Augmented Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and its applications
Method: The background on the need for incorporating spirituality in to therapy is considered. The SACBT, A meaning therapy for sustaining mental health and functional recovery is described with the cognitive components and behavioural components including the use of existential techniques in discovering meaning. The use of meditation, together with the validation and incorporation of the appropriate belief system of patients into their treatment is described. The use of rituals that are practised are incorporated in to the treatment in the form of a ritual monitoring sheet
Result: Open randomised controlled studies have demonstrated the 16 session SACBT to be significantly beneficial in not only extinguishing hopelessness and despair, but are also found to improve treatment collaboration and reduce relapse thus increasing time to next relapse and improving functional recovery
This meaning based therapy that incorporates appropriately a person belief system, which often might be the core that helps the patient and family cope, is an adjunct therapy that has been shown to improve function outcomes. Thus this evidence based adjunct therapy has an important and useful role in enhancing functional recovery and whole person care – an area that has had less attention given to in conventional psychiatric treatment.

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