Group Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is sometimes delivered in group format, particularly in hospitals and community health settings where resources are limited. Effective Cognitive Behaviour Therapy group therapy programmes have been developed for depression, social phobia, panic disorder, pain management, and a wide range of other conditions.
Because of the very practical nature of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy approach, it especially lends itself to group delivery. Group therapy also provides an opportunity for people to see that other people struggle with similar issues which can be very validating and encouraging at times.
The main disadvantage of group Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is that it does not allow the flexibility of tailoring therapy to the specific needs of the individual. For this reason it is often not an appropriate comprehensive treatment for disorders like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
In Australia Medicare rebates are often available for attendance at privately run group therapy programs. The limit is usually 12 sessions per year, and a specific referral is required. Some people attend both group and individual therapy. With therapies such as DBT this is strongly encouraged.
Self-Help Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
A number of self-help treatment manuals have been developed to help people overcome psychological problems. These manuals are often divided into modules. In each module a new CBT skill is introduced and homework tasks are provided to encourage practice of the skill.
These manuals are most suitable for people with milder psychological difficulties. However in more severe conditions the manuals can be used in conjunction with psychological therapy.
An example is a treatment manual for Panic Disorder written by Dr John Franklin.
John Franklin (1997): Overcoming Panic.
Computer-Administered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
With the increasing sophistication of computer technology, there are now a number of online CBT treatment programs which are run by computers. While computers are obviously incapable of the empathy a therapist can provide, Internet-based therapy does provide more anonymity, which appeals to some people.
An example of this is Mood Gym at www.moodgym.anu.edu.au
Again this form of remotely administered CBT is often used in conjunction with face-to-face therapy.