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CBT for Depression

Let's learn more about one of these proven treatments for depression, called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT for Depression.

What is CBT for Depression?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or "C-B-T") for Depression is an evidence-based "talk" therapy, or counseling treatment, proven effective in hundreds of research studies. The treatment teaches skills for changing thoughts and behaviors that affect how we feel.

Watch this video to learn more about CBT treatment. And, explore the tabs at the bottom of this page to learn about the specific parts of treatment!


About 75% of people who receive CBT for Depression treatment improve.

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CBT for Depression is effective for younger and older Veterans.

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CBT for Depression is about as effective as medications — and has more lasting effects.

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CBT for Depression is recommended by experts at the highest level, based on decades of research.

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On average, CBT treatment reduces symptoms of depression by about half…

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and, many people have even greater improvement, as well as better quality of life.

What happens in Treatment

CBT for Depression includes proven steps for changing thoughts and behaviors that affect how we feel.

Click on an item below to learn about the different steps of CBT for Depression!

Learn Relaxation Skills

Stress or worry can lead to symptoms of depression. Treatment includes training in effective relaxation skills for lowering stress and calming the mind and body. These new skills can help you to feel more content and in control of your emotions.

Increase Pleasant Activities

People with depression have few activities that provide joy or meaning. In treatment, you and your therapist will identify and increase activities, specific to you, that make you feel good about yourself and your life.

Catch Negative Thoughts

People with depression usually have negative and extreme thoughts about themselves, the world, and the future. CBT teaches powerful skills for catching these thoughts so they can be changed.

Change Negative Thoughts

After learning how to catch negative thoughts, your therapist will help you learn how to check out and replace these thoughts with more balanced thoughts. These skills will give you more control over your feelings and reactions in different situations.


Let's look a bit closer at what CBT for Depression looks like.

  1. Learn about Proven Treatment You are here
  2. View the Treatment Process Up Close You are here
  3. Explore Your Goals You are here
  4. Find Treatment You are here

View the treatment process up close

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Questions or problems? Contact Rocky Mountain MIRECC.


Contact Information


Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC (RMR VAMC)
1700 N Wheeling St, BLDG A2
Aurora, CO 80045


VA Salt Lake City Health Care System
500 Foothill DR
Salt Lake City, UT 84148
801-582-1565 x2821