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Conceptual Foundations of the Transdiagnostic Approach to CBT

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This article defines and explains the transdiagnostic approach to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and elaborates on its conceptual foundations and implications for research and practice. We argue that the approach has good philosophical, historical, pragmatic, and empirical foundations. We distinguish between transdiagnostic approaches based on multiple processes that are universally applied (e.g., Harvey, Watkins, Mansell, & Shafran, 2004), multiple processes limited in the range of disorders covered (e.g., Fairburn, Cooper, & Shafran, 2003), symptom-based accounts (e.g., Persons, 1986), and universal single process accounts (e.g., experiential avoidance, self-absorption). We summarize existing evidence and identify key issues relating to the methodology of future research on the transdiagnostic approach. The article concludes by highlighting the great potential benefits of the approach and highlights significant practical, political, and scientific obstacles to putting it into practice on a large scale.
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Keywords: CLASSIFICATION; COGNITIVE PROCESSES; DIAGNOSIS; INFORMATION PROCESSING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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  • The Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy is no longer available to subscribers on Ingenta Connect. Please go to http://connect.springerpub.com/content/sgrjcp to access your online subscription to Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy.
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