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High-Yield Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Brief Sessions

An Illustrated Guide

Jesse H. Wright, M.D., Ph.D., Donna M. Sudak, M.D., Douglas Turkington, M.D., and Michael E. Thase, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-362-4
  • Item #62362
DVD Included!
To access helpful forms in planning or performing CBT, download Appendix 1: Worksheets and Checklists.

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High-Yield Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Brief Sessions: An Illustrated Guide breaks entirely new ground in explaining how to weave together the powerful tools of CBT with pharmacotherapy in sessions shorter than the traditional 50-minute hour. Written for psychiatrists, therapists, and other clinicians, the book details ways to enrich brief sessions with practical CBT interventions that work to relieve symptoms and promote wellness.

An engaging and instructive resource of video illustrations included with the book demonstrates how to successfully implement brief CBT sessions for some of the most common and important problems seen in clinical practice—depression, anxiety, psychotic symptoms, suicidality, sleep disturbances, substance abuse, and coping with physical health issues. Written by practicing clinicians with extensive experience in combining CBT and pharmacotherapy, this volume builds on the constructs and techniques described in the authors' earlier best-selling illustrated guides, Learning Cognitive-Behavior Therapy and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Severe Mental Illness. The authors describe in detail the general features of CBT that can be applied in less time than the 50-minute hour

  • The therapist and patient function as an investigative team; the power of this collaborative empiricism can be evident in even the shortest of clinical encounters.
  • Clinicians teach patients how to rapidly set agendas, focus on specific problems, pace sessions, and give and receive feedback on progress; this structuring approach is especially well-suited to brief sessions.
  • A basic tenet of CBT, psychoeducation can effectively be delivered in sessions shorter than 45-60 minutes and, in fact, may become a more dominant aspect of treatment during briefer time frames.
  • Patients can learn practical, high-yield methods for decreasing symptoms fairly quickly, making these methods highly suitable for application in shorter sessions.
  • Homework extends learning beyond the confines of the session and encourages self-help in the treatment process, effectively increasing the value of shortened clinician-patient time.

When sessions are brief, clinicians must be able to generate succinct and targeted formulations that include key pieces of information that allow for full understanding of the patient, while honing in on specific problems where positive results can be collaboratively pursued. This book, with its video illustrations and learning exercises, was designed to help readers achieve incisive formulations while they sharpen their basic CBT techniques and successfully apply this knowledge in the stimulating and rewarding domain of brief sessions.

A must-read for working clinicians as well as trainees, this book offers pragmatic solutions for the challenge of providing effective psychotherapy in brief treatment sessions.


  • Foreword. Preface. Acknowledgments. Introduction. Indications and formats for brief CBT sessions. Enhancing the impact of brief sessions. Case formulation and treatment planning. Promoting adherence. Behavioral methods for depression. Targeting maladaptive thinking. Treating hopelessness and suicidality. Behavioral methods for anxiety. CBT methods for insomnia. Modifying delusions. Coping with hallucinations. CBT for substance misuse and abuse. Lifestyle change: building healthy habits. CBT in medical patients. Relapse prevention. Appendix 1: Worksheets and checklists. Appendix 2: CBT resources for patients and families. Appendix 3: CBT educational resources for clinicians. Appendix 4: DVD guide. Index.

About the Authors

Jesse H. Wright, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Depression Center at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

Donna M. Sudak, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Psychotherapy Training at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Douglas Turkington, M.D., is Professor of Psychosocial Psychiatry at the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Royal Victoria Infirmary; and Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, St. Nicholas Hospital, Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom

Michael E. Thase, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Section at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Psychiatric sessions have become shorter and more pharamacologically oriented over the past few years. Understandably, the field has been crying for a book to teach us how to do CBT in such an abbreviated session. This book authored by leaders in CBT does it superbly. Certain to become a classic, it is a must have for all practitioners.—Alan F. Schatzberg, M.D., Kenneth T. Norris, Jr Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine

As psychiatrists or psychologists, we'd like to provide good services for our patients or clients. But there're some confusion of medication in combination with CBT at general and special clinical setting. All these problems can be resolved and more practical skills of CBT can be learned through reading this book and watching the video illustrations.—Zhanjiang Li, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University

This is an excellent reference guide for any provider wanting to learn how to use CBT strategies in brief sessions. It is readable and well supported with resources and references and an excellent demonstration DVD. I highly recommend this book to providers who work in brief sessions, primary care and psychiatry residents, and psychologists and social workers who provide services in unconventional settings.—Patricia A. Arean, Ph.D., The American Journal of Psychiatry, 11/1/2010

Companion Products

Learning Cognitive-Behavior Therapy Second Edition

Jesse H. Wright, M.D., Ph.D., Gregory K. Brown, Ph.D., Michael E. Thase, M.D., and Monica Ramirez Basco, Ph.D. 2017

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Severe Mental Illness

Jesse H. Wright, M.D., Ph.D., Douglas Turkington, M.D., David G. Kingdon, M.D., and Monica Ramirez Basco, Ph.D. 2009

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