Contributor biographical information for Treating chronic depression with disciplined personal involvement : cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP) / James P. McCullough.


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d104>"Research growing out of practice" best describes the way Dr. James P. McCullough, Jr., Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry of Virginia Commonwealth University, has conducted his 35-year university career. During the mid-1970s, Dr. McCullough began working with chronically depressed outpatients. At the time, chronic depression was considered to be a personality disorder and not thought to be responsive to medication or psychotherapy. Dr. McCullough developed his therapy model, Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP), while working with chronically depressed patients. He investigated the treatment efficacy of CBASP using single-case design methodology and published the first articles on CBASP in 1980 and 1984. With the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Third Edition (DSM-III) in 1980, the American Psychiatric Association removed chronic depression from personality disorder status and redefined it (dysthymia) as a psychological disorder. Chronic depression was suddenly thrust into the mainstream of clinical treatment and research where it has remained ever since. In addition to developing a psychotherapy method to treat the disorder, in 1980, Dr. McCullough began a series of diagnostic investigations studying chronically depressed nonpatients for extended periods of time. The aims of this research were to investigate the psychological characteristics of chronically depressed individuals over time, to determine when the disorder began, and to see if the disorder would remit spontaneously with time. He found very few remissions (13%) and of those who did, over half relapsed within two years. The majority of the nonpatients reported an onset which began during adolescence. Dr. McCullough concluded that chronic depression is in large measure a "disorder of adolescence" and indeed a lifetime problem that doesn't improve over time without adequate treatment. His diagnostic research continues up to the present time. In the late 1980s, Dr. McCullough served as a Field Trial Site Coordinator studying dysthymia, major depression, and two minor depressions in the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV revision project. He has also participated as a Principal Investigator in two national, multi-site investigations involving 1316 chronically depressed outpatients. The second study utilized CBASP alone and in combination with medication and compared both groups to a medication alone group. Patients who completed the acute phase of the study and who received combination treatment obtained the highest response rates (85%) ever reported in a depression study. The results were published in a lead article in May of 2000 in The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. McCullough is currently participating as Principal Investigator in a 4-year NIMH treatment project enrolling 910 chronically depressed outpatients at 8 sites in the U.S. CBASP is being used as an augmentation strategy for patients who do not fully remit during a three months medicine-only acute phase. He currently remains at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Department of Psychology teaching psychotherapy to clinical psychology graduate students and training mental health professionals both in this country and abroad to administer CBASP. His books have been translated into German, Japanese, and Spanish. See www.cbasp.org link for more psychotherapy training information.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Depression, Mental -- Treatment.
Cognitive therapy.
Psychotherapist and patient.