Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP)

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been rated by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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About This Program

Target Population: Chronically depressed adults

Brief Description

CBASP has been developed solely for the treatment of the chronic depressive adults. Most patients present with maltreatment developmental histories that impede normal cognitive-emotive growth in the ability to related socially with others. Hence, patients begin treatment functioning in a primitive manner meaning their thought and feeling patterns are not very organized, self-centered, and prelogical, and they talk to therapists in a monologic manner. Chronic depression is essentially a chronic mood disorder and does not fit the typical description of major depression that comes and goes as a “thinking disorder."

At the outset of psychotherapy, the patient is interpersonally detached and withdrawn and is perceptually disconnected from the actual consequences of their own behavior. The general fiction they live out is “it doesn’t matter what I do, nothing will change.” Three techniques are administered to demonstrate to patients that the way they behave with others has consequences (Situational Analysis); to help patients discriminate the psychotherapist from toxic Significant Others who have hurt them (Interpersonal Discrimination Exercise); and to modify in-session maladaptive behavior that precludes the therapist from administering treatment (Contingent Personal Responsivity). The CBASP therapist role is interpersonally active and administered in a disciplined personal involved manner.

Program Goals:

The program representative did not provide information about the program’s goals.

Contact Information

James P. McCullough, Jr., PhD
Title: Distinguished Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry
Agency/Affiliation: Virginia Commonwealth University
Department: Department of Psychology
Phone: (804) 740-7646
Fax: (804) 740-0305

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2015

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2010