In the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics a report by German investigators headed by professor Brakemeier introduces a new form of psychotherapeutic treatment for substance abuse with depression. The Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP) integrates cognitive-emotional, behavioral, interpersonal, and psychodynamic theories and strategies. Initially developed to treat depressive disorder, it has been modified to treat other and comorbid disorders such as alcohol and substance abuse. As part of an inpatient setting, the IPKCT was implemented as a semi-open group in the Department of Addiction Medicine and Addictive Behavior of the Klinikum Stuttgart in 2015.
Seven consecutive recruited inpatients with comorbid depression and substance use disorders according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) were included. The exclusion criteria were limited to a history of bipolar I disorder, antisocial personality disorder, a mental disorder resulting from organic factors, and a severe form of autistic spectrum disorder.
Regarding feasibility, all patients completed the treatment (no dropouts). Self-rating questionnaires assessing acceptance and satisfaction indicated that the patients found the IPKCT program 'helpful' (n = 3) or 'very helpful' (n = 4). Concerning the primary outcome measure, the BDI, results showed significant improvements and a medium effect size. In addition, improvements emerged also in the WHO Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOLBREF) used to assess quality of life.
Authors concluded that the results of this pilot study demonstrated good feasibility (high levels of satisfaction and acceptance, no dropouts) and a promising short-term outcome of the IPKCT in the treatment of patients with comorbid substance use disorders and depression.
Article: Feasibility and Outcome of a Short-Term Group Therapy for Inpatients with Comorbid Substance Use Disorders and Depression: The InterPersonal Kiesler-Circle Training (IPKCT), Knies EM Backenstrass M, Brakemeier EL., Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, doi: 10.1159/000446157, published August 2016.