Combining individual Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and caregiver-child sessions for childhood depression: An open trial

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 04/24/2012

Younger age and lower pretreatment severity predicted greater symptom change. The positive treatment effects provide support for the combined intervention.


  • Fifteen children participated in an open clinical trial.
  • Treatment included 16 CBT sessions combined with seven caregiver/caregiver–child sessions over 12 weeks.
  • Data were collected at pre-, mid-, and post-treatment and at one- and six-month follow-ups.


  • Significant decreases in depressive symptoms were apparent, with the majority showing clinically meaningful improvement.
  • Benchmarked against the literature, the combination equaled or outperformed CBT in other studies and was superior to control conditions.
  • Mother and teacher reports of child functioning significantly improved, providing social validation of the effects.
  • Mothers reported improved caregiver–child relationships and less parenting stress.
  • Children did not report acute improvements in relations with their caregivers.
  • However, when a father participated, improved father–child relations were reported in the follow-up period.

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