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Expert View: A CBT model of depression

Shirley Reynolds, Director of The Charlie Waller Institute at The University of Reading, describes the 'Hot Cross Bun Model' at the centre of CBT.

Watch Shirley explain how someone without depression might interpret an ambiguous situation (thoughts), and the types of feelings (emotional and physical) and behaviours which may occur. Shirley compares this with how someone with depressive symptoms might interpret the same information.

When you are watching the clip, for each example, try and identify the thoughts, emotions, physical feelings/symptoms and behaviour and include these in the blank hot cross bun.

The individual without depressive symptoms interpreted the situation (other mums talking at the school gate) in a positive way (they are talking about the party – great!). This makes her feel happy and excited (with associated physical symptoms) and prompts her to go up to the group to talk about this. On the other hand, the depressed individual interpreted the same situation in a negative manner (they are obviously talking about the party – I won’t get an invite, how awful). This results in a vicious cycle, whereby the person experiences immediate feelings of sadness and lethargy, and consequently avoids talking to the people in question (so she is never able to actually confirm, whether what she believes is true), which only serves to maintain her low mood.

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Understanding Anxiety, Depression and CBT

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