Group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for mild depression)

Some evidence – there is enough evidence to indicate that this can be a helpful treatment option for mild depression.

Group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) involves a group of young people with similar problems meeting together regularly (usually weekly) with one or two therapists for a set number of weeks. There is usually a set programme of things to talk about and the therapists will make suggestions for how you might deal with any problems. Your group will also work together on problem solving. The therapists will often ask you to keep a diary of your thoughts, feelings and what you have been doing and will suggest things for you to try between sessions.  

Group CBT will usually include:  

  • information about depression 
  • learning about how your thoughts, feelings and behaviour can affect one another 
  • learning how to notice changes in your mood so that you can learn what kinds of things affect you most (this can help you to do things which will positively affect your mood) 
  • help to develop a daily routine 
  • support to plan things you can do that might lift your mood 
  • help to spot and challenge negative patterns of thinking 
  • learning problem solving skills 
  • developing a plan to stay well 

Group CBT isn’t commonly available in the England at the moment, but there is some evidence that it might help with mild depression.  

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.

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