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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 391084, 11 pages
Research Article

Perspectives on Cognitive Therapy Training within Community Mental Health Settings: Implications for Clinician Satisfaction and Skill Development

1VA National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston University, Washington, DC 20420, USA
2Center for Organization, Leadership, and Management Research, VA Boston Healthcare System, Washington, DC 20420, USA
3Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
4Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities Services, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

Received 30 March 2012; Accepted 31 July 2012

Academic Editor: Mark Williams

Copyright © 2012 Shannon Wiltsey Stirman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite the mounting evidence of the benefits of cognitive therapy for depression and suicidal behaviors over usual care, like other evidence-based psychosocial treatments (EBTs), it has not been widely adopted in clinical practice. Studies have shown that training followed by intensive consultation is needed to prepare providers to an appropriate level of competency in complex, multisession treatment packages such as cognitive therapy. Given the critical role of training in EBT implementation, more information on factors associated with the success and challenges of training programs is needed. To identify potential reasons for variation in training outcomes across ten agencies in a large, urban community mental health system, we explored program evaluation data and examined provider, consultant, and training program administrator perspectives through follow-up interviews. Perceptions of cognitive therapy, contextual factors, and reactions to feedback on audio recordings emerged as broad categories of themes identified from interviews. These factors may interact and impact clinician efforts to learn cognitive therapy and deliver it skillfully in their practice. The findings highlight experiences and stakeholder perspectives that may contribute to more or less successful training outcomes.