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Psychopathology – Depression

4. Cognitive Models and Treatments

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This module focusses on two cognitive models of depression and their corresponding treatments. First, we look at Ellis’s ABC model and Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) which locates the causes of depression in our irrational beliefs. We discuss the role of the therapist in RET which is to challenge these beliefs and help the patient to understand and their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Next, we move on to the second cognitive model, Beck’s Cognitive Triad and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), contrasting it from Ellis’s earlier model as a more collaborative and experimental approach. We consider the different types of negative thought that constitute Beck’s Cognitive Triad and discuss how CBT aims to capture and challenge these thoughts. Finally, we consider the behavioural aspect of CBT which aims to help those suffering from depression to recover a sense of mastery and pleasure in their daily activities.


In this course, Professor Linda Gask (University of Manchester) discusses the topic of depression. We begin by thinking about what depression is and how it can be diagnosed in module one. We then look at a number of different models of depression, including biological, psychological and social models, in the following modules. Module two focuses on different biological explanations for depression and considers available drug treatments. In module three, we think about Freud’s psychodynamic model of depression before moving on, in module four, to two cognitive models and their corresponding treatments: Ellis’s ABC Model and Rational Emotive Therapy and Beck’s Cognitive Triad and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The fifth module introduces Seligman’s Learned Helplessness theory as a further psychological explanation for depression. The sixth module concludes the course with a discussion of the social factors that may play a role in depression and underlines the importance of considering biological, psychological and social factors in conjunction.


Professor Linda Gask trained in medicine at the University of Edinburgh and in psychiatry in the North West of England. She was a 2000-2001 Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy based at the Center for Health Studies in Seattle. She has also worked as a consultant for the World Health Organisation and has been a zonal representative for the World Psychiatric Association.

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APA style

Gask, L. (2019, September 30). Psychopathology – Depression - Cognitive Models and Treatments [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Gask, L. "Psychopathology – Depression – Cognitive Models and Treatments." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 30 Sep 2019,

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