Depression causes substantial disability, is set to become the second-largest cause of disease burden by 2020, affects between 5-10% of the population and is the third most common reason for people seeing their GP. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is recommended to treat depression although less than 10% of affected people receive such treatment. As its name implies CBT combines cognitive therapy, aimed at changing people's negative thoughts, with behavioural therapy which is aimed at modifying their behaviour. Recent research has suggested that 'pure' behavioural therapy could be as effective as CBT. A review of 17 trials, made up of 1109 subjects found that behaviour therapy was superior to brief psychotherapy and equal in effectiveness to CBT.
Ekers, D., Richards, D. and Gilbody, S. - A meta-analysis of randomized trials of behavioural treatment of depression Psychological Medicine May 2008, 38(5), 611-623