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01-03-2014 | Uitgave 1/2014

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy 1/2014

Targeting Common Factors Across Anxiety and Depression Using the Unified Protocol for the Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Adolescents

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy > Uitgave 1/2014
Ilana Seager, Amelia M. Rowley, Jill Ehrenreich-May


Clinical approaches to mood and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents have historically been confined to either diagnosis- [e.g., for obsessive–compulsive disorder vs. generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), etc.] or domain-specific (e.g., for anxiety disorders vs. depressive disorders) treatments. However, as conceptualizations of mental illness shift towards a more dimensional model [e.g., the recent Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) from the National Institutes of Health], transdiagnostic treatments, such as the unified protocol for the treatment of emotional disorders in adolescents (UP-A; Ehrenreich et al. in Child Fam Behav Ther 31(1):20–37, 2008), are gaining support in the empirical literature. This paper reviews the common treatment targets across three emotional disorders commonly found in adolescence: GAD, social anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder. In particular, similarities and differences across potential treatment mechanisms, including cognitive and information processing deficits, problem-solving difficulties, and avoidance strategies are examined. Finally, the case of 17-year-old “Andrea” is presented to demonstrate how transdiagnostic approaches like the UP-A can be effective in treating a range of emotional disorders in youth.

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