University of Leicester
2010hickmanljdclinpsy.pdf (659.76 kB)

Representations of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Newspaper Articles post Layard: A Critical Discourse Analysis

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posted on 2010-10-14, 08:34 authored by Laura Jayne Hickman
Paper 1: Self-contained literature review - This systematic review considered the literature exploring associations between socio-economic status and depression. Fourteen quantitative studies deemed to show quality and relevance were selected for inclusion. Results focussed on the areas of income, education, neighbourhood factors, social support and resilience and cognitive appraisal. Findings suggested that individual socio-economic status was significantly associated with depression, with income and education being a mediating factor. Neighbourhood socio-economic status appeared to compound this effect. Negative appraisal of personal and social status was also suggested to increase vulnerability to depression. The research considering the effectiveness of social support in promoting resilience was contradictory and required further exploration. Paper 2: Main research report - Following the release of the Depression Report in 2006, Professor Layard recommended increased funding be given to psychological services within the NHS, prompting the development of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies agenda. This agenda paid particular focus to cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). This study considered the way in which CBT was represented in eleven newspaper articles, post Layard, using critical discourse analysis. Findings suggested the presence of gendered accounts of mental illness. Individuals considered suitable for receiving CBT were often constructed as passive. CBT was not only suggested to be potent and fashionable, but also showed characteristics that were paralleled with concepts of masculinity. The text was seen to polarise in several ways, often marginalising other therapeutic approaches. Emerging discourses were found to frequently mirror wider socio-historical practices. Clinical implications of the findings and suggestions for future research were discussed and a critical appraisal of the research process included.



Bunker, Nic; Kurtz, Arabella

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Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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