We recently published the two year follow up of the teens who received rumination-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
I am currently completing a two-year longitudinal follow up of a sample of adolescents who completed 8 weeks of Rumination-focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (R-CBT) or an assessment-only control. Rumination is when we get stuck in negative thinking without being able to move forward in a productive way. One of the key skills taught in R-CBT is mindfulness. Over the course of the 8 week intervention, teens learned to notice when they were ruminating and to shift out of rumination into a more adaptive way of thinking or being. All adolescents completed a brain scan before and after the 8 week intervention period. A first look at the data suggests that R-CBT reduced residual symptoms of depression, prevented depressive relapse, and also influenced connectivity patterns of the brain (specifically, decreased hyperconnectivity between regions involved in the default mode and cognitive control networks). I willl be presenting these findings this fall at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as well as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
This research is being conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Juvenile Research and has been funded by the Klingenstein Foundation, the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Research, the UIC Campus Research Board, and the Mind and Life Institute. My mentor for this project is Dr. Scott Langenecker (pictured above).