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Researching and Improving Psychotherapy Techniques in Interventions for DEpression 

Some of our strongest tools to combat depression come in the form of psychotherapies, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). While both treatments have been found to be effective in treating depression, they take fundamentally different approaches to treatment. In CBT, clients learn techniques to challenge and change negative thought and behavior patterns. In ACT, clients learn techniques to accept their negative internal experiences and commit to action in line with their values. Despite being among the most effective treatments for depression, both CBT and ACT have a response rate of about only 50%. We believe there are two key reasons we have not been able to improve these response rates. First, very little is known about which specific therapeutic skills are effective in these treatment packages. For example, do cognitive or behavioral change skills lead to therapeutic change in CBT? In ACT, do acceptance or change skills lead to therapeutic change? Second, we do not know which specific treatments or therapeutic skills work better for different individuals. Every individual has unique needs, and some individuals may benefit differently from different treatment packages or from specific skills within each psychotherapy. 


The RIPTIDE study will compare CBT and ACT for depression in an online group therapy format. This will allow us to investigate which therapeutic skills are effective in these treatment packages. This approach will also allow us to identify predictors of differential response to treatment packages and specific treatment skills.

Looking to participate? Read on to learn more and click below to see if you may be eligible for this study.

Feel depressed?
Looking for help?

You may be eligible for a new study of the different ways in which therapies work to help people like you. This study by the University of Southern California will ask you to attend online psychotherapy sessions for 8 weeks and complete surveys during your day-to-day life. 

Potential benefits:  

  • Participating in this study may improve your depressive symptoms

  • Participants may receive up to $140 in compensation

You may qualify if you are:

  • At least 18 years of age  

  • Experiencing depressive symptoms  

  • Can read and write English  

  • Have access to a stable internet connection, private location, and a video camera to attend group therapy sessions 

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