Major Depressive Disorder

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is associated with a depressed mood and a loss of interest in one’s usual activities.

Although most people feel sad from time to time, a person experiencing Major Depressive Disorder feels sad, down, or empty, or has little interest in many of their usual activities on a consistent basis, for at least a few weeks.

During this period of depression, the person with depression experiences several others symptoms, such as:

  • Changes in their appetite or significant weight gain or weight loss
  • Sleep problems – difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping excessively
  • Feeling fatigued, restless, slowed down, worthless, or excessively guilty
  • Difficulty concentrating or making small decisions
  • Individuals experiencing MDD may feel down and hopeless about their circumstances.
  • Some individuals with depression have thoughts about ending their life.

Depression is one of the most common psychological problems in the United States.

People with serious depression often experience persistently sad mood, lack of interest or enjoyment in activities, difficulty concentrating, low energy, disrupted sleep, and loss of appetite. Some people with severe depression also think about death or suicide.

Our outpatient clinic offers weekly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in either group or individual format. However, many clients prefer a more intensive, daily treatment program -Accelerated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Accelerated CBT

There are several reasons to consider such an intensive treatment program:

  • Some research suggests that intensive treatment may be more effective, especially in the earlier stages of treatment.
  • People who have not benefited fully from less intensive interventions may respond well to more intensive treatment.
  • Some clients will find it more convenient to come for treatment for a briefer period of time, rather than stretch out their treatment. This may be especially true for clients who have difficulty adjusting their work schedules, or who come in from out of town.

The Accelerated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program for Depression is an intensive treatment program that includes 12 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy, delivered 3 days per week for 4 weeks. Treatment focuses on cognitive restructuring and guided behavioral activation. Cognitive restructuring involves identifying negative thought patterns and developing more rational views of the world. Guided behavioral activation means that you will work with your clinician to increase activity levels. This may include starting or increasing activities such as exercise or hobbies. Other skills, such as problem solving skills or social skills training may also be included in the program. Your treatment will be tailored to your specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is this an inpatient, partial hospital, or residential program?
A: The Accelerated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program at the Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a specialized intensive therapy program that does not fit into any of these categories. Clients do not stay overnight at The Institute of Living. Each visit lasts from 1.5-2 hours and clients are expected to spend additional time during the day completing homework exercises on their own. Those who live outside the Hartford area may choose to stay in a local hotel (our center can help those from out of town locate an appropriate hotel).

Q: Is this service covered by my insurance plan?
A: Please be advised that most insurance plans do not pay for the Accelerated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program and our staff members are not contracted with any insurance companies to provide this service. Therefore, the client will be responsible for all costs. We will provide you with an invoice and you are free to seek reimbursement from your insurance company if you wish. Clients who wish to use their insurance plans may receive weekly treatment through our outpatient clinic.

Q: Does “accelerated" or "intensive" cognitive behavioral therapy mean that this treatment is harder than regular treatment?
A: Not necessarily. The words “accelerated" or "intensive" cognitive behavioral therapy mean that treatment is delivered more frequently than the typical weekly schedule. This allows you to receive immediate feedback and support from your therapist about your exposure homework exercises. Therefore, Accelerated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is more focused and possibly more effective, but is not necessarily more difficult than weekly treatment.

Q: What is the cost?
A: The Accelerated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program for Depression is typically runs three times a week for four weeks. The typical cost is $4,500 with a licensed psychologist and $2,500 with a postdoctoral fellow*. The cost may be different if your clinician determines that a different schedule of visits is warranted. You will be informed of the structure of the program at the initial evaluation.

* Postdoctoral fellows are clinicians that have their Ph.D., but are not licensed. The postdoctoral fellowship is a 2 year training program in which fellows receive specialized supervised training in Anxiety Disorders and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy prior to taking their licensing examination


Anxiety Disorders Center

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