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030 | Attachment-based Intervention for Clinically Resistant Depression

Preconference Workshops


Gary Sibcy, Ph.D.



Approved For CE

Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, and Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU

Medical Doctors, Osteopathic Doctors, Physicians Assistants, Midwives, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners




A substantial number of people seen by psychologists, licensed mental health professionals, and medical professionals suffer from what the DSM-5-TR now refers to as early onset Persistent Depressive Disorder, which usually starts in childhood or adolescents and continues into adulthood. Many sufferers have experienced early, complex traumatic relationships, with a continuous series of “low-grade” trauma in the form of psychological insults, put-downs, and emotional abandonment. Others have also experienced one or more “high-grade” traumas like physical/sexual abuse. This early developmental/relational trauma leads to chronic mood dysregulation, learned helplessness, behavioral shut-down and avoidance, and a highly submissive relational style. Many do not respond well to standard medical and psychological treatments. In this workshop, the presenter will cover the Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP), an attachment-informed, evidence-based treatment designed specifically for treating this type of client. Participants will discuss how and why this treatment was developed and examine, in detail, how to administer its core treatment strategies and techniques. The presenter will also discuss how this treatment approach is easily integrated within a Christian worldview with Christian clients and explore how CBASP can be used with treatment strategies from other approaches. 

Learning Objectives

Identify research on persistent, treatment-resistant depression that develops and is maintained by an attachment-related process
Explain the core strategies and techniques of CBASP: How to administer the Significant Other History, construct a Transference Hypothesis, perform an Interpersonal Discrimination Exercise, and complete an Interpersonal Situation Analysis.
Describe how and when to combine CBASP strategies with other treatment approaches.