Core belief content examined in a large sample of patients using online cognitive behaviour therapy

MILLINGS, Abigail and CARNELLEY, K.B. (2015). Core belief content examined in a large sample of patients using online cognitive behaviour therapy. Journal of Affective Disorders, 186, 275-283.

Millings & Carnelley published.pdf - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview
Open Access URL: (Published version)
Link to published version::


© 2015 The Authors. Abstract Background Computerised cognitive behavioural therapy provides a unique opportunity to collect and analyse data regarding the idiosyncratic content of people's core beliefs about the self, others and the world. Methods 'Beating the Blues' users recorded a core belief derived through the downward arrow technique. Core beliefs from 1813 mental health patients were coded into 10 categories. Results The most common were global self-evaluation, attachment, and competence. Women were more likely, and men were less likely (than chance), to provide an attachment-related core belief; and men were more likely, and women less likely, to provide a self-competence-related core belief. This may be linked to gender differences in sources of self-esteem. Those who were suffering from anxiety were more likely to provide power- and control-themed core beliefs and less likely to provide attachment core beliefs than chance. Finally, those who had thoughts of suicide in the preceding week reported less competence themed core beliefs and more global self-evaluation (e.g., 'I am useless') core beliefs than chance. Limitations Concurrent symptom level was not available. The sample was not nationally representative, and featured programme completers only. Conclusions Men and women may focus on different core beliefs in the context of CBT. Those suffering anxiety may need a therapeutic focus on power and control. A complete rejection of the self (not just within one domain, such as competence) may be linked to thoughts of suicide. Future research should examine how individual differences and symptom severity influence core beliefs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Core beliefs; CBT; e-Therapy; Therapy process; Depression; Anxiety; Anxiety; CBT; Core beliefs; Depression; Therapy process; e-Therapy; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Anxiety; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Female; Humans; Internet; Male; Mental Competency; Middle Aged; Object Attachment; Power, Psychological; Self Concept; Self-Assessment; Sex Factors; Suicidal Ideation; Young Adult; Humans; Anxiety; Mental Competency; Power (Psychology); Self Concept; Object Attachment; Cognitive Therapy; Sex Factors; Internet; Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Middle Aged; Female; Male; Young Adult; Self-Assessment; Suicidal Ideation; 11 Medical and Health Sciences; 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences; Psychiatry
Identification Number:
Page Range: 275-283
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2021 15:20
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2021 15:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics