UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


"Very promising" findings on what helps teens with depression

20 December 2016

A study has found long-term benefits of psychiatric treatments for teenagers with depression.

465 teenagers in England were included in the research, led by Professor Peter Fonagy from UCL’s Psychoanalysis Unit. The teenagers were randomly assigned to one of three treatments; cognitive behavior therapy; short-term psychoanalytic therapy; or a brief psychosocial intervention.

The study found that 70% of participants improved significantly, regardless of which approach they were assigned to. Depression symptoms declined by 50% in those who did benefit.

"This is very promising, and shows that at least two-thirds of teenagers may benefit from these psychiatric treatments, which in theory reduce the risk of recurrence," said Peter Fonagy of the Anna Freud Centre and UCL.