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Shona McIlrae, Elaine Wilkes, Michael Downey and Monica Colley
Depression is a common and chronic illness affecting nearly one in five people in their lifetime. The main responsibility for people suffering from depression falls to…
Depression is a common and chronic illness affecting nearly one in five people in their lifetime. The main responsibility for people suffering from depression falls to their carers. Research indicates that carers find the burden of caring for a family member enormous and often feel isolated with this burden (Highet et al, 2004). This paper presents an evaluation of a six‐week course held in Leeds, based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy and specifically aimed for carers. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a recognised intervention technique for people with mental distress (Beck, 1976; Beck et al, 1979). The approach was used with carers to help them to become aware of their thoughts, feelings, behaviour and physical reactions to certain stressful situations when caring for a family member. The approach was introduced within the safety of a supportive group situation. Average attendance was 84% and feedback suggested that this approach was beneficial to carers in coping with the stress of the carer role.