Self-Management/Self-Control Therapy for Depression

Status: Strong Research Support


Self-Management/Self-Control Therapy is a behavioral therapy that is based on Kanfer's (1970) model of self-control. This model characterizes depression as involving selective attention to negative events and immediate consequences of events; stringent self-evaluative standards; negative, inaccurate attributions of responsibility for events; insufficient self-reinforcement; and excessive self-punishment. The therapy, developed by Rehm (1997; Fuchs & Rehm, 1977), involves didactic presentations, instructional exercises to teach concepts and skills, and the application of these skills to the day-to-day lives of participants through homework assignments. This 10-session program can be delivered in group or individual formats, and it has been applied to the treatment of depression in children and adolescents, adults, and geriatric populations.

Key References (in reverse chronological order)

Dunn, N.J., Rehm, L.P., Schillaci, J., Souchek, J., Mehta, P., Ashton, C.M., Yanasak, E., & Hamilton, J.D. (2007). A randomized trial of self-management and psychoeducational group therapies for comorbid chronic posttraumatic stress disorder and depressive disorder. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 20, 221-237.

Robinson-Whelen, S., Hughes, R. B., Taylor, H. B., Hall, J. W., & Rehm, L. P. (2007). Depression self-management program for rural women with physical disabilities. Rehabilitation Psychology, 52, 254-262.

Rokke, P. D., Tomhave, J. A., Jocic, Z. (2000). Self-management therapy and educational group therapy for depressed elders. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 24, 99-119.

van den Hout, J. H., Arntz, A, Kunkels, F. H. (1995). Efficacy of a self-control therapy program in a psychiatric day-treatment center. Acta Psychiatrika Scandinavia, 92, 25-29.

Stark, K.D., Reynolds, W. M., Kaslow, N. J. (1987). A comparison of the relative efficacy of self-control therapy and a behavioral problem-solving therapy for depression in children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 15, 91-113.

Thomas, J. R., Petry, & Goldman, J. (1987). Comparison of cognitive and behavioral self-control treatments of depression. Psychological Reports, 60, 975-982.

Reynolds, W. M., Coats, K. I. (1986). A comparison of cognitive-behavioral therapy and relaxation training for the treatment of depression in adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 653-60.

Rehm, L. P., Fuchs, C. Z., Roth, D. M., Kornblith, S. J., & Romano, J. (1979). A comparison of self control and social skills treatments of depression. Behavior Therapy, 10, 429 442.

Fuchs, C. Z., & Rehm, L. P. (1977). A self control behavior therapy program for depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 45, 206 215.

Rehm, L. P. (1977). A self-control model of depression. Behavior Therapy, 8, 787-804.

Clinical Resources

Rehm, L. P. (2003). Self-management therapy for depression. Personal Improvement Computer Systems (PICS), Inc. NIMH project.

Rehm, L. P. (1984). Self management therapy for depression. Advances in Behaviour Therapy and Research, 6, 83 98.

Training Opportunities

None known at this time.