Hollon Awarded for ‘Outstanding Article’

Steven D. Hollon, Vanderbilt University, received the George A. Miller Award for Outstanding Recent Article in General Psychology for his article, “Treatment and Prevention of Depression” which appeared in the November 2002 issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the American Psychological Society.

“Steve’s most outstanding attributes are his remarkable clarity of mind and his ability to combine creative-synthetic intelligence with a rigorous critical-analytic perspective,” said APS Fellow and Charter Member David Lubinski, Vanderbilt University. “APA’s George A. Miller Award for Steve’s recent article “Treatment and Prevention of Depression” is appropriate because it underscores the broad impact Steve has had on the psychological sciences.”

Lubinski and APS Fellow and Charter Member J. Bruce Overmier, University of Minnesota, presented Hollon with the APA Division 1 award at the association’s annual convention in Toronto, Canada.

Hollon is one of the most influential and respected experts in the treatment of depression worldwide. By emphasizing the distinction between the immediate effects of treatment and the treatment’s capacity to hinder future episodes, Hollon has influenced the way clinicians treat their patients, and influenced the way clinical researchers guide their research. His findings have prompted researchers to focus on the mediation effects of treatment rather than solely concentrating on treatment outcomes.

In the PSPI report, Hollon, an APS Charter Member, and co-authors Michael E. Thase, University of Pittsburgh, and John C. Markowitz, Cornell University, explored the various methods available in treating depression, a common and often deadly psychological disorder. According to Hollon, even though depression is the world’s most widespread cause of disability, and the most often cited cause of suicide, it is often untreated. The recurring nature of depression makes it difficult to treat because it is not simply a matter of treating one episode but requires guarding against recurring episodes.

The report affirms cognitive behavioral therapy as the best way to treat depression, especially when combined with medicine. The findings show that with sustained CBT it is possible to treat any severity of depression while diminishing the risk of returning symptoms. At a cross-cutting symposium on PSPI at the APS Annual Convention in Atlanta, Hollon said “cognitive therapy produces enduring effects and people seem to learn something in treatment that serves them well after the treatment is over.”

Medication has also cited as being an effective tool in the intervention of depression symptoms as long as the patient maintains the treatment. The PSPI report goes one step further by demonstrating that a combination of medication and CBT produces an even more successful treatment of depression than treating solely with medication. In addition, the combination treatment maintains the enduring effects linked to treating depression with CBT.

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