A new way to start services in Fairbanks

Our Fairbanks Adult team is piloting a new way of getting clients into services faster. After an initial intake appointment, most clients will start their treatment by joining a 12-week Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) group.


Starting services with group allows us to serve more clients, more quickly. Research has shown that group services are just as effective in treating depression as individual services, and that clients are equally satisfied.  In a 2011 study, more than half of participants who said they preferred individual services prior to starting services changed their minds after trying group services.  After completing group, clients may choose to continue with individual treatment as needed.

Group is helpful because it:

  • Allows clients time to share concerns with one another
  • Provide support from others in the group
  • Help members realize they are not alone in having real problems

Most important effect of group:

  • Client learn to understand and gain more control over what has an effect on depression
  • Learning how to avoid unnecessary suffering

How does it work?

Our 12 week CBT groups will follow the Munoz protocol, a 12 week structured CBT group that was originally developed for low-income clients with depression.  The 12 week session is divided into 3 four-week modules, with new group members invited to join with each new module. With multiple groups running, that means clients should never wait more than a week or two to start group services.  The modules focus on:

  • How thoughts affect your mood
  • How your activities affect your mood
  • How contacts with other people affect your mood

Clinical Training Manager / Senior Clinician Hugh Leonard explains more in this video: