Understanding change – developing a typology of therapy outcomes from the experience of adolescents with depression

Amin Choudhury, Arshia; Lecchi, Tanya and Midgley, Nick. 2024. Understanding change – developing a typology of therapy outcomes from the experience of adolescents with depression. Psychotherapy Research, 34(2), pp. 171-181. ISSN 1050-3307 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Outcome measures mostly focusing on symptom reduction to measure change cannot indicate whether any personally meaningful change has occurred. There is a need to broaden the current understanding of outcomes for adolescent depression and identify whether holistic, interlinked patterns of change may be more clinically meaningful.

To create a typology of therapy outcomes based on the experiences of adolescents with depression.

Interview data from 83 participants from a clinical trial of the psychological treatment of adolescent depression was analysed using ideal type analysis.

Six ideal types were constructed, reflecting different evaluations of the holistic impact of therapy: “I’ve worked on my relationships”, “With the insight from therapy, and feeling validated, I can cope with life challenges better”, “My mood still goes up and down”, “If I want things to change, I need to help myself”, “Therapy might help, but it hasn’t been enough”, and “I don’t feel therapy has helped me”.

Assessing change using outcome measures may not reflect the interconnected experience for adolescents or the contextual meaning of symptom change. The typology developed offers a way of considering the impact of therapy, taking into account how symptom change is experienced within a broader perspective.

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Additional Information:

“This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychotherapy Research on 27 February 2024, available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2023.2179440. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.”


adolescent depression; outcome typology; treatment outcome; ideal type analysis

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Unit for Psychotherapeutic Studies


30 January 2023Accepted
27 February 2023Published Online

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Date Deposited:

11 Mar 2024 14:05

Last Modified:

12 Mar 2024 07:41

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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