Metacognitive Training for Depression (D-MCT)

Metacognitive Training for Depression (D-MCT) is a new concept for the treatment of depression. It is conceptualized as a variant of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that uses a metacognitive perspective to focus on the modification of dysfunctional beliefs. The training seeks to enable group members to recognize and correct the often automatic and unconscious thought patterns that accompany depression, in part by viewing this depressive thought process at a distance (i.e., depersonalizing). To this end, it attempts to inform participants about depressive thought patterns using creative and engaging strategies along with practical and understandable examples from daily life. In addition, dysfunctional assumptions about one’s thought processes, as well as dysfunctional coping-strategies (i.e., thought suppression, rumination as problem-solving) are targeted. While the training was inspired by Metacognitive Training (MCT) for Psychosis (, it focuses on different depression-specific cognitive biases.

Feasibility and effectiveness of a beta-version of the training were confirmed in an open-label pilot study (Jelinek, Otte, Arlt & Hauschildt, 2013). The training proved to be effective in reducing depressive symptoms with a medium effect size (Cohen’s d between 0.56 and 0.73). Moreover, cognitive biases and rumination were significantly reduced and self-esteem was increased (effect sizes between d = 0.26 and 0.64).

We used the experiences of the pilot study to improve the training material. The updated version was compared to health-training (walking) in a randomized control trial (funded by the vffr ( All patients also received a standard psychosomatic outpatient treatment program at the RehaCentrum Hamburg. At the end of treatment, as well as 6 months later (follow-up), symptom improvement was greater in the D-MCT versus health-training group (Jelinek et al. 2016).

D-MCT Modules (Italian)

The 8 modules are available for download from the links below (8 x 60 minutes). All comments and suggestions are welcomed at: l.jelinek [at]

The free use of the Metacognitive Training Program for Depression (D-MCT) is permitted under the condition that it is not used for commercial purposes. The statutory provisions of copyright law also apply (i.e., no manipulation of the materials, no use of slides for other purposes without the authors’ prior consent).

Please note that the D-MCT manual has not been translated yet. At the moment it is only available in German and has been published by Beltz (Jelinek et al., 2015).

Translator and co-author: Dr. Vittorio Di Michele

Help us helping!

In view of the troubling financial situation of many psychiatric hospitals, it is our goal to provide the Metacognitive Training for Depression (D-MCT) free of charge. However, research does not only consume much of the free-time of those involved but also vast financial resources. If you want to support the D-MCT, we would be very grateful for donations. Clearly, we will help you, whether or not you have made a donation. No one should feel morally obligated to make a contribution.

We guarantee that all donations will go into the further development of the D-MCT (future tasks: translation of modules into other languages, new graphics, hiring of students to perform D-MCT in institutions). On request, we can send you a donation receipt (please send us an email with your address at Please inquire about different possibilities for sponsorships. Donations can be made to the following account:

Pay to: UKE AG Neuropsychologie
Bank: Hamburger Sparkasse HASPA

Account title (this is crucial to ensure that your donation reaches us):
0470-001 MCT Depression

IBAN: DE54200505501234363636