The aim of the present research was to compare the effectiveness of training cognitive behavioral therapy and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) strategies on mitigating anxiety, depression, and stress of students.
Materials and Methods: The method of this semi-experimental research was pretest posttest with control group. The statistical population consisted of all female and male adolescents 15-18 year-old studying in the second grade of high school in Kerman, Iran. Forty-five students with the maximum score in anxiety, depression, and stress were chosen as the sample and were randomly assigned into three 15-student groups (15 in the control group, 15 in the experimental group I, and 15 in the experimental group II). Next, experimental group I received training in neurolinguistics programming strategies as therapeutic method, while experimental group II received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The instrument used in this research was DASS-21 which was completed by all three groups before the study and after the therapeutic period.
Results: The results indicated that training NLP strategies and cognitive behavioral therapy had a significant effect on reducing anxiety, depression, and stress of students (p <0.05). The extent of impact of training NLP strategies and cognitive behavioral therapy had no significant effect on mitigating the students’ anxiety, but it had a significant influence on reducing depression and stress; the extent of effectiveness of NLP strategies was greater than that of CBT for reducing depression and stress.
Based on the results, training NLP strategies and cognitive behavioral therapy had a significant effect on reducing anxiety, depression, and stress of the students. The students who received treatment through NLP and CBT experienced diminished anxiety, stress, and depression.