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Evolutionary Psychotherapy

  • Lead: Cezar Giosan, PhD
  • Key Team: Oana Cobeanu. PhD, Katarzyna Wyka, PhD, Simona Seteanu
  • Goal: To further explore the benefits of integrating evolutionary insights in clinical interventions
  • Info: Detailed information at
  • Relevant publications of this project: visit program site.

In 1859, in his monumental work "On the Origin of Species", Charles Darwin wrote: "In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation." Little did Darwin know that, more than one century later, his prophetic words would constitute the foundation of a modern discipline within the broad field of psychology, named Evolutionary Psychology. Evolutionary Psychology examines psychological traits and processes – such as memory, perception, or language – from a modern evolutionary perspective. Evolutionary Psychopathology, a sub-discipline of Evolutionary Psychology, theorizes that some mental conditions afflicting us today are not brain disorders, but potentially adaptive responses to environmental challenges.

Cognitive Evolutionary Therapy incorporates such insights to help patiens suffering from depression and other mental conditions.

This research line has its origins in a grant-funded Randomized Clinical Trial examining the efficacy of an Evolutionary-Driven Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression. The host institution of that trial was the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy / International Institute for the Advanced Studies of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

The team consisted of clinical and research psychologists experts on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as well as world-famous experts on Evolutionary Psychology, such as David Buss, Todd Shackelford and Aurelio Jose Figueredo.

We are currently conducting ongoing studies to further test the merits of this therapeutic approach.

You can download the Cognitive Evolutionary Therapy manual from this site. The manual consists of a presentation of the theoretical underpinnings of this approach, along with a detailed description of the therapy protocol, examples of evolutionary-driven therapeutic interventions, considerations of ethical issues, and evaluation instruments.


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