PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR DEPRESSION
Depression is a manageable mental illness. It can be treated medically, through psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, or with the help of antidepressant medication. If you’re more interested in learning about these medical treatments, you should reach out to a psychiatrist or medical doctor, as they won’t be discussed in this article.
We are instead going to briefly talk about two psychological therapies that have in the past couple of decades, proven effective. In fact, if you’ve done your homework right, we are sure you’ve bumped into phrases such as “evidence-based treatment,” “best practice,” or “evidence-support therapy.” All these phrases have been used to describe a certain type of therapy or treatment that has already been evaluated and proven effective. To treat a depressed person, the two evidence-supported therapies that are often used are; behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy.
The primary goal of cognitive therapy is to help the patient understand that they have the power or will to influence how they are feeling by identifying and changing the thoughts that they have and core beliefs. It’s usually difficult for a depressed person to view life in a positive way because most of the time, if not all the time, they have to battle negative thoughts about themselves, or lives. As a matter of fact, this is what normally worsens their situation.
Cognitive therapy is the best tool in such cases seeing as it helps patients discover and challenge those unhelpful assumptions and beliefs. When used in the right way, the patient will soon start showing positive signs of recovery, as they will have learned how to develop helpful and balanced thoughts.
Cognitive Behavioural therapy has three main features:
· It’s structured
· And focuses on the “here and now”
This form of depression treatment has only been effective among patients who are able to understand and acquire skills being taught in therapy.
By now, you obviously know how depressed people feel. And if you are one, you’ve felt lethargic and unmotivated most of the time. A depressed person will prefer staying at home, while his or her friends are out having fun. They won’t really feel the urge to interact with anyone. Not even a close friend or family member. And as such, they often miss out on several opportunities that could help lift their mood.
The aim of behaviour therapy is to identify and then change certain behaviour aspects that fuel or maintain depression. Some examples of behavioural strategies employed in the past include structured problem solving, social skill training, activity scheduling, and goal setting.
Nearly all therapists use these two therapeutic techniques because they have proven to be effective when dealing with depressed patients. And sometimes, they combine the two just to make sure the patient get’s the best care that they can give.
This information package is meant to provide you with information on the behavioural and cognitive aspects of depression. Learn all you can using it and use that knowledge to help yourself and other people who may be suffering from depression.
Raquel Soteldo, RP(Q), CCC, ABA, MA, PMP