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Depression and Psychotherapy


A doctor may diagnose you with depression if you have been feeling down for an unusually extended period of time. Along with the potentially prescribed medication, they may recommend you see a psychotherapist to resolve once and for all the root cause of your depression. Read on to find out more.

What is Depression?

Depression, often referred to as clinical depression, is a mental illness that entails an overwhelming sense of sadness, loss and hopelessness. Bouts of the condition may span from weeks to years, and may sometimes cause the sufferer to despair so greatly they no longer want to live. Depression is generally caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, and may be triggered by a specific physical or emotional trauma.

Psychotherapy, and its parent therapy psychoanalysis aims to treat individuals with psychological conditions such as depression through a talk-based relationship between therapist and client generally on a week to week basis. Psychotherapy enables the patient to understand what it is that makes them feel depressed or anxious by offering guidance as how to observe and identify feelings. This in turn allows them to to disengage and develop more constructive ways of thinking and coping mechanisms.

Traditional psychotherapy (psychoanalysis) is best suited to those who have had long-standing problems. It involves regular visits to the psychotherapist in which the patient is encouraged to freely speak about whatever is on their mind, whether it involve their past, present or future situations. A good psychotherapist will be able to:

  • Recognise patterns in the patients behavior
  • Notice any unresolved feelings of the patient
  • Identify where the patient avoids problematic situations
  • Observe where the patients past is influencing their present
  • Analyse the patients thoughts, feelings and dreams
  • Discuss both personal and patient observations.
  • Benefits of psychotherapy for depression

Psychotherapy offers those suffering with depression many benefits, including:

  • A greater awareness and understanding of self, personal goals and values.
  • Development of relationship skills.
  • Stress reduction.
  • Development of coping mechanisms for the symptoms of Depressions.
  • Development of goals and aspirations.
  • Relief of feelings of Depression, anxiety, isolation, hopelessness, helplessness, etc.

Types of Psychotherapy for Depression

Whilst the term Psychotherapy has traditionally been used to describe the technique of Psychoanalysis, many other psychotherapeutic techniques may benefit Depression, including:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

This is a short-term form of therapy which suits those experiencing a large amount distress. A focus is placed on the thoughts and behaviors surrounding the Depression vs the emotions created by it, with the belief that by changing the thoughts and behaviors so too will the emotions change.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral Therapy is based on the premise that our behavior affects the way we feel. With guidance, a therapist teaches the client on how to substitute unwanted behaviors with more desirable ones in order to gain a more positive experience.

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy focusses directly on improving the clients social relationships with the underlying premise of a solid social network being essential any clients well being. Interpersonal therapy is best used in the short-term, and aims to improve the clients communication and relationship skills, emotional expression and assertiveness.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Otherwise known as “Insight-oriented therapy”, this therapy focusses on identifying and changing the damaging automatic processes that come to play in an individuals behavior. It aims to support the individual in understanding the roots of their emotional stress (which may be causing the Depression) by investigating the persons unconscious motives, needs and defenses.

Family Therapy

A family therapist helps a depressed client understand their condition in context of their family history. It identifies patterns within the clients family life that may be contributing to the Depression, and develops strategies in which the patient can take control and positively change those patterns.

Choosing a Qualified Psychotherapist

If you are interested in meeting with a reputable psychotherapist, ask friends, family and your family doctor for referrals. Make sure to do the homework and that your psychotherapist of choice has the appropriate qualifications and experience in areas that may best suit your needs.

Find out about other effective natural depression treatments. 


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