Depression is not simply a case of the blues. It can be a debilitating condition which steals away quality of life and should be taken seriously. In extreme cases, depression can be life threatening. The key thing to remember is that it’s treatable. With a good therapist there is no reason why someone can’t have the treatment for depression they’ll need to recover. And thereafter live a fulfilling and enjoyable life with help if they need it.
5 Types of Treatments for Depression
Depression therapists and psychologists are skilled at dealing with the condition. In many respects they are the lifesavers of the mental-health world. They have training to help patients gain a better understanding of their condition. As well as assist them to better navigate and tackle life’s challenges. There are a number of different types of therapy and options relating to treatment for depression. Usually, a depression treatment plan is a combination of two or more approaches. One thing that these approaches all have in common, is that their focus is on the here and now. Therefore, these types of therapy sessions aren’t focused on why someone is depressed nor what went wrong.
1. Behavioural Therapy
Behaviour therapy is based on the premise that our behaviours, rather than inner processes, dictate our moods. This means that the reason we feel miserable is because of the way in which we act and react to events in our daily lives. As such, traditional behavioural therapists are more interested in observing patient’s behaviours than they are in their thoughts and emotions. However, there is a general agreement that people’s perceptions and thought processes are vitally important to overcoming depression. Thus, while changing one’s actions can have dramatic results, behavioural therapy is now usually combined with other approaches. For example, cognitive therapy.
2. Cognitive Therapy
Talking therapies, like cognitive therapy, take root in the idea that the way we think affects how we feel. Those with depression tend towards having self-defeating thoughts and a negative inner monologue. This can lead to negative behaviours. Thus, cognitive therapy aims to help people identify and address negative thoughts.
In most cases, the therapy combines a cognitive approach (examining thoughts) with a behavioural approach (the things we do). Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the combination of these therapies.. A CBT therapist also helps a client to break overwhelming problems down into smaller parts. This makes them easier to manage and work through.
3. Interpersonal Therapy
Interpersonal therapy focuses on our relationships and how they affect us. And then in turn how our mental health impacts our relationships. Relationships are part and parcel of what makes us human. For the most part, they enrich our lives and offer vital social interaction. However, they can also be incredibly complex. Therefore, the ways in which we deal with them can have a significant impact on our mental wellbeing. Thus, a psychological symptom, such as depression, is often linked to miscommunication and difficulties in communicating with others.
4. Solutions-focused Therapy
As its name suggests, solutions-focused therapy emphasises finding answers to current problems. Consequently, concentrating on future wellness rather than past hurts. This is a relatively new approach to treating depression. Solutions-focused therapy is client-directed and outcome-based. It helps patients look ahead to a future free from depression, rather than at the things that caused the condition. This is not to say that the past is ignored entirely. But the main emphasis is on teaching new skills and keeping therapy brief and focused. When applied skillfully, it is an extremely hopeful and motivational form of therapy.
5. Mindfulness-based Theory
This therapy combines elements of cognitive therapy with mindfulness techniques. For example, breathing exercises and meditation. It’s specifically designed to help break negative thought patterns. And it has proven particularly effective in treating those who suffer from recurring depression. Mindfulness-based therapy teaches patients to see their true selves – their sense of being – as separate from their thoughts and moods. Through this process, gaining insight into one’s self contributes towards healing. The separation of self from thoughts and moods can liberate someone from thought patterns such as recurring negative messages.
Treating those with Depression
Those who treat people with depression have certain qualities and traits which make them successful depression therapists. For example, they are excellent listeners and genuinely want and enjoy helping others. If this sounds like you, then consider studying at the South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP). SACAP offers a wide range of courses within the Applied Psychology faculty which can assist you to become a therapist. Contact a course advisor to find out which course would best suit your career aspirations.
1. What are the different types of depression therapies?
The five types of treatments for depression are Behavioural, Cognitive, Interpersonal, Solutions-focused and Mindfulness-based therapy.
2. How do I choose a depression therapist?
Everyone is different which means that people require different approaches. Therefore, part of choosing the right therapist is understanding their depression treatment technique. And then believing that this is the correct care-pathway for your mental-health and wellbeing. Once you have done this, look for someone who specialises in that approach. It’s often helpful to ask friends, family or your GP for therapist recommendations.
3. Why do you need a therapist if you have depression?
For many people having an external perspective as well as treatment for depression is beneficial to recovering from depression. Therapy can assist with recovery rate, wellbeing during recovery, as well as management of any ongoing symptoms. The process can also equip someone with tools to better prevent or decrease the severity of future depressive episodes.