CBT for Depression
In order to understand how CBT for depression can help, it’s important to have a clear idea of what this therapy entails. Working with a trained CBT therapist, you will look at your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and how these can be directed toward more constructive behaviour patterns. CBT is usually a short-term, goal-orientated treatment that takes place over the course of several weeks or months. The NHS has increased the provision of access to this therapy in primary care, due to its effectiveness in helping people manage issues such as depression, anxiety, OCD and more.
If you are struggling with depression, CBT techniques can help you uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and identify how they may be affecting your mood, your beliefs about yourself and your general outlook on life. In addition to regular sessions with an experienced CBT therapist, you may also be given ‘homework’ to do so that you can practise replacing negative thoughts with positive ones in real time.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for depression will teach you how to identify all of the factors that are contributing to your difficulties. It will help you feel more empowered to begin making the positive changes needed to improve your life.
The cognitive part of CBT involves identifying negative thought patterns. Depression sufferers often don’t realise that their thoughts are distorted. This type of therapy sheds light on how your thoughts are leading to negative feelings. A cognitive therapist will show you how to restructure your thought patterns, so you can look at your life, and interpret situations, in a more positive way.
Negative feelings can taint your view of situations and interactions, which often leads you to behave in ways that make you feel even worse. CBT can help you identify alternative behaviours, so you don’t always default to a familiar but unhelpful behaviour. Learning new ways to respond to difficulties is one of the keys to a successful therapy outcome.
CBT has been found to be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. It has also been proven to work well when combined with other treatment options including antidepressants or other medication. It’s worth bearing in mind that change is often gradual. Cognitive therapy for depression is not a quick fix cure – it requires a time commitment and active engagement with the experience to derive the full benefit.
Maggie Morrow is an award winning psychotherapist, an accomplished life coach and counsellor, and Director of KlearMinds. In 2007 she was awarded the BACP National Award for advancing the quality of therapy service provision to the highest standards in the UK.
Maggie’s experience spans over 20 years helping people overcome problems so they can enjoy more fulfilling and satisfying lives.
Hundreds of clients have trusted KlearMinds to help them find a therapist. Our Clinical Directors review every enquiry to match you with an expert therapist who can help you resolve your concerns and achieve your goals. Simply complete our enquiry form or request a telephone call to find a therapist who is the best match.
What to expect from your therapy
Your therapist will encourage you to talk about your thoughts and feelings and what’s troubling you. Don’t worry if you find it hard to open up about your feelings. Your therapist will help you gain confidence with this as you go along.
Your CBT therapist will serve more as a guide or adviser. Think of CBT as the difference between giving a man food and teaching him how to fish; your therapist will not solve your problems for you but will instead show you how to help deal with them yourself. This is a very useful skill that you will be able to apply to other problems that might arise in the future.
- What is the role of the therapist?
You will likely be assigned ‘homework’ to practise positive ways to improve your state of mind. For example, your therapist might encourage you to engage in positive activities to increase your enjoyment of life or make suggestions about how you can improve your sleep patterns. You might also be asked to keep a journal of your thoughts so behaviour patterns can be identified.
- Will I need to practise CBT outside of sessions?
As a goal-orientated therapy, CBT is not something you will do every week for the rest of your life. The length of treatment will vary depending on your individual situation and can take anything from 8-24 sessions or more. Your therapist will help you decide when the therapy should end. This is usually a matter of weeks or months.
- How many sessions will I need?
CBT – Putting it all together.
What are some strategies a CBT therapist might recommend?
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