Depression Counseling

The following depression counseling materials are from the Mayo Clinic and are here as a guide to how counseling may be a part of a depression treatment, which you and your health care providers will decide upon.

There are links at the bottom of the page for your convenience.

Depression Counseling and/or Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is another key depression treatment. It's often used along with medication treatment. Psychotherapy is a general term for a way of treating depression by talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health provider. Psychotherapy is also known as therapy, talk therapy, counseling or psychosocial therapy.

Through these talk sessions, you learn about the causes of depression so that you can better understand it. You also learn how to identify and make changes in unhealthy behavior or thoughts, explore relationships and experiences, find better ways to cope and solve problems, and set realistic goals for your life. Psychotherapy can help you regain a sense of happiness and control in your life and help alleviate depression symptoms, such as hopelessness and anger. It also may help you adjust to a crisis or other current difficulty.

There are several types of psychotherapy that are effective for depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most commonly used talk therapies for depression. This type of therapy helps you identify pessimistic, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones. It's based on the idea that your own thoughts — not other people or situations — determine how you behave. Even if an unwanted situation doesn't change, you can change the way you think and behave in a positive way. Interpersonal therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy are other types of therapy commonly used to treat depression.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy from the Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic Depression Counseling

Depression Counseling-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy based on the idea that your own distorted thoughts and beliefs lead to your negative moods and unhealthy behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapy says that other people, situations and events aren't responsible for your mood and behavior — you are.

According to the theory behind cognitive behavioral therapy, you have automatic but inaccurate thoughts or beliefs in certain situations. These inaccurate thoughts lead to unhealthy moods and behavior, such as anxiety and overeating. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become aware of these inaccurate thoughts and beliefs. You learn to view situations more realistically. This allows you to behave and react in a healthier way — even if the situation itself hasn't changed.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common type of psychotherapy. It combines features of both cognitive therapy and behavior therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful for numerous mental illnesses and stressful life situations.

Depression Counseling-Cognitive Distortions

From the Mayo Clinic Blog of Gabrielle Melin,M.D.

Some specific examples of cognitive distortions are:

* All or none thinking. You see things in black and white. If you don't finish something perfectly, then you're a complete failure. Things in life are either wonderful or terrible. * Over generalization. You may conclude that since a single negative event occurred in the past that it will occur over and over again. Say you have a disagreement with someone important in your life and you conclude that this person doesn't understand or care about you. You then over generalize by assuming that this person never cared, never will and then may conclude that no one every will understand or care. * Jumping to conclusions. You interpret something negatively (incorrectly) even though you have no facts or evidence to support the conclusion. One way to reconcile this would be to check out the situation and gather information instead of assuming. * Mental filter. You focus on one negative detail so intently that your whole outlook on the situation is negative. If you make a good meal and overcook the bread, then you only focus on the "bad" bread instead of the rest of the meal that was enjoyed. * Rejecting the positive. You reject positive experiences and hold firmly that they "don't count" for one reason or another. You don't allow yourself to enjoy positive feelings as you tell yourself that a bad or negative feeling is sure to follow. You end up feeling bad about feeling good.

In my next blog post, I'll conclude with five other thinking errors that can worsen mood.

Do you identify with any of the examples above? If so, cognitive behavioral therapy may be a tool that can help you to effectively manage your depression. Discuss this option with your health care provider.

Holiday Depression

The Heartmath process is an wonderful process for uncovering your ability to self regulate. Give it a try, I know you will be surprised at your skill.  There is a link in the right column.

See Amazon's Top Picks for Depression Counseling.

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