Depression refers to a cluster of symptoms which might include low mood, lack of enjoyment and motivation, sleep and appetite changes, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, and even thoughts of death. These interfere with functioning and are likely to cause physical, cognitive, and behavioral changes. As such, it’s important to seek the proper mental health support to manage this condition, if you’re experiencing symptoms. 

Thriveworks would be happy to serve as your depression partner as you embark on this journey. Remember – depression is treatable and better days are ahead. Now, let’s talk through treatment options and get you the help you’re looking for.

What Are the 3 Most Common Treatments for Depression?

The three most common treatments for depression are psychotherapy, medication management, and brain stimulation:

  • Psychotherapy refers to the remediation of mental and emotional disorders through assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of behaviors, thought processes, and emotional reactions.
  • Medication management refers to a personalized and collaborative service provided by a medical professional that prescribes and monitors the effectiveness of medication.
  • Electrical stimulation of the brain such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression by using repetitive electrical non-invasive localized stimulation which some have described feels like “thumping.” 

Is Depression Curable or Just Treatable?

Depression can be many things and the answer to this question depends on your exact experience. If you have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, it may occur as a single episode or it may occur episodically throughout your life.

Major depressive disorder is not curable; however, full remission can make someone feel like they are cured. While it is possible for full remission to occur in the absence of previously mentioned therapeutic interventions, it is encouraged to have an already established relationship with a mental health provider for maintenance to prevent or prepare for a relapse.

What Is Depression Counseling?

Depression counseling refers to professional mental health services that use techniques such as active listening, guidance, and discussion to help treat depression. 

It can be used to assist with problems commonly associated with depression such as those in the following areas:

  • Emotional regulation. Techniques to target: Persistent sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness, excessive and inappropriate guilt, irritability or anger.
  • Behavior. Healthy lifestyle and mindfulness skills to target: Unregulated appetite and poor or excessive sleep, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, as well as challenges associated with functional impairment, like getting out of bed or leaving the house.
  • Work. Assertiveness and time management skills to target: Decreased motivation, poor time management, decreased productivity
  • Marriage. Work together to repair hurts and change relationship narratives to target: Overly negative/pessimistic, lowered libido, incomplete chores/tasks

What Is Done in Depression Therapy?

Depression therapy can involve the assessment, diagnosis, and/or treatment of unhelpful behaviors, thought processes, and emotions related to depression. 

The exact treatment plan will vary from one individual to the next – dependent on each person’s specific needs, goals, and presentation of depression, as well as the therapist’s preferred approach(es) to counseling.

Effective Approaches to Depression Counseling

A 2020 study examining the effects of evidence-supported therapies for adults with depression concluded that 15 types of psychotherapy are effective in treating depression. Here are three effective approaches offered at Thriveworks:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy primarily targets unhelpful thoughts and behaviors by changing the way you think and promoting positive actions. This is done through cognitive restructuring and behavior modification as well as…

  • Thought recording: Form balanced and logical thoughts through identification and description of patterns of thoughts or emotional tendencies.
  • Fact-checking: Develop awareness that thoughts aren’t facts and improve identification of evidence for/against thoughts to test for accuracy.
  • Challenging cognitive distortions: Reconsider exaggerated thoughts that increase feelings of depression, which can include:
    • Filtering: Ignoring positive and focusing on shortcomings. 
    • Personalization: Unrealistic thinking that you are somehow responsible for events that are actually out of your control.
    • Emotional reasoning: Believing all feelings to be factual.
    • All-or-nothing thinking: Extreme thoughts, like you’re either a huge success or a huge failure.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) 

Dialectical behavior therapy primarily helps a person accept the reality of their lives and behaviors while helping them change their lives and unhealthy behaviors through…

  • Mindfulness: This practice helps with staying present and identifying emotions and thoughts.
  • Distress tolerance: This practice helps with withstanding unpleasant emotional responses.
  • Emotional regulation: This practice helps with coping and decreasing unwanted feelings
  • Interpersonal effectiveness skills: This practice helps people interact with others better.

Interpersonal Therapy 

Primarily intended to treat depression, interpersonal therapy is a short-term form of therapy that focuses on relationships and how interactions with others contribute to their sense of self. The following are important pillars in interpersonal therapy:

  • Psychoeducation: The therapist will provide a combination of psychotherapy and education, allowing one to better understand psychological conditions.
  • Exploration of feelings: The therapist will help the individual explore and better understand or process their emotions.
  • Role-playing: The therapist will provide a safe place to practice newly learned interpersonal skills.

What Counseling Approach Is Best for Depression?

The best counseling approach for depression depends on both the client’s needs and the clinician’s specialties. At Thriveworks, our depression counselors create the most effective treatment plan for each individual client. They utilize evidence-based counseling approaches such as those mentioned previously.

What Is the Best Advice for People with Depression?

Consider speaking to a mental health professional. A depressive episode can be a period filled with pessimism, low energy, and difficulty making decisions. The nature of depression itself poses a barrier for seeking services, but it is important to persist. 

Mental health agencies are making it easier each day to access services. Mental health professionals are trained to help you manage and decrease symptoms of depression. 

In addition, take care of yourself. Self-care is very important for mental wellness. Prioritize the quality, frequency, and amount of self-care you engage in each day. Find opportunities to get about 30 minutes of physical activity in a day and make sure you are getting enough sleep, too — aim for 8 hours.

Finally, create a positive environment. Try to limit your exposure to negative influences. During a depressive episode one’s mind can go to dark places resulting in persistent negative feelings like worthlessness, guilt, or thoughts of death or suicide. Create an environment that reinforces the messages that counter negative automatic thoughts. This can include positive affirmations or inspirational quotes. Remember to socialize and get some sun! 

Choosing the Right Depression Counseling Services

If you’re experiencing depression symptoms, you might be on a search for the right depression counseling services for you. This likely involves thinking through what type of provider you want to work with, how soon they’re able to meet with you, whether or not they take your insurance, and more. 

We want you to know that we have providers with diverse specialties, backgrounds, and experiences. In addition, we can often see clients within the first week of scheduling. Perhaps most importantly, we accept 575+ insurance plans, covering 180 million Americans across the US. 

Thriveworks: Your Compassionate Depression Counseling Partner

Our depression counselors would love to partner with you on your mental health journey. They specialize in treating depression and are able to offer many different counseling approaches, which again, will be based on your unique needs and preferences. 

In any case, they’re compassionate providers who truly care about you and want to help you manage your depressive thoughts and feelings. 

Book Your Appointment: Taking the First Step Towards Recovery

You can schedule your depression counseling session quickly and easily online. Or, if you’d prefer to schedule by phone, you’re welcome to call us – our support team would be more than happy to help you find the right provider for your needs. We look forward to working with you and congratulations on taking this first step towards recovery.