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Psychotherapy For Depression Treatment: Types And Approaches

Updated on December 24, 2015

Depression is a medical condition and is not just a sad feeling that passes way with time. It involves both mind and body and the person affected by depression has intense and persistent feelings of sadness, loses interest in his/her social surroundings and the person suffering from the disorder has number of physical and emotional problems. During the 1970s many allied depression treatments emerged and earlier to this period depression was treated by drugs alone. Psychotherapy is one of the methods that were brought into existence during the period. As of now, psychotherapy is the first mode and method of depression treatment.

A psychologist, through his/her interaction with the depressed person explores the causes and factors that have caused depression. These lifestyle causes sometimes synergize with the hormonal and genetic causes of depression and magnify its repercussions.

Psychotherapy’s manifold approach to solving the condition

Through the psychological interaction, the psychologist understands the ideas, emotions and behaviors that are causing depression in the patient. Emotionally traumatic events in life divorce, loss of job, loss of a loved one and other factors may lead to depression. The fruitful discussion and interaction then explores the solution to the depressive modes of thinking. The psychologist also tries to improve the negative attributes and pessimistic ways of depressive thinking that a depressed person may have. The practitioner reforms and restructures the thinking process of the affected person so that he/she can once again take a full control of his/her life and start to have happiness, fun and pleasure in it. The patient also learns new problem-solving skills and new ways to cope with depression.

Types of depression therapies

There are number depression therapies used by the psychologist.

Individual: Only the therapist and the patient are involved in this therapy mode.

Family: Family members are also brought into the treatment in this mode. They provide support and rehabilitation to the affected person and create a more congenial and lovable atmosphere for him/her.

Group: More than 1 depressed person carry on group discussions among themselves and share their experiences and learn from each other.

Marital Couples: The therapy involves both the spouses.

Approaches to treatment of depression through psychotherapy

There are different approaches that psychotherapists employ for different kinds of depressed patients. Severity of depression, age of patient and other factors contribute towards the selection of the specific treatment approach.

Interpersonal approach and theory

Through this theory and approach, the psychologist improves the interpersonal and communicative skills of the patients by studying the kind of interaction he/she has with his/her colleagues, friends and family members. The patient gains self esteem and is able to have a more sound behavior and better interaction qualities. Depression caused by loss and grief can create depressive feelings in an individual that can be best treated by interpersonal approach. Social isolation, relationship conflicts and transition in-between life/job roles can also cause depressive behaviors that are best treated by this approach. The treatment ranges for a 3 to 4 month time period.

Psychodynamic approach and theory

Childhood traumas and other unresolved mental disturbances leave their scar in a person psychology and these unconscious conflicts hamper the overall behavior and social interaction ability of a depressed person. The affected person talks to the psychologist about his/her experiences and learns to cope with feelings. The therapy may extend for a few days to a number of years depending on the patient’s response/will and the severity of trauma among other factors.

Cognitive behavioral approach and therapy

While the other approaches of depression treatment revolve around exploring and analyzing the kind of interaction a person has with his/her acquaintances and surroundings, CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy emphasizes on learning. Within CBT, there are many different therapy approaches which analyze how the thinking of a person may affect his/her behavior and acts. CBT has a more narrow treatment approach and the therapist here acts like a teacher by making the patient learn methods and ways of dealing with the adverse psychological behavior. The two types of CBT include REBT or Rational Emotive Behavior (focuses on emotion and their effects on thinking and behavior) therapy and DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (integrates acceptance and change for a more fruitful and un-depressive behavior).

A phychologist explores the causes of depression through interaction
A phychologist explores the causes of depression through interaction


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    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Great survey on this disease.