What should I expect from counseling for depression?

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Counseling, also called psychotherapy or "talk therapy," can help you understand your problems and work through them. Counseling may work as well as medication for treating mild to moderate depression.

Here are things to expect if you choose this type of treatment:
  • There are different types of counseling, each with its special focus. For example, counseling may aim to uncover the source of your sadness or fears. It may focus on changing your thinking patterns. Or, it can teach new ways to help you cope with stress.
  • Counseling is geared to the person's situation and development. For example, counseling for children may include play therapy or involve the family. Counseling for an elderly person may include screening for conditions that come on with age or involve family and caregivers.
  • Studies show that one type of counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), works especially well for depression. CBT looks at both thinking patterns (cognition) and the reactions to those thoughts (behavior). It uses goal setting to help you unlearn harmful patterns and adopt healthier thoughts and actions.
  • A key to successful counseling is finding a counselor you feel comfortable with. Counseling is a partnership that requires trust.
  • Keep in mind that although counseling can be short-term, it often takes time to work.

Continue Learning about Depression Treatment

Depression Treatment

Depression Treatment

Because it is a multi-faceted condition, treatment for depression is multi-faceted as well. Minor depression can often be treated with therapy and a few simple lifestyle changes, while chronic or major depression treatment can req...

uire medication in addition to therapy. In some severe cases, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be used. It's important to work with your mental health professional to determine which course of treatment for your type of depression is most appropriate.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.