Depression Health (cont.)

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Other Therapy for Depression

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy ("talk therapy") involves working with a trained therapist to figure out ways to solve problems and cope with depression. It can be a powerful intervention, even producing positive biochemical changes in the brain. Three major approaches are commonly used to treat clinical depression. In general, these therapies take weeks to months to complete. Each has a goal of alleviating your symptoms. More intense psychotherapy may be needed for longer when treating very severe depression or for depression with other psychiatric symptoms.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT): This helps to alleviate depressive symptoms and helps you develop more effective skills for coping with social and interpersonal relationships. IPT employs two strategies to achieve these goals.

  • The first is education about the nature of depression. The therapist will emphasize that depression is a common illness and that most people can expect to get better with treatment.
  • The second is defining your problems (such as abnormal grief or interpersonal conflicts). After the problems are defined, the therapist is able to help set realistic goals for solving these problems. Together you will use various treatment techniques to reach these goals.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This helps to alleviate depression and reduce the likelihood it will come back by helping you change your way of thinking. In CBT, the therapist uses three techniques to accomplish these goals.

  • Didactic component: This phase helps to set up positive expectations for therapy and promote your cooperation.
  • Cognitive component: This helps to identify the thoughts and assumptions that influence your behaviors, particularly those that may predispose you to being depressed.
  • Behavioral component: This employs behavior-modification techniques to teach you more effective strategies for dealing with problems.

Behavioral therapy (BT): This helps to modify your depressive behaviors through highly structured, goal-oriented therapy. BT uses three techniques to accomplish these goals.

  • Functional analysis of behavior: This helps to define the behaviors that will be targeted for change.
  • Selection of specific techniques: Various techniques can be employed to help modify the selected behavior, including relaxation training, assertiveness training, role-playing, and time-management tips.
  • Monitoring behavior: Progress and program effectiveness can be monitored by logs and records you keep.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/8/2014

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