Therapy for Depression

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Therapy for Depression

Have you been feeling sad, lonely, or isolated? Has it been harder to get out of bed each morning, or have others noticed you lack the spring you used to have in your step? Has your motivation taken a nose-dive? Have you noticed your favorite activities or hobbies just aren’t as fulfilling as they used to be? All of these symptoms can be signs of depression, which is different than feeling depressed.

Are you experiencing symptoms of depression?

These can include experiencing-

  • Sadness, anxiety, or feelings of emptiness?
  • Feeling Hopeless, Helpless, or Worthless?
  • Unusual Irritability?
  • Lack of energy or Motivation?
  • Problems concentrating?
  • Problems or changes in how you sleep?
  • Changes in Appetite?
  • Aches, Pains, or other physical symptoms?

Depressed ≠ Depression

Everyone feels the blues at some point in their life, but some individuals can have a harder time bouncing back. In fact, 10% of people will experience depression at some point in their life[1]. Depression is different than feeling depressed because it gets in the way of your daily life. Personal relationships can be negatively affected, work performance decreased, and general quality of life diminished.

“Whenever someone tells me to ‘Just be happy,’ I want to yell, ‘Oh, hey, depression’s gone! Why didn’t I think of that?’ But usually, I just roll my eyes instead.”



Therapy for Depression

There are many different types of therapy for depression.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Depression (CBT-D)

CBT-D is an evidence-based therapy that takes a multi-pronged approach at combating depression by looking at our thoughts and patterns of thinking as well as how and what we spend our time doing. The goal of CBT-D is to improve negative thoughts, increase pleasurable, enjoyable, or meaningful activities, and raise quality of life.

CBT is an excellent therapy for depression that is not only effective, but also one that clients stick with. In one study, over 70% of clients completed at least 10 sessions, and many improved that they discontinued therapy prior to session 10, with depression scores reduced by around 40%[2].

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is another excellent evidence-based therapy for depression. ACT takes a different approach to depressing thoughts and feelings than most cognitive-behavioral therapies and focuses on living a meaningful life despite those same sad, lonely, or depressing thoughts. ACT has been robustly shown to significantly reduce depression[3] and can often be a helpful framework when other CBT-based interventions do not improve symptoms. You can learn more about ACT on our Acceptance and Commitment Therapy page.

Behavioral Activation

Behavioral Activation is a behavioral approach to depression, which can often result in relatively quick improvements in mood, even if delivered virtually[4]. Behavioral activation seeks to break the negative cycle in which feeling depressed results in reduced activity levels, and that reduced activity levels typically result in worsened mood or increased depression. By changing patterns of behavior that maintain depression, and increasing opportunities to experience positive emotions, it is more likely that activities that result in positive emotions will be discovered or rediscovered.

If you are experiencing problematic or chronic symptoms of depression, we welcome the opportunity to help you begin this journey towards feeling better in your day to day life. You can call, email, or schedule an appointment here. Not sure what options are best for you? We’ll be more than happy to discuss questions you might have over the phone!

  1. Lim, G.Y., et al., Prevalence of depression in the community from 30 countries between 1994 and 2014. Scientific reports, 2018. 8(1): p. 1-10.
  2. Karlin, B.E., et al., National dissemination of cognitive behavioral therapy for depression in the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system: therapist and patient-level outcomes. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2012. 80(5): p. 707.
  3. Bai, Z., et al., Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to reduce depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 2020. 260: p. 728-737.
  4. Huguet, A., et al., A systematic review and meta-analysis on the efficacy of Internet-delivered behavioral activation. Journal of affective disorders, 2018. 235: p. 27-38.
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