Psychotherapy is often the first form of treatment recommended for depression. During psychotherapy, a person with depression talks to a licensed and trained mental healthcare professional who helps him or her identify and work through the factors that may be causing their depression.
Changes in the body’s chemistry influence mood and thought processes, and biological factors contribute to some cases of depression. There are a number of effective psychotherapies that have been developed specifically to treat depression, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, interpersonal and short-term or focused psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Patients should avoid therapies that seem open-ended or that have poorly defined goals. Antidepressant medications can be very helpful for reducing the symptoms of depression in some people, particularly for cases of moderate to severe depression. Some depressed individuals may prefer psychotherapy to the use of medications, especially if their depression is not severe.
How does psychotherapy help?
Psychotherapy helps people with depression:
- Regain a sense of control and pleasure in life.
- Understand the behaviors, emotions, and ideas that contribute to his or her depression.
- Learn coping techniques and problem-solving skills.