Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Major Depression
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely-used and successful nonpharmacological treatment method for major depression. This type of talk therapy involves teaching new thinking patterns and behaviors that will enhance one’s mood, self-concept, and behavior. CBT can be done individually or in groups.
CBT aims to transform unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, such as negative thinking, self-blame, and suicidal ideation. Your therapist will guide you through exercises that enable you to recognize distorted thinking and develop healthier approaches to thinking and acting.
It is essential to remember that cognitive behavioral therapy is distinct from psychoanalysis, which can be extremely helpful for some patients and provide more insights into their emotional problems. In fact, the term “cognitive behavioral” is used to refer to several different types of therapy which may help treat depression.
This type of therapy involves a team of professionals, such as a therapist and psychologist. The therapist will identify the underlying issue causing your depression and then give you strategies on how to overcome it. They may also instruct you on being more logical with emotions and teaching you ways to control thoughts and actions.
CBT can be used as a stand-in for antidepressants or they may be combined. Studies have demonstrated that patients treated with both CBT and antidepressants experience fewer relapses than those receiving either one alone.
One common CBT technique is activity scheduling, which involves rewarding yourself for doing activities that would be less important if you felt better. This helps you feel like you have achieved something, even if it’s just planning dinner with friends or taking a road trip.
Another popular technique is journaling, which allows you to record and analyze your feelings about a particular situation or event. Writing down these thoughts can help identify the patterns that are keeping you depressed and provide you with tools to combat those patterns.
You may be provided with a special tool or journal to use for this task. It could be a small notebook, larger diary, or computer file that is accessible at all times.
It is essential that you commit yourself fully to this process and your therapist, in order for it to be successful. You may be required to complete certain homework assignments as part of keeping on track, as a sign that you are making genuine changes in both thinking and behavior.
CBT therapy helps you become aware of how your brain is holding onto negative thoughts about yourself and others. These negative thoughts can be a huge source of despair and frustration, contributing to depression-like symptoms.
These techniques can be especially beneficial for people suffering from mild depression. Furthermore, it has the potential to prevent future episodes of the disorder. Studies have demonstrated that this type of therapy reduces both the risk of relapse and suicidal thoughts.