Cognitive Therapy for the Treatment of Depression
Cognitive therapy is a type of mental health treatment that seeks to alter your thought patterns in order to enhance feelings of well-being. Dr Aaron Beck developed it at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1960s and it has been demonstrated as effective in treating depression.
Cognitive therapy’s primary purpose is to teach you how to think more positively and accurately so your mood improves. People suffering from depression often have distorted perspectives of themselves, their world, or the future; as a result, they tend to experience negative reactions to events in their lives.
CBT helps you recognize inaccurate thoughts and counter them with evidence to prove they are untrue. This process, known as ‘cognitive restructuring,’ is an integral component of therapy.
Journaling can be an effective tool in therapy to capture your daily reactions to life events and thoughts. They also assist in recognizing any cognitive distortions that might be contributing to depression-like feelings or behavior.
They can also assist you in recognizing and altering unhealthy coping methods and strategies so they do not cause further distress. These skills may include avoiding activities which cause distress or low moods, as well as taking steps to increase control in your life.
It’s also beneficial to find ways to relax and take time for yourself. Meditation techniques are available that can help you clear your mind and think more clearly.
Cognitive therapy also includes the strategy of trying to identify what the problem is that’s causing you to feel depressed and brainstorm solutions for it. While this can be challenging for those experiencing depression for the first time, cognitive therapy can be a valuable tool in helping them begin feeling better.
For instance, if you are struggling with depression due to not feeling satisfied at your job, your therapist may suggest that you make a list of things that would bring joy into your life – such as changing jobs or joining an interest club.
Your therapist may suggest taking small, achievable actions to improve your situation, such as arriving at work on time or going for a walk. Doing this can give you energy and the motivation needed to push through each day with more ease.
Finally, a qualified therapist can assist you in discovering a solution to your issue and helping to lift you out of depression. It’s wise to find someone whom you feel comfortable working with who has experience treating depression.
Depressive feelings usually stem from a lack of interest in life or an absence of motivation. It’s essential to remember that there is hope for you; with patience and hard work, you can overcome your problems.