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Getting Started: Talk Therapy for Depression

Making an Appointment With a Therapist

After you’ve collected a few names, call at least two therapists and talk with them about your situation. Feel free to ask them questions about their experience dealing with depression and their approach to treatment. If you like what you hear, make an appointment. But don’t feel that you have to commit to the first therapist you speak with or even the first one you see.

“When you’re looking for a therapist, it’s important to do some comparison shopping,” Endlich tells WebMD. “If you don’t think the therapist is the right fit for you, look for someone else. It’s really important to feel comfortable and find the right fit, and this might take a few phone calls or visits.”

What to Expect at a Therapy Session

At your first session, be prepared to tell your therapist about your depression and what led you to seek help. It may be helpful to think about what you’d like to get out of the therapy. For example, are you looking for ways to better deal with personal relationships, or are you hoping to set goals for yourself and make changes? It’s helpful to be as honest as you can with your therapist about your depression and your goals for therapy.

After listening to your situation, the therapist should be able to tell you what type of treatment he recommends and come up with a treatment plan for you. If the therapist thinks you might benefit from medication, he may recommend that you also meet with a psychiatrist or doctor.

When Will I Feel Better From Talk Therapy?

You may not feel better right away from talk therapy, but over time, you should start to notice some improvement. You might notice that relationships are getting easier or that your overall mood has improved. Or you might feel better able to understand your feelings or actions.

If you aren’t feeling any better, talk with your therapist. She may be able to try another approach to therapy or refer you for other kinds of treatment. Or you might benefit from seeing someone else. You may need to see more than one therapist to find the type of therapy that’s right for you.

Therapy is not always easy and can sometimes even be painful as you work through difficult problems. But if you stick with it, talk therapy can also be gratifying and rewarding -- and can give you the tools you need to help ease your depression.

Reviewed on July 06, 2010

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