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Depression Health Center

Psychotherapy to Treat Depression

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Therapy Tips

Therapy works best when you attend all of your scheduled appointments and participate actively in the work of treatment. The effectiveness of therapy comes from the fact that it is not a passive process but one that depends on your active participation. It requires time, effort, and consistency.

As you begin therapy, establish some goals with your therapist. Then spend time periodically reviewing your progress with your therapist. If you don't like your therapist's approach or if you don't think the therapist is helping you, talk to him or her about it or seek a second opinion, but don't discontinue therapy abruptly.

Tips to Help You Get Started With Therapy

  • Identify sources of stress : Try keeping a journal and note stressful as well as positive events.
  • Restructure priorities: Emphasize positive, effective behavior.
  • Make time for recreational and pleasurable activities.
  • Communicate: Explain and assert your needs to someone you trust; write in a journal to express your feelings.
  • Try to focus on positive outcomes and finding methods for reducing and managing stress .

Remember, therapy involves evaluating your thoughts and behaviors, identifying stresses that contribute to depression, and working to modify both. People who actively participate in therapy recover more quickly and have fewer relapses. Therapy is treatment that addresses specific reactions to depression as an illness; it is not a "quick fix." It can take longer to begin to work than antidepressants, but there is evidence to suggest that its effects may sometimes last longer, depending on the type of depression being treated. Antidepressants may be needed immediately in cases of severe depression, but the combination of therapy and medicine is very effective.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on August 21, 2014
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