Counseling and Depression
Counseling is often an integral part of getting beyond depression; in fact, it can be a crucial part of the healing process. For whatever reason, many people view counseling as a sign that they cannot handle the pressures of the world (when they perceive that everyone else is handling them adequately). This could not be further from the truth! Talking to an unbiased person about what is happening inside you can be one of the most enlightening and freeing experiences you can have. Humans are a social animal; we need to talk and communicate with others to survive and thrive. Counseling will help you get out from underneath the cloud that seems to follow you and let your sun shine through!
The type of counseling therapy that has the most merit and support in the medical literature in regards to depression is called cognitive therapy. In fact, cognitive therapy has been shown to be equally as effective as anti-depressant drugs in treating moderate depression. However while there is a high rate of relapse of depression when drugs are used, the relapse rate for cognitive therapy is much lower. People taking drugs for depression tend to have to stay on them for the rest of their lives. That is not the case with cognitive therapy because the patient is taught new skills to deal with depression. Psychologists and other mental health specialists trained in cognitive therapy seek to change the way the depressed person consciously thinks about failure, defeat, loss and helplessness. This helps the person gain conscious control over many of their feelings and reactions to daily stressors, freeing them decide how they want to feel.
To find a counseling therapist in your area, look in the yellow pages or the following organizations:
The Academy of Cognitive Therapy
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists
National Mental Health Association
Telephone: (800) 969-NMHA (6642)