Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the considered to be the psychological treatment of choice for depression and offers practical evidence based solutions. Research suggests that CBT can help to overcome depression equal to medication however, when an individual completes a course of CBT, the symptoms of depression are less likely to return.
Individuals who suffer from depression often have very negative thinking patterns about themselves, others and the world around them. As a result, they view their future as bleak and hopeless. Further symptoms of depression can include low mood, sad or fed up, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, loss of interest in daily activities, changes to apatite and sleeping patterns, anger, irritability, loss of energy and self loathing. Individuals with depression may not necessarily experience all of these symptoms but are likely to experience around five that persist for two weeks or more.
Upon starting a course of CBT the therapist will complete an assessment this is then followed by a formulation stage where the client and therapist work together to present a clear picture of the individuals presenting problems that have led to the experience of depression.
After the client has established what is causing them the most difficulty in their lives with regards to their depressive state, their goals are established. Once the therapist is aware what the individual wants to obtain from therapy specific Cognitive and Behavioural interventions are used such as progressive relaxation, psycho education, daily activity schedules, behavioural experiments, exposure, challenging negative automatic thoughts, cognitive restructuring, thought diaries and mindfulness techniques.
The use of this type of treatment allows clients to challenge their problems and work towards achieving their goals for therapy. CBT shows that negative thoughts about oneself can be changed. By altering these negative thoughts to a more positive approach through effective coping strategies, CBT helps to overcome depression.