Fighting Depression: 4 Counselling Benefits of Psychotherapy Sessions
Depression is more common than people think with 5.5 percent of Canada’s population age 15 years or older reporting symptoms that meet the criteria. It can have devastating affects with symptoms such as fatigue, restlessness, trouble concentrating, irritability, and feelings of worthlessness.
While sufferers of depression have often been prescribed anti-depressants to treat the symptoms and these have been successful, they sometimes carry unfavourable side effects and people do not want to be on them for the rest of their lives.
As a result, counselling services, specifically psychotherapy, has often been pursued either before prescription medication is taken, after in an effort to wean oneself off of them, or at the same time to supplement the treatment they need. Counselling sessions often turn out to be just the support someone with depression needs and below are reasons why it proves to be invaluable time and time again.
1. Targeted support
Each person is different and in regards to counselling and support, what works for one may not work for another. The good news about psychotherapy to treat depression is there are different options based on the needs of the patient. Two of the most common types of therapy for depression are interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Interpersonal therapy gives patients the skills to improve relationships by better expressing feelings and emotions. Cognitive behavioural therapy assists people in identifying and managing behaviours that lead to their feelings of depression. Before one of these approaches is adopted, a psychotherapist can work with patients to identify what type of therapy would best suit their needs based on a self-assessment and tailor a treatment plan based on this.
While interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy are popular approaches in treating depression, if it is established that a patient’s main concern is a lack of ability to solve issues that arise, a form of psychotherapy called problem-solving therapy can be used. Instead of focusing on the problem and factors that caused it, it looks solely at everyday stressors and the best way to address them.
This type of treatment consists of identifying typical problems that the patient faces every day, brainstorming possible solutions, developing a plan of action, and evaluating the success of the action after it is implemented. Problem-solving therapy allows a patient to identify possible triggers of their depression apart from chemical imbalances often thought to be a major cause of the condition, bring them to their psychotherapist, and be part of a plan to address them.
3. Tools for the future
Psychotherapy is effective because not only does it allow a patient to address current issues but it gives them tools to address future concerns as they arise. Although people who suffer from depression are likely to experience future episodes, treatment will prepare them and provide them with the coping skills needed to deal with the issues that can potentially lead to depression.
Psychotherapy teaches patients not to allow events in life affect them in a negative way and instead develop a plan on how to face them head on, a useful process that can be used repeatedly and as needed throughout one’s life.
4. Outside perspectives
Sometimes all it takes to solve an issue is an outside view and this is exactly what psychotherapy can provide. Talking about issues gives them substance, puts them into perspective, and allows you to better understand them rather than thinking about them repeatedly.
A psychotherapist often does not know you personally nor the people that you talk about such as family, friends, co-workers, or bosses. This allows them to help you dissect a problem and give you advice on how to proceed without being biased or judgmental. Saying thinks aloud allows a patient to sort through their feelings better and clarify the issues. As a result the psychotherapist can work with you in developing a plan to address them.