Getting Therapy for Depression

Monday, November 26, 2012

Image of a therapist

Therapy can be quite helpful and is often an important part of treatment for depression. Therapy is more than just telling your therapist about your problems. It means working with your therapist to improve your ability to cope with the things happening in your life, change behaviors that are causing problems, and find solutions.
You might want to consider therapy to:

  • Be healthier
  • Overcome fears or insecurities
  • Cope with stress
  • Make sense of past painful events
  • Identify things that make your depression worse
  • Have better relationships with family and friends
  • Make a plan for dealing with a crisis
  • Understand why something bothers you and what you can do about it
  • Practice dealing with situations that give you negative thoughts or feelings between sessions

Many types of professionals complete special training to be therapists and help you. These include:

  • Psychiatrists (they write MD after their name)
  • Psychologists (they write PhD, PsyD, EdD, or MS after their name)
  • Social workers (they write DSW, MSW, LCSW, LICSW, or CCSW after their name)
  • Counselors (they write MA, MS, LMFT, or LCPC after their name)
  • Psychiatric nurses (they write APRN or PMHN after their name)

Their training is not as important as connecting with a therapist you can talk with honestly and openly. Your therapist won’t have all the answers, but it is important to find someone you can work with as a partner to help you find answers.

Starting therapy does not mean you will be in treatment forever. Most talk therapy is for a short time. Depending on how serious your feelings are, it can mean meeting only a few times with a therapist. Most talk therapy focuses on thoughts, feelings, and issues that are happening in your life now. In some cases, understanding your past can help. But finding ways to address what is happening in your life now can help you cope and be ready for whatever comes your way in the future.

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