5 Types of Therapy that Help with Depression

Therapy That Works for Depression

  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Light Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The best types of therapy for depression include techniques that allow patients to meet one on one with their therapists. Some of the more popular options look at changing the connections that people have between the ways they think and act. The right therapy can help someone recover from depression and move beyond any breaks that occur.

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1. Cognitive Therapy

One option for those suffering from depression is cognitive therapy. Designed to change the way people respond and act to different forms of stimuli, it focuses on negative thinking. Negative thinking occurs when an individual constantly associates bad thoughts and feelings with an event or idea. Therapists work with patients to help them change the way they think and to form new associations in their minds. They learn how to think more positively and to focus on those positive thoughts.

2. Group Therapy

Group therapy can help patients who feel comfortable talking about their thoughts and feelings in front of others. Often offered in clinics and outpatient facilities, these sessions ask that a small group of people get together to talk through their emotions with the help of a licensed therapist. The therapist is responsible for leading the group and bringing up topics and ideas for them to discuss. These sessions can be helpful for those who want to know how other people recovered from their depressive episodes and those who want to talk about the issues they face on a daily basis.

3. Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy works best among patients who have issues in their personal and professional lives that worsen their depression. A good example might be someone struggling with depression who feels worse after a confrontation at work with a supervisor. This type of therapy focuses on any of the relationships the patient has that can make his or her depression worse. Therapists teach patients how to cope with stressful situations and help them understand that there are things outside of their control. They may learn how to walk away from bad relationships too.

4. Light Therapy

Though not as popular as some of the other types of therapy for depression, light therapy can help those who suffer from this condition. It’s especially common among those who suffer from depression on a seasonal basis. The winter months reduce the access that patients have to the great outdoors and can leave them cooped up inside for weeks at a time. A lack of access to sunshine and fresh air can make them feel worse. With light therapy, patients spend time sitting under a bright light that simulates natural sunlight.

5. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), cognitive behavioral therapy may be one of the top choices for those suffering from depression. Also called CBT, it is a type of talk therapy that focuses on changing the way people think to also change the way they act. It is different from cognitive therapy because CBT focuses on both behaviors and thoughts. Therapists usually ask that patients attend a small number of sessions and may suggest that they use other forms of therapy too. Patients typically meet with a therapist no more than 16 times.

Depression can cause a variety of symptoms, including insomnia and weight gain or loss. Patients who attend therapy have the chance to talk about their thoughts and recover from the condition. Some of the best types of therapy for depression include CBT, group therapy and interpersonal therapy.