Psychotherapy involves a variety of treatment techniques, which can be also used to treat depression.
During psychotherapy, a person with depression talks to a licensed and trained mental healthcare professional individually, in the group, in couples with spouses or partners or with family present.
The therapist can help a person to understand what is causing depression, to regain a sense of a control and pleasure in life and to learn coping techniques and problem-solving skills.
The therapist will decide, after first talking with the patient about their depression, which kind of therapy to use based on the suspected underlying factors contributing to the depression:
- Psychodynamic therapy is used when there is the assumption that a person is depressed because of unresolved, generally, unconscious conflicts, often stemming from childhood and the goal of this type of therapy is that the patient, by talking about this conflict, understands and cope better with feelings. This kind of therapy is administered over a period of weeks to months to years.
- Interpersonal therapy is used in a patient caused by mourning, relationship conflicts, major life events, and social isolation and the goal is to improve communication skills and increase the self-esteem of the patient during three to four months of therapy.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy can help people with depression to identify and change inaccurate perceptions that they may have of themselves and the world around them.
Therapy requires time, effort and regularity so it is important that person regularly attends all of the scheduled appointments and actively participate during therapy because people who actively participate in therapy recover more quickly and have fewer relapses.
Also, a person can help themselves by keeping a journal to identify sources of stress and express the feelings and making time for pleasurable and recreational activities.
Sometimes antidepressant can also help in cases of severe depression, but the combination of therapy and medicine is very effective.