It’s estimated that 1 in 4 Canadians are living with a high degree of depression. Depression can be hard to explain to those who have never experienced it personally. It can also come in different forms, and its symptoms might look different depending on the person. You might find that you don’t enjoy the things that you used to, or are either getting too much or too little sleep. Others experience an intense feeling of sadness and anxiety, or guilt and worthlessness.
Talk therapy, formally known as psychotherapy, has been proven by research to help treat depression. This form of therapy can help clients understand their depression and find constructive and empowering ways to manage their symptoms.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses on how negative thought and behavior patterns have an impact on a client’s mood. It is based on the core principles that psychological problems stem from these negative patterns. Psychological issues are also tied to learned patterns as a result of harmful behavior. By working on coping mechanisms with a therapist, clients with depression or other mood disorders can learn to find happiness and success long after sessions have ended.
CBT helps clients understand how their thoughts and behaviors are contributing to depression. A psychotherapist will help clients learn different ways to react to negative events and overcome preconceptions. This form of therapy can help ease stress, provide a new perspective on problems, and catch early signs that depression is getting worse.
Most counselling for depression is one-on-one, where the client works with a psychotherapist to learn new strategies to manage stress, cope with negative emotions, and keep depression from either resurfacing or getting worse. These sessions will help clients identify the stresses and triggers that bring on depression, helping individuals work through issues, develop self-car and coping techniques, and improve relationships.
As one of Canada’s top 10 best psychotherapists, Melissa Cutler has spent the past 20 years gaining clinical and research experience across hospital, community and public sector settings, including as a social worker. With advanced training in cognitive behavioural therapy, trauma counselling, and chronic pain management, she helps clients manage depression and alter negative thought patterns and behaviors.