How Counseling Can Help You Move Past Your Depression

Depression is a mental health condition that affects many adults as well as children and adolescents. If you're struggling with feelings of sadness that are having negative impacts on your daily life, a counselor can try to offer you help. When you meet with a counselor, you'll be in a judgment-free environment where you can share what's on your mind honestly so that the counselor can try to understand your concerns and offer you the best solution possible.

When Counseling Is Best for Depression

If you have a milder form of depression that isn't enough to stop you from doing many things in life and is just causing you general feelings of sadness, counseling can help you adopt a healthier perspective on life. Counseling can also be effective if a recent traumatic event has caused your depression. You may be better off meeting with a psychologist, psychiatrist or psychotherapist if your depression seems to be more severe or if you've had thoughts of suicide or engaged in self-harm.  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The best counselors have received thorough training in CBT so that they can administer the therapy properly and safely so that no one with depression will have to endure unnecessary mental and emotional anguish from their counseling. This therapy works to treat depression by changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that often lead to feelings of sadness.

During a counseling session, you may be asked to participate in role-playing exercises with the counselor or work on developing strategies to calm your mind and body whenever feelings of depression that can also cause anxiety arise. The counselor may also expose you to mild triggers that may be fueling your depression to try to build your tolerance to these triggers so that you'll learn how to control your depression better.

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

IPT is another effective tool that many counselors use when working with clients who have depression. This therapy is intended to help you develop better interpersonal relationships. Current or past relationships may be causing your depression, or your depression could be impacting your romantic relationships, friendships, and family relationships, and IPT is designed to improve your communication skills and help you develop a better sense of trust.

Your counselor may give you exercises to practice with the close people in your life to try to improve the ways you communicate with one another as part of your IPT plan. You may also be asked to communicate in ways that are difficult for you to try to resolve the negative thoughts and feelings that are often linked to depression.

You don't have to continue living with ongoing feelings of sadness. Counseling has long been known as one of the best depression solutions, and you'll likely start to notice a positive change even in your first meeting with a counselor.

Contact a therapist near you to learn more about treating depression