Cognitive Psychotherapy for Depression

Yearly by 15% of adult people aged between 18 and 74 years is observed decreased mood, the unwillingness for communications, apathy, sleep disorders and anxiety. Just with depression are connected 75% of all appeals to psychiatrists and psychotherapists.

There are two main proven ways to treat depression: medical therapy and psychotherapy. The most effect gives the combination of 2 these methods. The application only of pharmaceutical substances, according to controlled studies in the field of pharmacotherapy of depressions, leads to expressed improvement only in 60-65% of cases. It means that by 35-40% of depressed patients should be used various methods of psychotherapy.

But for achievement of that expressed improvement is required the long-term taking of antidepressants in quite high doses. Despite the relative safety of modern drugs it would be better to reduce the duration of their intake and dose as low as practicable, thereby minimizing side effects (sleepiness, lethargy, liver and stomach failure, etc.)

The optimum alternative for treating depression is a combination of antidepressants with a course of cognitive psychotherapy. In this case the improvement would be faster and perceptible, and most importantly – it will be received persistent effect of the treatment. Thanks to psychotherapy, the patient gets “powerful weapons” – with a help of psychotherapy he learns how to control his own negative emotions, to perceive the approaching of depression, to take necessary measures and even to prevent the return of the disease. In this case, the percentage of resistant cure is achieved in 98-99% of cases (according to reliable sources).

Cognitive therapy has proved itself in depression treatment, anxiety, phobias and panic attacks. At the heart of cognitive approach is the assertion: “Emotions and human behavior are determined by his world-view”. It means if a person in his subconsciousness has the conviction of “unfriendly world”, then his behavior and emotions will be the same: how can you feel good and comfortable in the place where you are beforehand treated badly?

But there are not a lot of people who can admit the existence of such conviction, and meanwhile just this opinion leads to development of anxiety and depression. The revelation of these basic facilities, its correction and developing of a new mode of thought is an aim which can achieve both psychotherapist and patient.

At the beginning of the treatment the patient is talked about the correlation of thoughts, emotions, behavior, by the example of his own experience. Next, he is learned to identify, track and fix his negative thoughts in a special “Diary of automatic thoughts.” After that, together with the therapist, the thoughts are analyzed and identified, irrational (incorrect and illogical). The special techniques with automatic thoughts are revealed as basic views: in our example it was conviction of «unfriendly world». The next stage – is a correction of irrational basic conviction and formulation of a new one, adequate and realistic.

During this work, the responsibility for own condition is gradually passed into patient’s hands. And by the end of the therapy the patient begins to play the role of the psychotherapist in relation to himself, calling in question own prognosis or conclusions, and skilfully propose an amendments.

As a rule, the course of cognitive psychotherapy consists of 15-25 sessions in the range from 1-2 times per week in an infant state, once a week in following stages, and around the bend it is possible to have meetings once in every week. After completion of the course is required a “booster therapy” – a psychotherapy appointment necessarily 3-4 times per year, in order to observe the situation and get further precise definitions and homework.

Depression Therapy

DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

Depression affects most of us at some time. In fact 1 in 5 older people, and 2 in 5 of older people living in care homes suffer depression. In my twenties and thirties I suffered badly on several occasions and in fact at one point was stunned to find that all of my close circle of friends were on Prozac or some similar medication. I was stunned because no one tells, no one says ‘hey I am suffering depression’ or ‘I have mental health issues’.

It’s quite the opposite, we all try to carry on as if everything were ‘normal’. whatever normal is, even though 8 -12 % of the UK in any given year will be affected and suicide is the most common cause of death in men under 35. Anxiety is also considered a mental health issue and around 5% suffer with that and nearly 10% of people suffer anxiety and depression together. Anxiety is sorely under-reported, under-diagnosed and under-treated. I seem to remember I got quite agoraphobic during one of my bouts of depression, at one stage I suffered what can only be described as a ‘mental seizure’. I could hear people talking but it was like it was in slow motion and I found I could reply – in slow motion. Weird.

It affects all of us in different ways, some symptoms are scarier than others. Equally scary for me was the reaction of another close friend who I actually did partially confide in, whose attitude was that there was no such thing as depression, ‘you just have to snap out of it’. I really did not want to hear that when the color of the sky for me was black and very heavy. It is extremely difficult for anyone suffering depression to reach out, most days are black and vanish into a cyclone of weeks and months, with just the odd day here and there where the sun pokes its head above the horizon, only to be battered down by black rain clouds. Yet on those ‘good’ days, we realize that we do want to make ourselves feel better, we do want to stop feeling this way but how? Often by the time we had the semi positive thought to think about wanting to make ourselves better, the rain clouds descend again as if to confirm that we never can. That spell of sunlight was too brief to make any steps in the right direction.

COGNITIVE THERAPY

Cognitive Therapy or CBT was not really around when I was suffering, these days doctors are much more likely to refer to a counselling service or a group by way of therapy. Whilst these work for some, many would prefer the option of online therapy, especially for those who either cannot get out or cannot string together enough ‘sunny’ moments to make an appointment with their counselor. Exercise was touted as the cure all and to some extent still is, but hopefully more doctors and therapists understand that it is not always practical for people with depression or anxiety to commit to regular exercise. Cognitive Therapy does work, and what is more it is a great therapy to undertake online. Most people seem to understand what is going to happen in a Cognitive Therapy session – it’s a verbal interaction between two people. During a therapy session for CBT, you can expect to talk a lot, and expect some interesting questions to be asked. Questions that could re-frame your old thought processes into new ones.

Cognitive Therapy and Hypnotherapy

CBT and Hypnotherapy work exceptionally well together. Using a combination of Cognitive Therapy and hypnotic process, the results are generally much faster, after all we are combining the power of your conscious mind and the sub conscious – the part of your mind that works on automatic pilot, just like breathing or your heart beating. During a clinical hypnosis session, you should also be asked a lot of questions, especially in the first session. In fact at least half of the first session is gathering an in depth history to enable the therapist to formulate a therapy plan. A plan may include a combination of CBT sessions and hypnosis either live or recorded for you to listen to at home or even both. It’s a completely natural process and success can be up to 96%

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