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.

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