Can Talk Therapy Be Used for Depression?


My previous blog post What is Talking Therapy? gives a thorough overview of talking therapy and some of the different types of talk therapy available to you. Talking therapy for depression is a positive step to help you manage your condition and, in some cases, recover completely. Depression is an overall label for a heap of symptoms. Some people choose talking therapy to help them overcome one symptom, and others for the overall depression. Keep reading to learn how talk therapy for depression might help you.


What is Talk Therapy for Depression?


Depression is an exhausting constraint to life. Although the symptoms of depression differ from person to person, nearly everyone feels depleted of energy. Talk therapy when used in conjunction with hypnosis will give you a burst of power that you need to keep going.


Many people with depression feel like a burden to others. Practical burdens, such as the financial impact, weigh heavily on you. You feel a drag if you accompany others outside the house and cannot find the old fun version of yourself. You may feel as though you hold everyone back. When you speak to a talk therapist, you create the opportunity to talk through all these feelings without concern. Although we know your family and friends love you and do not consider you a burden, it doesn’t shake your own concern. Your therapist will listen attentively as you offload the negative thoughts you have about yourself. Because this is their purpose, you can do this without any feelings of guilt.


Some people view talk therapy as part of their long-term survival strategy. Most therapists will give you the option to have sessions at intervals of your choice. Whether this is weekly, monthly, or bimonthly, it might help you live a life that feels normal. Your therapist will give you tools to help you manage certain situations, for example stress at work so you can hold down a job. Techniques to help you sleep if this is a struggle, so you feel more alert, and your concentration is better. Some therapists have added qualifications and can advise you on things to improve your lifestyle, such as nutrition.


When you use talk therapy for depression, it is helpful to have a focus and goal in mind. This goal might adapt over time. However, therapy is not always solution focused, and if you need to remain in the moment and off load, your therapist will give you time and space for this too.




Types of Talk Therapy for Depression


There are hundreds of talk therapies available to you, however the NHS offers just a few. You can get cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), brief dynamic interpersonal therapy (DIT), couples therapy, and counselling free on the NHS via your doctor. Some trusts give you the option to self-refer. You might find there is a long waiting list, or they turn you down after assessing the severity of your problem. If this happens, or the NHS therapy doesn’t work for you for another reason, there are many private practitioners you can contact.


When you choose a talk therapist, try to find someone with some knowledge of current neuroscience. I work in a way that combines neurological research and anecdotal evidence, because I believe there are different causes of depression. Although I sometimes like to work in an experience based way rather than (scientific) evidence-based way, it is important I understand current neuro-knowledge because without it I fear we are all in the dark.


Talk Therapy for Depression and Anxiety


Depression and anxiety are different diagnoses, with some overlapping symptoms. Depression is sometimes a state of numbness, where anxiety can create a ‘flighty’ state. Similarly, treatment for depression and anxiety is different, with some overlaps.


All types of talk therapy will give you space to get things off your chest. However, your therapist will work in a way relevant to the modality they follow. Mindfulness helps you find awareness and acceptance of your thoughts and feelings. A person centered approach explores your strengths to help you grow. Psychoanalysis enquires into your past, generally childhood, to find the reasons for your difficulties today. A psychodynamic approach considers how your unconscious thoughts affect your behaviour. Your therapist may use a combination of approaches, depending on their experience and beliefs.


Hypnosis or meditation will reset your body and give you the tools to bring it into a preferable state of allostasis. Regular hypnotherapy sessions will help you learn how to use meditation or self-hypnosis at home, so you have power to enhance your life yourself.