What Types of Therapy Help with Depression?


depressionIf you’re reading this, you might wonder if you’ll ever feel happy again. There is the possibility you’ve forgotten what happiness even feels like. You’re running empty, life is a blur with little purpose. You feel exhausted all the time, despite sleeping for much of the time. Although sometimes you cannot sleep. You lack motivation and wonder why you exist. There is a yearning for something, you do not know what and you don’t know how to find it.


This is not necessarily what those around you see. You do laugh and smile, externally they see a happy person, internally you don’t even have the energy to weep. Your smiles come without feeling. You neglect yourself and therefore self-care. You rarely eat nutritionally, exercise or do any of the things that help us remain healthy, because you can’t muster the motivation. On the worst days, you even ignore daily rituals like showering. You cry a lot, but there is no release. You might feel like your life is not worth living, and others are better off without you. Depression is a dis-ease of little feeling. Therefore, it is not something others can ever imagine feeling. It is something which we can only know through experience.





How does Therapy Help Depression?


therapy for depressionTherapy for depression is not necessarily a cure, it is a treatment that will help you change the way you feel. Your therapy sessions provide time to focus on yourself and your difficulties without feeling guilty. Your therapist is there to support you and positively challenge you. While others may expect you to get over it or cheer up, your therapist understands why this is impossible.


Instead, by encouraging you to make small changes in your life, they will help you out of the black hole. Your therapist will not fixate on a solution. If you need a space to talk without seeking a fix, your therapist will hold this space for you. Therapy will help you find some answers and show you some aspects of your life that you might consider adapting to feel healthier. Some therapies provide a calming, reflective place for you to relax, reset and reenergise.


Types of Therapy for Depression


Talking therapy is self-explanatory, a form of therapy in which you talk to your therapist. Psychodynamic therapy explores previous experiences to find reasons for your difficulties today. The aim of this therapy is to expand your self-knowledge. You can reframe things, as you look at them from a stronger perspective, whilst appreciating your vulnerability at the time of the experience.


Counselling is another talk therapy. Your counsellor is a supportive listening ear, someone who will understand your plight and actively listen without giving advice or holding expectations over you. Cognitive behavioural therapy for depression is a solution focused talking therapy. CBT helps you step out of the destructive cycle of negative thoughts and feelings. It is a therapy of structure with processes to improve your feelings. CBT focuses on the present rather than the past and includes practical skills to change your thoughts, CBT works when you put the skills into practice.  




Dramatherapy uses story-making, drama, music, and movement to help you with your problems. In dramatherapy you use drama to explore your feelings. You can experiment with different behaviours within a therapy session to learn about yourself and as a rehearsal for the real world.


Art therapy used creative expression to heal. As you express yourself through art you will learn about yourself, particularly how to express yourself. In addition to self-exploration, creating art is a mindful process. Tools you might use during an art therapy session are clay, paint, crayons, or a camera.


Music therapy is another form of therapy that uses an ‘art’ to facilitate healing. It involves making music, listening to music, singing, dancing, or discussing music. Music therapy differs from sound therapy, which uses sound, mostly from Tibetan singing bowls and gongs, to guide you into a deep meditative state to encourage relaxation and self-reflection.


How Long does Therapy Take for Depression?


The duration of your therapy depends on several factors. Firstly, your intention – whether you seek therapy as a cure or tool to help you get through. If you organise your therapy through a charity or the NHS, the duration is likely to have a limit, often 6 – 12 sessions. Some organisations will extend this if you and your therapists feel it is beneficial.


If you organise your therapy privately and have the financial resources, you can continue therapy for as long as you like. Some therapies we use as a short-term solution are normal everyday practices in some countries or religions. In other countries, people use therapy as a tool for mental wellbeing, rather than a treatment for an illness. If therapy helps you progressively improve your life, it needs no end date. However, it is important to regularly check in with your therapist to ensure the therapy sessions evolve. Your therapist should continue to challenge you and help you.




You can read more about depression here.