A Useful Guide to Depression Counseling
Did you know that about 25 percent of adults in the US face depression or anxiety? If you or a loved one struggles with depression, this number may not surprise you at all.
What may shock you is that about 50% of people living with depression and anxiety do not seek out any mental health services. But what if you are ready for help? How do you know which treatments work?
If you’re wondering which treatment option is right for you or your loved one, keep reading this useful guide to depression counseling.
What is Depression?
There are several types of depression, and anyone is able to experience depression. These types include major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, postpartum depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and more.
Major depressive disorder is common and treatable. This disorder causes feelings of sadness. It can result in emotional and physical problems that prevent a depressed person from being able to function. It also causes a loss of interest in the activities the depressed person once enjoyed.
The treatment for depression usually includes medications, therapy or counseling, or both. Treating depression can be done both for short-term and long-term cases.
What is Depression Counseling?
Depression counseling is also called talk therapy. It’s used to help the depressed person understand and work through the issues that are impacting them.
A depression counselor will listen and will help to create strategies for coping. The sessions may also include homework which can help evaluate the person’s progress.
This type of depression counseling focuses on present thoughts, feelings, and actions. This counseling seeks to understand how your life is currently affected. It also helps you learn how you can deal with everyday stressors.
What are the Different Types of Depression Counseling?
It’s important to know what types of counseling are available and might be right for you.
Cognitive and behavioral therapy focuses on the depressed person’s thoughts and behaviors. If you choose this type of therapy, you and your counselor will likely set up goals, and homework assignments, like a journal.
Individual counseling is treating depression with talk therapy. It seeks to teach you more about depression and how to help your specific case. You may discuss strategies for managing stress and understand triggers that worsen your depression. Your counselor may focus on good habits for you to adopt.
Family counseling treats an entire family. There are certain cases where depression may affect the whole family. Depression often does not just affect the person diagnosed. Couples counseling is similar and takes a look at the dynamics between partners.
Group therapy sessions are held with other depressed people. These people experience similar issues. This type of counseling can allow you to share experiences and strategies. Hearing from others can help you to learn new things about depression.
Why is Goal Setting Important?
When approaching talk therapy, regardless of the type, many counselors will encourage goal setting. This can act as a type of roadmap for you and helps you to focus on the challenges that you’re currently facing.
This can also help the patient and counselor align on expectations. There are many types of therapy and perceptions of what it can achieve. Goal setting works with the counselor and the depressed person.
Common goals in counseling include working on behavioral change. Another goal is helping to improve relationships for the depressed person. Helping the depressed person to cope and to promote a healthy decision-making process is another popular goal.
Goals help people navigate through life. Setting goals in therapy helps create a way to navigate this new relationship between counselor and patient. This type of goal setting can help people experience less stress and anxiety. It also helps them work toward feeling happier.
When you first start working with a counselor, it’s important to establish some primary questions. The counselor may ask what you want to get out of counseling. They also ask what has prevented you from achieving your goals before and what your expectations are.
This will help the counselor to better understand your circumstances. They will also be able to provide feedback and coping mechanisms to help.
How Long Does Counseling Take?
Some people are able to be treated with short-term counseling. Consider that there are also many types of therapy, like group therapy, as described above. Others greatly benefit from long-standing depression counseling.
Studies have shown that long-term counseling for depression leads to improvement. This is also helpful if your signs of depression worsen. Over time, you can learn what your triggers might be and the patterns that affect your life.
If you’ve tried counseling in the past and it didn’t work, it might be helpful to think about the reasons why. What do you feel you needed from the counseling that you weren’t getting?
This is another reason why goal-setting is important. It can help you to create a structure for tackling specific problems. You can also decide what you want to get out of therapy and work through events in your past.
If you’re opposed to going back to a therapist you’ve had in the past, you could try someone new who has the experience to help you. It’s important to find someone who you feel you can trust to help you.
Understanding Depression Counseling is Important for Your Mental Health
Depression and anxiety affect millions of people every year. Seeking help for this illness is the first step in learning how to cope with it and improve your present state.
Understanding this illness and depression counseling can greatly improve your mental health. Setting goals and finding the right counselor for you is an important process.
Click here to learn more about how we can help you find the mental health treatment that will work for you.