Brian Jacobs


What is Depression?

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Depression is one of the most common reasons that cause people to seek psychotherapy. Cognitive-behavior therapy has been found in controlled studies to be an effective form of treatment for depression—in fact, it appears to be as effective as antidepressant medications. Cognitive-behavior therapy for depression focuses on the clinical observation that depressed mood often seems to result from negative patterns of thinking and behaving. For example, depressed people often have thoughts like, 'I'm a failure,' 'I can't do anything right,' 'I'll never accomplish my goals,' 'No one cares about me,' or similar.

These thoughts can feel powerful and compelling, but usually do not tell a balanced, reasonable story. In cognitive-behavior therapy, patient and therapist work together to determine what types of negative thinking are problematic for the depressed patient, and what types of coping or balanced thoughts can be used to provide a better perspective, to lift the depressed person's mood, and help him or her function better. The therapy also often focuses on helping the depressed person increase his or her activity level or find more gratifying, pleasurable activities.

In therapy sessions, the therapist takes an active approach to teaching here-and-now coping strategies to help patients understand and change cognitions and behaviors that contribute to depressed mood. This is an active, problem-solving to therapy. Practicing new skills outside of sessions is a central part of treatment.

A key goal of cognitive-behavior therapy is to provide you with tools that you can use to work on your depressive symptoms and to prevent future episodes. Treatment can be done in individual or group or couples format..

Please remember that no one is predestined to develop clinical depression. However, it can be very important to be aware of risk factors so that those of us who may be vulnerable can educate ourselves, be attentive to warning signs, and take steps towards recognizing and preventing this illness

Copyright©2011 Brian Jacobs, LCSW