Psychological Therapies for depression

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT was originally developed by Aaron Beck and emphasises the role of maladaptive thoughts an beliefs in the origins and maintenance of depression. When people think negatively about themselves and their lives, they become depressed. The aim of CBT is to identify and alter these maladaptive cognitions as well as any dysfunctional behaviours that might be contributing to depression. CBT is intended to be relatively brief (usually between 16 and 20 sessions) and is focused on current problems and current dysfunctional thinking. Although there are many things involved in CBT, like homework, two of the main ones are thought catching and behavioural activation.

Thought Activation is where individuals are taught how to see the link between their thoughts and the way they feel. They might, as part of their homework be asked to record any emotion arousing events, the automatic negative thoughts associated with these events, and then their realistic thoughts that might challenge these negative thoughts. By challenging these dysfunctional thoughts, and replacing them with more constructive ones, clients are trying out new ways of behaving.

Behavioural Activation is based on the common sense idea that being active leads to rewards that act as an antidote to depression…


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