Psychological Therapies for Depression

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One psychological therapy to treat depression is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT aims to identify and alter the maladaptive thoughts as well as any dysfunctional behaviours that might be contributing to depression. CBT is usally brief and focuses on current problems and dysfunctional thinking.

One process in CBT is thought catching. This is where individuals are taught how to see the link between their thoughts and and the way that they feel. They may be asked to record any emotion-arousing events and record any negative thoughts associated with these events. They are then asked to record any realistic thoughts that would challange their negative thoughts. By challenging the dysfunctional thoughts and replacing them with more constructive ones, clients are trying out new ways of behaving.

The second process in CBT is behavioural activation. This is where clients become more active again and participate in more activities. This is because a common characteristic of depressed individuals is that they no longer participate in activities so in CBT therapists and clients identify pleasurable activities and the clients are encouraged to participate and deal with any cognitive obstacles they may encounter. 

There is research to support the effectiveness of CBT. A meta-analysis found that CBT was superior


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