Depression is common. It’s also treatable and responds well to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness skills, as evidenced by considerable research. I implement both in treating depression.
CBT’s basic premise is that our thoughts generate our feelings and, in turn, our actions. It also stipulates that for thoughts to be healthy, they need to be both accurate and helpful. In using CBT for depression, I examine, challenge and (if distorted) help revise a client’s thoughts and beliefs, with a view to therewith changing how they feel and act.
Emotional self-regulation and release techniques are also taught through mindfulness practices, allowing clients to let go of accumulated grief, sadness, discouragement, shame, guilt and/ or any other negative emotions they may be experiencing. Finally, clients are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zone by engaging in new behaviors, including more social activity and risk taking. Where warranted, medication may also be suggested.