Many people call us because they have not found other approaches to talk therapy effective for dealing with depression.
So how is CBT different – and how can it help you?
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. It affects as many as 6% of adults and 12% of teens in the U.S. (Source: National Institute of Mental Health).
Depression affects people across circumstance and the full lifespan, and may be characterized by these symptoms:
– Sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
– Feeling hopeless and pessimistic
– Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
– Loss of pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
– Loss of energy, feeling fatigued or slowed down
– Difficulty with concentration, memory, making decisions
– Disruptions to sleep (early morning awakening, or oversleeping)
– Diet changes (loss of appetite or overeating)
– Thoughts about death or suicide
– Restlessness and irritability
As shown on our homepage, Cognitive Behavior Therapy is collaborative, proactive, accepting, and, perhaps most importantly, effective! We help our clients develop a thorough understanding of their depressive patterns, equip them with the right skills and tools to change, and then coach them towards taking action.
The “C” in CBT refers to “cognition”, or thoughts. This is because we want to get a truly accurate understanding of how thinking patterns may be maintaining your depression. From there, we can help you develop more helpful beliefs and attitudes about yourself, your future, other people, and the world in general.
Common thinking errors (a.k.a. “cognitive distortions”) associated with feeling depressed are:
Fortune telling: Assuming only negative predictions about something in the future.
Example – “I’m pretty sure I’ll fail at ________ (dating, a goal, a job application, etc.), so I won’t bother trying.”
Discounting positives: A form of “All or nothing” which disregards positive accomplishments.
Example – “Sure, I’ve had successes in my life, but that’s just because I got lucky.”
Overgeneralization: Drawing very broad conclusions based on isolated incidents or a single piece of evidence.
Example – “When I tried to talk to my spouse about my unhappiness, it didn’t go well, so I guess communication won’t solve our problems.”
Negative filtering – The counterpart to Discounting positives, this pattern also magnifies errors or imperfections.
Example – “So what if I earned straight As in my other classes? It doesn’t matter because I got a B in Chemistry.”
By identifying how your thinking affects your mood and prevents you from feeling better, we will be able to see outside of depression and make life changes that help you feel better.
But that’s not all!
Again, CBT is also about action. This where the “B” (Behavior) in CBT comes into play.
Our work will not be limited to just talking in therapy. We are proactive about identifying or recommending specific changes, habits, or skills that can improve your mood. This may mean coaching about changes or barriers to:
– Physical activity or exercise
– Diet and general attention to health
– Social and relationship satisfaction
– Assertive communication
– Work stress and satisfaction
– Substance use or other problematic habits
– Existential issues and general life purpose
– Time management and organization
– General problem solving
By tailoring these CBT tools to each client’s situation, we frequently help people achieve:
– Improved mood, health, and sense of well-being
– Increased motivation, energy, and focus towards completing tasks
– Improved decision making and problem solving
– Decreased dependence on antidepressant medication (if desired)
CBT is one of the most well proven approaches to dealing with depression, with some studies showing its effectiveness exceeding that of antidepressant medication. (Source: WebMD). Best of all, with CBT, there are no side effects.
Please give us a call!. We’d love to help.