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  • Tom Dunsdon

How counselling may be used to treat depression.

Hi guys and welcome to my latest blog post, in this post we will look at how the counselling process may be used to help with depression. Hope you enjoy the blog.

The good news is, depression is highly treatable, in fact recent figures show that somewhere between 80 to 90 percent of people respond well to treatment. The integrative model of therapy is an excellent way to help a client with depression as it allows the therapist and client to work on the underlying causes, life situations and put actions and techniques in place to help combat and stop reoccurrence. So how might this look in the therapy room? Well, the therapist may start out by taking a history from the client and seeing if there are any situational reasons that the client may be suffering. It may well be that the client is suffering because of an event from the past, here a therapist may use a psychodynamic based approach to explore these events and help uncover and process that past trauma, the therapist may then move on to using a person centred (PC) approach to see how these events are affecting the current life of the client and possibly from there, move on to some CBT work to help the client manage this situation and work with them on coping techniques. Interestingly, although I have laid it out very simply like this above, my experience of working with clients suffering from depression has taught me that on many occasions the CBT work needs to come first as the client requires the skills to cope with everyday life before they are in a position to look at the causes and underlying issues. In reality, it is not this simple and I have never actually sat in front of a client thinking ‘now I will use this approach’. The therapeutic relationship itself is far more organic than that and you should find once this working alliance is established you will move from CBT, PC and many other approaches without even thinking about it. Another key concept in my experience of working with a client with depression is they need to be heard. Many client may never have been listened to in there entire life, especially around depression as unfortunately there is still a stigma around mental health in this country. It is important not to underestimate just how therapeutic it can be for the client to be able to tell someone how they are feeling, in some cases you will actually see the relief they experience once they have been able to tell you and maybe more importantly, once you have understood them. If this happens, that client may at that moment for the first time in a long time realise they are not alone and sometimes that can be the turning point, that can be the moment that fall into the darkness is stopped and from there the ascent can begin.

The above is just one way of working with depression and every therapist and client requires a different approach but as long as the core conditions are maintained and everything is done with the best outcome for the client as the sole goal, many of these approaches will make a difference. It’s worth mentioning here that the medical establishment in the UK suggests and recommends CBT as the main way to combat depression but my experience is that this is not always the right approach and on many occasions after initial success, once therapy had ended the client may find themselves slipping back into a depressive state. It is my belief that CBT forms a very necessary part of the work to be done with depression but it can lack the depth required to truly understand the client’s world. It is my opinion that CBT reduces the symptoms but does not treat the underlying “illness”.

Well guys that’s about it for this post, hoped you enjoyed it, as always if you have any feed back or would like to book an appointment please contact me at tom@bestlifetherapies.co.uk

To your best life,

Tom.

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