What Does a Depression Therapist Do?

Depression Therapist
Table of Contents

Depression is a common mood disorder that can feel overwhelming at times. Often, people wonder if seeking out the expertise of a depression therapist can help. From understanding the causes of depression to deciding whether treatment is needed, arming yourself with knowledge is a good way to know what steps to take.

What Is Depression?

Depression (also known as major depression, major depressive disorder, or clinical depression) is a far-reaching mental health disorder. It causes constant negative feelings like sadness and hopelessness, and a profound lack of interest in activities. Depression often seeps into various aspects of an individual’s life, influencing thoughts, behaviors, and overall well-being. It also tends to affect the lives of friends and loved ones, creating challenges and influencing relationships, family dynamics, and social connections.

Depression can happen to anyone, anywhere. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 264 million people suffer from depression globally. Women are more likely to have the disorder than men. Those who have lived through abuse, severe losses, or other stressful events are more likely to develop it. Other notable statistics:

  • Depression can impact individuals of all ages, with its onset occurring as early as childhood
  • Mental health conditions, including depression, cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity each year

How Is Depression Treated?

Depression, even the most severe cases, is a very treatable disorder. As with many illnesses, the earlier depression treatment begins, the more effective it can be and the greater the likelihood that recurrence can be prevented.

To properly address depression, it’s important to see a doctor first. They’ll check if other issues like certain medications or medical conditions might be causing similar symptoms. The doctor will also ask about alcohol or drug use and if the person has thoughts about death or suicide.

Recognition and Reaching Out
The first step in seeking depression treatment involves recognizing the symptoms and bravely reaching out for help. Whether through self-referral or with the support of friends, family, or healthcare providers, this important step sets the wheels in motion toward a path of healing.

Licensed mental health professionals play a pivotal role in administering depression treatment. This diverse group includes therapists, counselors, and, in certain cases, psychiatrists. Their collective expertise allows them to tailor treatment plans to the unique needs of each individual, fostering a personalized approach to recovery.

Depression Therapy is Tailored to the Individual
Once diagnosed, depression can be treated in different ways. The main treatments are medicine and psychotherapy (also called talking therapy). Approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and mindfulness are proven effective in different scenarios. Medicine can also help by easing symptoms like intense worry, so people can get the most out of talking therapy.

CBT: Widely recognized, CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors contributing to depressive symptoms. Through CBT, individuals learn to challenge and reframe distorted thoughts, fostering a more positive and adaptive mindset.

DBT: Effective for individuals dealing with intense emotions and self-destructive behaviors, DBT combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness strategies. It helps individuals regulate emotions and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

IPT: IPT concentrates on improving interpersonal relationships and communication skills. It addresses how relationships and social interactions contribute to or exacerbate depressive symptoms, helping individuals navigate relationships more effectively.

Mindfulness-Based Approaches: Mindfulness-based interventions, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), incorporate mindfulness and meditation practices. These techniques promote self-awareness and help individuals manage stress and anxiety associated with depression.

Medication-Assisted Treatment: In some cases, a treatment plan for depression may include the use of medications. There are several options, so speaking with a treatment professional is always advised before starting down the road to recovery on your own.

The duration of depression treatment varies, influenced by the severity of the condition, individual responsiveness to treatment, and the chosen depression therapy approach. While some individuals may find relief in a relatively short period, others may engage in more extended treatment, emphasizing the need for patience and a commitment to the process.

The Advantage of Depression Treatment Centers

Holistic recovery is one of the key therapy goals for depression. Treatment centers offer a structured and supportive environment that can help people achieve this in a more focused way. These centers bring together a multidisciplinary team of professionals, ensuring that various aspects of an individual’s well-being are addressed comprehensively. They provide:

  • Comprehensive Approach: Depression treatment centers address not only the symptoms of depression but also the underlying factors contributing to the condition. This holistic perspective contributes to a more thorough and sustained recovery.
  • Structured Environment: The structured environment of a treatment center lessens external stressors with a focused space for healing.
  • Diverse Therapies: Treatment centers offer a diverse range of depression therapies, including individual therapy, group therapy, and specialized interventions. This variety allows individuals to explore and engage in approaches that meet unique needs.
  • Intensive Care and Support: Treatment centers provide intensive care, support, attention, and guidance necessary for a recovery journey. The collaborative effort of professionals creates a nurturing environment leading to positive outcomes.
  • Education: Treatment centers provide educational components that help people handle the challenges associated with depression beyond treatment.

While treatment centers provide the option of outpatient or inpatient care, inpatient depression treatment is essential for those at risk of self-harm or struggling with severe symptoms that impact daily functioning. The decision to pursue inpatient depression treatment is made collectively between the individual, their therapist, and other healthcare professionals.

What Is a Depression Therapist?

In the world of mental health, the terms “depression therapist” or “depression counselor” are commonly used, but it’s crucial to note that it isn’t a distinct profession. Instead, it refers to a therapist, counselor, psychologist, or clinical social worker who is trained and licensed to treat mental health disorders, including depression.

While the term depression therapist may lack a specific professional category, certain therapists and treatment centers choose to specialize in depression. This specialization involves acquiring additional training, experience, and expertise in understanding and treating depression with a heightened level of proficiency.    

What Does a Mental Health Therapist Do?

Mental health therapists play a key role in helping people cope with mental and emotional problems. They use a range of psychotherapy techniques to address psychological distress. Some common things that mental health therapists help support people through include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction and substance abuse
  • Phobias
  • Stress
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Self-esteem issues and eating disorders
  • Grief
  • Marital distress

Mental health therapists collaborate with their clients to set realistic and achievable objectives. They focus on improving mood, enhancing coping skills, and addressing specific challenges related to the condition. Therapy goals for depression are tailored to individual circumstances and may evolve throughout the treatment journey. Regular assessments and discussions with the therapist ensure that goals remain relevant and contribute to overall progress.

Depression Treatment at Aliya Health Group

If you or your loved one are suffering from depression, the journey to healing starts with acknowledging the need for support. Aliya Health Group provides a wide range of care and support for all forms of depression. Our levels of care include:

  • Medical detox: It’s common for people suffering from depression to turn to drugs and alcohol to escape their feelings of sadness. This opens the door for a substance abuse disorder. Treating both co-occurring disorders at the same time is key for effective recovery. Detox is the process where you rid the body of drugs and alcohol under the supervision of a professional team.
  • Inpatient treatment: Residential treatment involves living full-time at one of our treatment facilities, attending therapy daily. Inpatient treatment offers valuable structure, so you can focus all your efforts on overcoming depression. Treatments include evidence-based and holistic therapies compiled into an individualized recovery plan.
  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP): For those who need the structure of inpatient care with the flexibility of outpatient, a PHP is a great option. You spend five days a week at one of our facilities for treatment. Programs last for around six hours per day, and you live at home or one of our sober living facilities when you aren’t in treatment. The goal of PHP is to begin the transition from recovery back to normal life.
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP): Intensive outpatient care is similar to a PHP, but you spend less time in treatment and more time working on a stable life outside of recovery. Treatment is between three and five times per week, allowing for more flexibility with obligations like family, work, or school.
  • Outpatient rehab: Outpatient treatment for depression offers the most flexibility in recovery. You attend treatment just once or twice per week. The rest of the time, you’re working on integrating back into normal life. Outpatient care also involves aftercare planning, so you have a system of support to draw on after leaving our facility.

There is hope for a depression-free life. Contact us today to discover the possibilities.