Cognitive Therapy for Depression

Depression is a complex condition that involves several symptoms and can be caused by many factors. Because depression involves a lot of negative emotions such as loneliness, anger, and hopelessness, there are several approaches to treating a depressed person. One method is through cognitive therapy.

What is cognitive therapy?

Based on cognitive therapy, depression can be a result of irrational beliefs or thoughts, pessimistic view in life, a tendency to emphasize failures, problems, and negative events, low-self esteem, and other cognitive distortions. Through cognitive therapy, the mental health professional helps the depressed person identify these cognitive distortions, understand them, and find a solution to overcome such way of thinking. Once these cognitive distortions are corrected, depression is also treated.

Rational Emotive TherapyRational Emotive Therapy or RET is a type of cognitive therapy that was developed by Aaron T. Beck, an American psychologist. According to Beck, depression comes from irrational thoughts. One example is a case of a perfectionist. A perfectionist thinks that everything has to be perfect and organized. This leads to major emotional problems when encountering a dilemma, even though the issue is not really that serious. To deal with this situation, the therapist helps the depressed individual to set more realistic emotional standards. In this way, the affected person can live a balanced life. By realizing that such cognitive distortions are affecting him or her mentally and emotionally, a depressed person can learn to change his or her ways or eliminate bad behavior, and start the way to recovery.

Cognitive behavior therapy

CBT or cognitive behavior therapy is a more popular way of treating depression. According to many therapists, using cognitive therapy along with behavior therapy is more effective than using one therapy alone.

Effectiveness of cognitive therapy against depression

Cognitive therapy, when used with other types of treatment, can be more effective when using it alone. However, in order for any treatment to be effective, the depressed individual should be willing to change his or her ways. Support from family and friends is also crucial to the success of cognitive therapy and other forms of treatment.

Tips when looking for a cognitive therapist

When looking for a therapist, opt for someone who is licensed, trained, and has years of experience. A specialist is advised for more serious cases of depression. You can visit your local public health care center for a list of therapists that work in your area and specialize in your case.