Psychotherapy is often called" talk therapy" because it involves a patient and a psychotherapist sitting in a room talking, but it is much more than that. Psychotherapists have training in a variety of techniques that may be employed in order to help patients to recover from mental illness, resolve personal issues, and create desired changes.
Psychotherapy can be an effective treatment for depression because it can help you delve into the underlying reasons for your depression and learn new coping skills.
Many of the therapeutic modalities described below have evidence supporting their benefit in treating depression. Several studies suggest, however, that the combination of an antidepressant and psychotherapy is the best approach, because of the biopsychosocial origins of most mood disorders.
The most common types used for depression
Cognitive therapy: at the heart of cognitive therapy is the idea that our thoughts can affect our emotions. For example, if we choose to look for the silver lining in every experience, we will be more likely to feel good as opposed to if we only focus on the negative. Cognitive therapy helps patients to learn to identify common patterns of negative thinking, called cognitive distortions and to turn those negative thought patterns into more positive ones, thus improving the patient's mood.
Behavioral therapy: behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on changing undesired behaviors. It uses the principles of classical and operant conditioning in order to reinforce wanted behaviors while eliminating unwanted behaviors.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy: because cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy work well together to help depression and anxiety disorders, the two are often combined in an approach called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Dialectical behavior therapy: dialectical behavior therapy is a type of CBT. Its main goal is to teach the patient skills to cope with stress, regulate emotions, and improve relationships with others. Dialectical behavior therapy is derived from a philosophical process called dialectics. Dialectics is based on the concept that everything is composed of opposites, and that change occurs when one opposing force is stronger than the other. This type of psychotherapy also incorporates mindfulness practices from Buddhist traditions.
Psychodynamic therapy: psychodynamic therapy is based on the assumption that depression can occur because of unresolved usually unconscious conflicts, often originating from childhood. The goals of this type of therapy are for the patient to become more aware of their full range of emotions, including contradictory and troubling ones, and to help the patient more effectively bear these feelings and put them in a more useful perspective.
Interpersonal therapy: interpersonal therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on past and present social roles and interpersonal interactions. During treatment, the therapist generally chooses one or two problem areas in the patient's current life to focus on.