What Causes Depression?
Depression is one of the most prevalent psychological issues among people. Individuals – both teenagers and adults, may require psychotherapy for depression when experiencing these symptoms. Symptoms of depression can interfere in one’s life. They can impact a person’s ability to work, complete their studies and interfere with friendships and romantic relationships. Individuals may find it extremely difficult to function if their symptoms of depression are severe.
Many factors are involved in the onset of depression. Factors involved include genetics, environmental vulnerability, biological mechanisms and ongoing stressors and challenges. It is also possible that what might trigger an initial episode of depression is different from what causes it to occur in an ongoing manner. You might wonder, when is the right time to receive psychotherapy for depression? Although there might not be one “right time”, we often think about how interfering symptoms can be. When your symptoms are impacting your functioning at work or with friends or in your relationships, it can be time to think about seeking psychotherapy for depression.
Are you not sure how to get help for depression in Ontario? Read on and we will tell you how and where you can receive this help!
How Does Depression Differ From Occasional Sadness?
Everyone will feel sad from time to time. For example, if you are at school and receive a disappointing mark, you might experience understandable sadness. Or if a longstanding relationship breaks up, you will also feel sadness. This might last for a few days or even a couple of weeks.
However, there are a number of symptoms that one experiences when they are diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder as opposed to feeling sad. When this happens, an individual might then want to consider psychotherapy for depression.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Version 5, there are a number of symptoms that an individual must be experiencing in order to meet criteria for a diagnosis of depression. We have listed possible symptoms below. However, it is always essential to see a qualified healthcare professional in order to discuss your symptoms and potential diagnosis.
An individual must be experiencing 5 or more of these symptoms within the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms must be either (1) depressed mood) or (2) loss of interest or pleasure:
- Depressed mood, most of the day, almost every day
- Diminished interest or pleasure in activities that the person usually enjoys, almost every day
- Weight loss (not in the context of intentional dieting) or weight gain or a loss of appetite almost every day
- Noticeable slowness in movement or thought (by others) or observable restlessness
- Feelings of fatigue and a loss of energy, almost every day
- Difficulty thinking and concentrating as well as feeling indecisive, almost every day
- Ongoing thoughts of death and suicidal ideation or creating a plan to complete suicide
As with other psychological presentations, in order to receive a diagnosis of depression, the symptoms experienced must cause the individual clinically significant distress. This means that there is impairment in social relationships, occupational or educational functioning as well as in other areas of day-to-day functioning. As mentioned, you definitely want to learn more about what your symptoms might mean through a proper psychodiagnostic assessment.
Looking for a depression therapist near me? We can help you at Forward Thinking Psychological Services (FTPS)! Read on to learn more about our evidence-based approach to counselling for depression.
What Kind of Therapy Is Used to Treat Depression?
People often wonder what kind of therapy should I seek when looking for psychotherapy for depression? And how does therapy help in the treatment of depression? Read on to find out more!
An evidence-based treatment for depression is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Our therapists at FTPS offer CBT therapy as an effective technique to cope with depressive behaviours. Research has shown this approach for depression for both adults and adolescents.
Undergoing cognitive behavioural therapy for depression helps patients experience a reduced relapse of symptoms. CBT is an ideal therapy for battling depression since:
- It teaches individuals to recognize their unhelpful thinking styles and how this impacts feelings and behaviours
- It teaches people to engage in pleasant activities in an effort to elevate one’s mood over time
- It may incorporate elements of mindfulness to allow individuals to gain present moment awareness and distance themselves from ruminations about the past or worries about the future
Individuals who undergo psychotherapy for depression will learn a variety of skills and strategies to help them. When a CBT therapy approach is used by their therapist they will learn the following tools:
- Behavioural activation – this set of skills teaches individuals to track activities and accompanying moods; “follow a plan and not their mood” and incorporate pleasant and meaningful activities into their daily routine. Our mood is not a very good guide when we are feeling down. However, by planning activities that we have enjoyed in the past, we can often increase our engagement. Our mood will become elevated over time in response.
- Cognitive restructuring – this involves individuals learning patterns of unhelpful thinking and how it can impact them and lower their mood. It also involves being aware of their automatic thoughts, slowing them down and finding evidence to create more balanced thoughts. Overall, this part of CBT therapy helps with perspective gaining and taking a different stance towards one’s thoughts.
- Mindfulness skills – mindfulness skills can also be incorporated into psychotherapy for depression. Mindfulness is about noticing the present moment, on purpose, and without judgement. It allows one to develop acceptance of the moments we are aware of – whether we are enjoying those moments or not. In doing so, one develops a different relationship to one’s thoughts. We might be better able to unhook from difficult thoughts and feelings when we allow them to pass through our minds with awareness, but without any judgement or evaluation
Other skills can also be integrated into the work you will do during counselling for depression. Your therapist will ensure that the approach you receive is individualized and tailored to your presenting issues. Working with family members might also be helpful when you engage in psychotherapy for depression. This can be the case whether you are an adolescent engaging in therapy or an adult. CBT for adolescents will cover the same skills that are delivered to adults when engaging in psychotherapy for depression.
How Do You Know What Kind Of Therapist To See?
Wondering how to choose the best therapist for yourself? Many factors go into choosing the right therapist for you. When meeting with your therapist for the first time you might want to consider the types of questions you want to ask. These might include:
- How does therapy help in the treatment of depression?
- Have you provided psychotherapy for depression before?
- What is your approach to counselling for depression? Do you provide CBT for depression?
- How many sessions might therapy be?
- What happens in our first session?
You will want to learn that your therapist has experience in CBT and working with individuals with depression. They should be able to describe to you what happens in CBT and how it will target both behavioural and cognitive aspects of your depressive symptoms. You will also want to make sure that they ask you about your symptoms and goals for therapy. Your first official session with your therapist should involve a formal assessment of your symptoms, history of treatment, work/school life, social and family relations as well as overall quality of life. These types of questions ensure that your clinician is getting to know about your symptoms and who you are as a person.
In addition, the fit between your therapist and you is extremely important. You want to make sure that you feel comfortable telling them about your issues. At FTPS, we conduct no charge meet and greets between therapists and individuals seeking treatment. This allows you to meet with your therapist and ensure they are the best fit before proceeding to formal therapy sessions.
Want to know how to get help for depression in Ontario? We are a multidisciplinary team of mental health clinicians at FTPS and we can work with you on symptoms of depression that you are experiencing. Read on to see how you can get started!
Psychotherapy for Depression: How Do I Get Started?
Wondering how to get help for depression in Ontario? Does FTPS have a depression therapist near me? If you are looking for psychotherapy for depression, you have come to the right place! We have a team of mental health professionals who have training and experience working with individuals with depression.
At FTPS, you can reach out to us for psychotherapy for depression for adults or adolescents. We deliver CBT therapy for depression and other mood disorders as well. We all have training in CBT therapy and consider this to be a fundamental approach for counselling for depression.
When you reach out to us, you will be able to learn more about our services for counselling for depression. And you will learn about our virtual therapy services.
We also have a team of mental health clinicians working with adolescents. You can reach out to us and learn more about them if your teenager is experiencing symptoms of depression!
DISCLAIMER: This content is meant for informational and educational purposes only. Only a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose a mental health disorder. The content of this website is not meant to be a substitute for therapy. Visiting this website should not be considered to be equivalent to a relationship with FTPS. Mental health concerns should only be discussed in the context of providing professional services after the consent process has been completed with a qualified FTPS associate outside of our website.