Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the treatment of depression is rapidly becoming the gold standard.Depression impacts the lives of millions of people. Many individuals never seek treatment while others struggle to find relief through illegal drugs, abusing prescription drugs etc. Well known treatments for depression include psychotherapy and anti depressant medications.The American Psychiatric Association came out with its updated practice guidelines for the treatment of major depression. COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT) was one of only two approaches to therapy that were recommended, especially in the initial phase of depression treatment. In my pocket-sized guidebook, DEPRESSION I give a number of cognitive and behavioral tips and strategies to help identify and manage depression. Non drug approaches are especially important in working with pregnant women due to the danger to the fetus and for children and adolescents where increases in suicidal thinking have been reported.
Because I have a private practice in South Florida, I see many older adults who are depressed for a variety of reasons. In many cases, cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of depression helps them reduce their depression and in some cases reduce or eliminate their dependence on anti- depressant medications.
For serious depression various drugs continue to be recommended along with electro convulsive shock therapy for treatment resistant depressions. I usually recommend a trial of 12-20 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy before recommending a medication consult unless the individual needs stabilization or is compromised cognitively.
The focus in using Cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of depression is to help individuals recognize and change their underlying thoughts and beliefs that often create and maintain depression. Then, strategies to encourage taking action and changing behaviors is brought in to produce changes at the feeling level.
The new guidelines do not speak to Bi-polar depression.
For more information about this topic, go to www.cognitivetherapy.cc