CBT Treatment for Depression - Sevenoaks & London
We provide effective treatment for Depression and low mood from our clinics in Sevenoaks and London Bridge. You can also organise Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression with one of our forty therapists operating across London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. CBT is the recommended treatment for Depression and the research evidence shows that it works. To talk to one of our CBT experts about treatment for depressed mood, call 01732 808626 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We all have periods of high and low mood and this is part of the normal emotional range. Feeling down or sad for a few hours can sometimes just reflect our reaction to the challenges that life presents and most of the time we have the emotional resilience to bounce back.
When low mood persists or continuously recurs for more than two weeks, this can be an indication that a form of clinical depression may be present. The key characteristics of clinical depression include low mood and loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyable. Physical symptoms of depression can include changes in appetite and weight, sleep disturbance, reduction in sex drive, constipation, noticing aches and pains more and feeling tired or fatigued. Depressed people also often experience problems with concentration and short-term memory, difficulty making decisions, negative thinking and thoughts of death or suicide.
The key cognitive patterns behind depression include loss, failure, helplessness and hopelessness for the future. This can include themes of poor personal performance, absence of meaning, low self value and reduced personal pleasure.
Depression is classified as a mood disorder and is normally described as mild, moderate and severe. Mild depression has some impact on daily life, moderate has a significant and noticeable affect and severe depression makes it almost impossible to function normally. Depression affects around 10% of the population and is particularly prevalent in older people and individuals with other psychological and physical problems.
If you want to talk to a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist about depression or low mood problems, call 01732 808 626, email email@example.com or complete the simple contact form on this page. We can organise a free initial telephone consultation with a CBT expert. You can also rate your depression symptoms by taking a free Depression assessment, such as the PHQ-9 which is a recognised and widely used self-assessment for depression:
How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is Used to Treat Depression and Low Mood
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is recognised as the most effective and sustainable treatment for depression. Numerous clinical studies have consistently demonstrated that CBT out-performs anti-depressant medications and other forms of psychotherapy and counselling. Whilst the specific treatment protocols for depression vary depending upon the form of depressive disorder (outlined below), the process involves altering negative thinking patterns and undertaking practical exercises to increase the level of positive interaction and feedback.
We use a process called cognitive restructuring to identify, challenge and alter negative thinking patterns that maintain depressive mood. This involves working with a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist to understand and change the thoughts, rules, assumptions and beliefs that maintain depressive symptoms. This means in-session work to map out the thinking cycles and problem solving exercises to identify and strengthen realistic and healthier thinking patterns. The Therapist may also encourage the individual to undertake practical experiments between sessions to test out negative assumptions.
We also use a process called Behavioural Activation. This involves identifying, planning, undertaking and monitoring activities that are consistent with the individual's responsibilities, goals and values, rather than their mood, weaknesses or vulnerabilities. This is a highly structured and practical approach which has been shown to be effective in breaking the cycle of depression.
We also augment our approach to the main forms of depression with third-wave CBT techniques. This can include Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). These forms of therapy have been found to be highly effective in building resilience, reducing linked forms of distress and preventing relapse.
The Different Types of Depression
Depression can be a complex problem and is often linked to other psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder and substance abuse. The most common forms of depression are outlined below:
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
Also referred to as clinical depression, unipolar depression and recurrent depression, MDD is present when two or more major depressive episodes are experienced. A depressive episode involves depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least 2 weeks. At least five of the following symptoms are present and this causes significant impairment in social, work or other important areas almost every day.
• Depressed mood most of the day.
• Diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities.
• Significant unintentional weight loss or gain.
• Insomnia or sleeping too much.
• Agitation or psychomotor problems noticed by others.
• Fatigue or loss of energy.
• Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
• Diminished ability to think- concentrate or indecisiveness.
• Recurrent suicidal thoughts.
This is a milder form of ongoing depression, now referred to as Persistent Depressive Disorder. This usually involves fewer symptoms, present for a minimum of two years. Depressive symptoms are still present for more days than not and whilst not necessarily disabling, the problem negatively influences the individual's daily life and general outlook.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
SAD is a mood disorder with a seasonal pattern. The precise cause of SAD is still unclear; however it is likely to be related to the variation in light exposure in different seasons. Depression which starts in winter and subsides when the season ends is the most common form. People with SAD usually have low energy, over sleep, overeat, gain weight and crave for carbohydrates.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for depression and low mood brings the same rigor, structure and focus to the problem that it provides for many other psychological, emotional and behavioural problems.
Follow the evidence and take a positive step towards changing your situation.
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