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Counseling for Depression

Counseling can sometimes work as well as medicine for mild to moderate depression. Counseling is also called talk therapy. Treatment by a trained professional is a powerful way to better understand your thoughts and feelings. It may take time before you notice how much counseling is helping.

Man sitting and talking to health care professional.

Kinds of talk therapy

Different counselors use different methods for talk therapy. Look for the experience, qualifications, and license or certification of the counselor. This will show what type of counseling they can provide. It also shows what problems they can address. A counselor for children with depression may not be qualified to work with an older adult with depression. All therapy aims to help change how you think about your problem. Most therapy for depression is done one-on-one. But it may also be done in a group setting. You and your healthcare provider can discuss the type of therapy you think would work best for you. Your provider can also help you find a good counselor.

How therapy helps

Talk therapy can help you work through problems with your life and your relationships. It can also help you understand how depression keeps you from seeing the world the way it really is. Therapy can give you:

  • Insight about your emotions

  • New tools for dealing with your problems

  • Emotional support and encouragement for making progress

  • A safety net during a crisis

Getting better takes time

Talk therapy can help you feel better. But change doesn’t happen right away. Depression takes away your energy and motivation. It can be hard to feel like going to therapy and sticking with it. But therapy has been proven to be very valuable in the treatment of depression. Therapy for depression is often done for a set number of sessions. Or you and your therapist may decide when therapy is no longer needed.

Additional sources of help

It may help to talk to other people in your life as well. But sharing private information with a friend or in a community setting does not have the same protection as in a healthcare setting. With that in mind, you may find support and insight from:

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Paul Ballas MD
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2022
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