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treatments for depression

Different Types of Psychological Treatments for Depression

Annoyance, anger, paranoia, pain, and more fall into the category of depression. Sometimes you find it easy to explain or identify what’s going wrong and why you feel as you do, other times, not. The deeper a depression, the harder it becomes to identify these elements.

Nobody gets put together the same or functions in the same way. That’s why it takes a spectrum of treatments for depression to travel to a better you.

First, know that you aren’t alone. Nearly 9.2% of adults have seen a psychologist at one time. They visit for everything from a recent loss to a general need to unburden their inner thoughts.

No matter the situation that brings you in or inspires you to look for treatment, there’s something out there that fits you.

Treatments for Depression Explained

For the most part, recovering from and coping with depression requires active participation. The last section of these treatments explores a few external treatments but the majority are internal.

Don’t expect immediate results, multiple sessions build on each other to arrive at a better result.

To benefit from a treatment of depression, you have to be active and put in the work. Finding a treatment option that works best for you is easier when you understand the goal and process of each.

Behavioral Treatment

You find this cornerstone in other treatments. Based on early ideas of operant conditioning, behavioral treatment works to reinforce some behaviors and remove others.

To effect change, there have to be stakes and trackable progress. Following this process includes figuring out individual rewards and downsides. Once these are understood, you practice them until it feels natural.

Essentially, you make good actions a behavior and become aware of negative actions.

Interpersonal Treatment

This treatment option centers on specific incidents and interactions. When a problem only occurs or causes an issue in select settings, this treatment explores the “how” and “why.”

Knowing how to identify the mechanisms that go wrong gives you a way to avoid the problem or work through the issue.

Interpersonal treatment also works to give you modular tools. Understanding a single event or social situation provides insight into other areas. Once you have a well-equipped toolbox and know to spot trouble, you take charge.

This treatment is used in leadership training to help leaders know how to be in command for a reason.

Cognitive Treatment

Another cornerstone that guides and shapes other forms of treatment. Cognitive treatment focuses on the interaction between thoughts and emotions.

Thought patterns become emotional reactions which cause effects. Those effects reinforce the thought patterns and so on. By understanding each link in the chain, you gain the power to shape the chain.

Rather than dwell on where you are and how you feel, cognitive treatment seeks to show you paths and options available. Knowing that options exist enables you to make decisions instead of shutting down.

Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment

Often truncated to CBT, cognitive-behavioral treatment for depression builds on both simpler principles.

You work to structure the way you think and the way you act. Theses two elements of cognition and behavior guide your life.

A psychologist guides you to start identifying thoughts and behaviors that need addressing. These don’t have to be things you want to get away from, they can also include things you want to do more.

Once the goals are set, the process isolates through patterns and their associated emotions. You work to improve through patterns through rational decision making and awareness.

You then arrive at behaviors which improve or hold steady the thought patterns.

The reward loop of behavioral treatment gets applied both to and through the thoughts which have an emotional tie.

Dialectical Behavior Treatment

A modified approach to CBT, dialectical behavior treatment works on the principle of opposites.

Change comes from two opposing forces facing off and one being stronger than the other. This isn’t too different from the idea of reward and elimination.

You learn to provide more strength to one side of your dialectic.

Overall, this treatment builds skills used to cope with conflict. Through dialectical treatment you improve stress reactions, gain emotional control, and improve the way you interact in relationships.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Treatment

Linked to meditation, the idea fo mindfulness is to simply be aware. This is useful in determining and identifying problem areas for CBT.

Rather than give in to an emotion when it arises, you learn to identify that the emotion is happening. Being aware gives you a modicum of control.

Most importantly, MBCT keeps you focused on the now, not letting past experience or future consequences inappropriately guide your current feeling.

Psychodynamic Treatment

Going into subconscious and unconscious territory, psychodynamic treatment looks at what you don’t know you know.

The idea behind the treatment relies on uncovering the source of conflict and working through the problem. Once you understand the lessons of your past, you know why you react in certain ways. From there, CBT addresses and redirects those reactions.

Other Methods

Those are the psychological treatments that have been developed for confronting depression. The next few are some biomechanical methods used to enhance psychological treatment.


Combinations of mood enhancers and chemical bolstering agents fall under antidepressant medications.

Diet and exercise also serve to regulate neurochemical balances. However, as it said, if your brain isn’t building what you need, store-bought is fine.

Electroconvulsive Treatment

Electroconvulsive treatment is no longer the fearful draconian nonsense of its past. How is depression treated by ECT?

Severe symptoms come from imbalances and receptor issues. As a treatment, ECT uses targeted impulses to improve mood.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

This treatment, rTMS, for short, works like ECT substituting magnets for shocks. You also find rTMS used to treat migraines and seizure disorders.

Reach Out

Dealing with depression often makes decisions difficult. It makes everything difficult. Exploring and entering into treatments for depression can seem like a step beyond for many.

Gaining an understanding of the processes and techniques is a big step. Wanting to get away from depression is the biggest step.

If you have further questions about treatment options, contact us and see how we can help you.

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