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Can counselling help depression?

Depression is a word that is often banded around carelessly but what does it actually mean. This blog will discuss what depression actually is, how common it is and ways that one can seek help.

What is depression

Depression is a common mental health issue with 1 in 6 people experiencing depression in their lifetime. You might be wondering how counselling can help and the thought of talking to a stranger about your problems may make you feel worse. Firstly, it seems important to identify what depression is. Depression can affect people in different ways but generally speaking, it is when you have been experiencing some or all of the following feelings for weeks, months or years. You may feel angry, tired, irritable and tearful. You may experience a loss of sex drive, appetite, concentration and self-esteem. It’s common to lose interest in the things you used to enjoy which can lead to a loss of hope for the future. Of course, everyone experiences days when they feel low but depression is when this has been happening for an extended period of time.

How can counselling help

A counsellor will listen to you without judgement and you will be in a safe space whereby you can explore your thoughts and feelings. It may be that you are acknowledging some emotions for the first time and this may come as a surprise to you but accepting them may bring some relief. A counsellor’s job is to listen and be with you entirely in the session but it’s important to know that there may also be times when your beliefs about yourself and the language that you use is challenged and reflected upon. Your counsellor will help you to work towards acceptance and compassion towards yourself.

Different types of therapy

There are many different types of therapy available which can help in the recovery of depression in different ways.

  • Interpersonal therapy will likely help you to make sense of your relationships with others and how they are affecting you.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you to change the way you think and behave which in turn can help you to manage depression.
  • Person centred and psychodynamic therapy helps by exploring the past and then working through any root causes of depression.

Seeking help

As a Psychodynamic therapist, my training is based on the significance of the past, in particular our childhood and the relationships that we had with our caregivers. The important thing is that people find the right therapist and modality for them. Counsellors are not usually medically trained and it’s essential that people experiencing depressive symptoms go to visit their GP for any medical advice that may be required.

If you need immediate mental health support, the following organisations are here to help:

Samaritans or call 116123.

NHS Mental Health helpline.