What may be most important, however, is that you find a therapist you feel you can trust enough to be open and honest when you’re talking about what’s going on. It may take a few sessions to build up that trust, and you may even have to shop around a little before settling on someone to work with. But you probably won’t get much out of the experience if you feel like you have to hide what’s really going on to please your therapist. In fact, keeping your thoughts and feelings to yourself can worsen your depression, especially if you do so because you feel ashamed of having them, or like you ought to be able to handle things yourself. It’s important to realize that your depression is an illness, not a weakness, and that you can’t just “snap out of it.” You need to talk your way through it in order to see exactly how it is affecting you, and discover the best ways to reduce its effects on you.
Types of Therapy
The different types of therapy primarily reflect differences in the techniques and tools your therapist will be most likely to utilize. Although some therapists strictly stick to the toolbox their particular school of therapy is most familiar with, many therapists these days are able and willing to use the tools provided by several therapeutic approaches, so you shouldn’t necessarily assume that you have to pick one approach or another. The more you know about all the proven techniques and approaches, the better you and your therapist will be able to work together to find the approaches that will help you address the particular issues you need to work on. Three of the most common and effective psychotherapies for depression include cognitive/behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic therapy.
Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Technically, “cognitive” and “behavioral” therapies are two distinct kinds of therapy. But in practice, the two are most often joined together, because research has shown that this combination is more effective for treating depression than either approach by itself. The basic idea behind CBT is that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected together by two-way streets. Therefore, if you make a change in one area (how you think, for example), it will lead to changes in both of the others (how you feel and behave). It is a "here and now" approach—it doesn’t really matter which problem came first, or where it came from originally.