Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression

02/10/2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Latest News,Lifestyle,Mind Matters

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression

Written by Joanna Fishman for Associated Counsellors 

In this age of advanced modern medicine, it is a depressing fact that not all people suffering with depressive illness, respond to anti-depressants. The mental health charity Mind UK, recently highlighted their concern that there is a serious need for a range of therapies to be made available to depression sufferers. According to the best psychological working practices, medication is now considered to be only one option for effectively treating the illness.

Talking therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (or CBT) have been proved effective at alleviating melancholic symptoms in several trials around the world. Here in Australia, the Australian Psychological Society has identified a serious need for psychotherapeutic interventions in the lives of people with depression.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT is known as a talking therapy, and as such it is also know as a form of psychotherapy. You work with a specially trained psychologist to make positive steps in changing the way you think and feel. It’s a: thinking and doing therapy, through a therapist. Committing to CBT means that you accept that the things you do in life, will affect your emotions and reasoning. Therapists help you to learn skills and strategies for changing negative thinking. This helps many people to learn to cope with depressive illness.

Managing Depression

A recent study was carried out in the UK, which looked at the benefits of CBT for managing depression. The study was carried out over a period of 12 months. Sufferers were each allocated a one-hour CBT session each week for the period of the trial. After a period of 6 months, 46% of the group who had been previously resistant to medication reported a reduction in depressive symptoms. The study concluded that CBT can improve quality of life, by reducing the severity of the illness.

Further Research

Research conducted in 2012 was published in the: “Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry”. The study involved a review being conducted of Australian National Health data from a survey. Researchers became interested in the period between 2001 and 2006, when better access to psychological treatment was made available in Australia. The study showed that between the years 2001 and 2008, when the health care reforms came in, there was a drop in the use of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications.

In a publication of the Australian Psychological Society’s publication “InPsych” a comparison was made between medication and psychological treatments for depression. CBT is currently recognised in Australia as being a viable and effective way of treating mental illnesses like depression.
It is important to outline that CBT is not intended to be a substitute for medication. In many cases it will serve to compliment any medicine from the family doctor or psychiatrist. However, in cases where people are resistant to drugs, CBT offers an alternative while new medicines are being developed. It is also worth noting that it is highly unlikely that one standard form of any therapy will ever work for everyone.

In Australia today, there is still a shortage of trained psychiatrists. The right of psychologists to prescribe medication is now a subject for debate. If this becomes reality, the therapist will then be able to evaluate each patient’s needs, and only prescribe drugs when necessary.

There is a general feeling that people may be relying too heavily on drugs, prescribed by physicians who have no idea about a person’s psychological wellbeing.

Family doctors have little or no psychological training to rely on. This is a second-best option for people in distress and it is not working in all cases.

Written by Joanna Fishman for Associated Counsellors 


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