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Understanding Depression

Depression seems to be more common today than ever before. But that may just be because more people are talking about it.

Depression isn’t something to be stigmatized or embarrassed about. Depression is a state many of us can find ourselves in which does have treatment options and can be alleviated. Our founder, Jennifer Dawn Watts, experienced depression throughout her young life and into her 20s. She has been medication free and depression free for almost 10 years. While we may get depressed from time to time, a depression that lasts is a state that no one should have to live with.

How Therapists Treat Depression

Today, therapists treat depression in a number of different ways. Here are some of the most common depression treatment methods:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is one of the most well researched depression treatment methods available today. CBT relies on the assumption that a person’s emotions are directly related to their thoughts and behavior. Those who are depressed may experience a large number of negative emotions throughout the day. CBT aims to reverse these negative emotions through cognitive restructuring, which is where the therapist and patient work together to change thinking patterns. CBT also uses behavioral activation, where patients learn to overcome obstacles to participating in enjoyable activities. As a goal-oriented, science-based treatment method, CBT is remarkably effective and can be used to treat depression, anxiety, and other disorders.

Narrative Therapy: Narrative therapy involves the patient telling a story from his or her past. The therapist then analyzes this story to determine its impact on the patient’s current depression and current life. For example, the therapist may ask the patient to describe a time she felt unfairly judged. From that story, the therapist may infer that the patient has always felt that others saw her as worthless. This relatively new treatment technique works on the theory that therapists should become involved with their patients’ personal narratives to gain a more holistic approach to psychological therapy.

Solution Focused Therapy: Solution focused therapy builds off the assumption that patients can work towards certain solutions to improve their lives. Rather than therapy being “problem saturated” the focus is on solutions, and on the resources patients possess that they may not even be aware that they have. The patient thinks about how things are going to be better in the future using specific Solution Focused methods and techniques and then works towards those solutions with the help of a trained therapist. Instead of focusing on the past, solution focused therapy targets current solutions and working toward a better future.

Interpersonal therapy: Interpersonal depression therapy involves targeting various relationships in the patient’s life. In many depression cases, patients are upset about various relationships with coworkers, friends, or family members. The therapist helps the patient improve these relationships and live a healthier social life.
Ultimately, successfully curing depression is no different than being successful in other areas of life: it often takes using the proven benefits of multiple approaches, implementing these and navigating difficulties along the way. If you are willing to put in the work and invest in yourself, a therapist can explain their approach to treating depression and tailor a treatment plan to your needs. Ultimately finding a therapist with an approach you’re comfortable with, and a personality that fits for you, is what’s important to finding freedom, and happiness again.

How Living Well Can Help

The best way to deal with depression is to seek the assistance of a therapist that specializes in depression counselling. Living Well therapists use a variety of research-based forms of treatment which have proven effective time and time again.

Our therapists are non-judgmental and seek to provide a safe space where clients can move forward to find hope and discover a way out of depression.
Choosing the right counsellor is an important part of solving depression problems. That’s why we strive to connect each and every patient with a counselor that understands their unique needs. We are happy to schedule a free 20 minute consultation. During the consultation, your counsellor can learn more about you and you can decide for yourself if their approach sounds like a good fit.

If your depression is severe and you’re currently suicidal, we ask that you please call Calgary’s Distress Centre at 403-266-HELP (403-266-4357). We are not a crisis counselling team and require time to respond to each appointment request. We do not offer same day counselling or walk in appointments.

If you have stabilized through crisis intervention work but still have suicidal thoughts, as long as you are not actively contemplating suicide currently we can help. Please contact us and we’ll discuss working through the deeper issues to move you toward longer term results.