The 6 keys to understanding the psychological treatment of depression

Problems related to depression are among the most common reasons we find psychologists on a daily basis to treat patients.

This type of mood disorder it is one of the most prevalent psychopathologies among the population of Western countries: It is estimated that between 4 and 7% of the adult population has developed this disorder at some point, and to this must be added the fact that it can also occur in minors.

However, while depression isn’t exactly a rare occurrence if we stick to its presence in humans, the truth is that most people don’t know or understand too well the most basic aspects of it. disorder, or how it is treated. It is common to assume that this is a disease in which it is necessary to intervene by consuming pills, psychotropic drugs, but this is not true.

Therefore, we will see here a summary of psychological treatment for depression, Which goes beyond the world of medicine but is also very effective.

    The 6 main characteristics of psychotherapy applied to depression

    What is the goal of psychological intervention in depressed patients? What types of activities are carried out throughout the therapeutic process? How does the improvement occur? To answer these and other questions, here we will look at the basic aspects that define psychological treatment for depression.

    1. The goal is not to “block” sadness

    The goal psychologists agreed on with patients has nothing to do with eliminating sadness, for two reasons.

    The first is that it’s not even true that all depressed people feel sad, exactly; some describe how they feel in other words, such as hopelessness, reluctance to live and generally cranky, which is not exactly the same as being sad and has more to do with being sad. not finding a reason to feel aroused for the experiences it offers us. on a daily basis.

    The second is that it is impossible to completely negate sadness as well as any other emotion. The solution to the problem that a person goes through with depression is not to eliminate part of their emotional repertoire, but to make it uncompensated by feelings related to lack of motivation, pessimism, melancholy, grief, etc. Rather than subtracting sadness and other emotions often considered “negative”, it tries to facilitate the appearance of those which are not.

    2. The process takes months

    You probably already guessed it, but the main goal set in the first step of psychological management of depressed patients is never short-term. It is important that the process take several months, as otherwise, a level of frustration will arise which may lead to discontinuation of treatment, Which is totally counterproductive.

    Also, it makes sense that it would take several weeks to notice the first results; after all, depression is a disorder that manifests itself in almost every area of ​​the life of the person who develops it, and each of these emotionally painful situations acts as a kind of anchor that makes well-being difficult.

    The key is to gain momentum, so to speak, and get rid of those bad experiences that keep depression alive. This, which is given by the cumulative effect of small day-to-day behavioral changes, does not happen overnight.

    3. Not everything is based on introspection

    Many people come to a clinic believing that their depression can only be resolved by introspection, that is, by mental activity.

    The truth is that while psychological processes are very relevant in this regard, we must not forget that what is going through our mind it is totally linked to our way of relating to what is beyond ourselves: Our friends, our work, our projects, etc.

    These factors are considered of the utmost importance in any therapeutic process applied to depression. Which brings us to the next point.

    4. There are tasks to do between sessions

    The psychotherapeutic process continues to occur after the session with the psychologist is over. There are always guidelines to be followed throughout the day, and they have to do with improving self-awareness and applying strategies that help detach from actions that reproduce and reinforce symptoms of the disease. depression without realizing it.

      5. It is important not to skip sessions

      As long as therapy lasts, maintaining regular sessions with the psychologist is crucial, and failure to do so can hinder progress made so far.

      Fortunately, nowadays there are possibilities that make it easier to achieve this goal.Since online video call therapy allows you to have the support of a psychologist even when you are in another country, and there are many mental health professionals who provide this type of service.

      6. Associated psychological problems must also be treated

      Depression is a mood disorder that often appears along with other psychopathologies. For example, It is relatively common for people with anxiety or substance abuse disorders to develop it. (Chemical or non-chemical). In these cases, it makes no sense to treat only depression, as one psychopathology reinforces the other.

      Are you looking for psychotherapeutic support?

      In case you are looking for psychological help to directly treat low mood problems or clinical depression, contact us. Fr Cepsim Psychological Center we have over 20 years of experience in patient care, and we attend both our consultations located in Madrid, as well as through online therapy. On this page you will find our contact details.

      Bibliographical references:

      • American Psychiatric Association (2006). American Psychiatric Association Practice Guide for the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders: A Compendium 2006. American Psychiatric Pub.
      • Kessler, RC, Nelson, CB, McGonagle, KA, Liu, J., Swartz, M., Blazer, DG (1996). DSM-III-R major depressive disorder comorbidity in the general population: Findings from the US National Comorbidity Survey. The British Journal of Psychiatry. Extra charge. 168 (30): 17-30.
      • McCullough, JP (2003). Treatment of Chronic Depression: Psychotherapy Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System (CBASP). Guilford Press. ISBN 1-57230-965-2.
      • Muñoz, RF; Beardslee, WR; Leykin, Y. (2012). Major depression can be avoided. The American psychologist. 67 (4): pages 285 to 295.
      • Schmidtke, A., Bille-Brahe, U., DeLeo, D. et al. (1996). Suicide attempt in Europe: rate, trends and socio-demographic characteristics of suicide attempts during the period 1989-1992. Results of the WHO / EURO multicenter study on parasicides. Acta Psychiatr Scand, 93: 327-338.

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