Wednesday, February 21, 2024

How To Talk To Your Therapist About Depression

Tell Your Therapist About What Kept You Up Last Night

How Talk Therapy Works

Depression and anxiety can both involve rumination, or a tendency to go over the same thoughts repeatedly.

If you had a hard time falling asleep one night this week because your mind wouldnt stop thinking about something you wish youd done or you worried about something coming up, thats often a great place to start your session.

Does Therapy For Depression Work For Teens And Young Adults

Teenagers face different challenges than adults, and regular counseling with a trusted therapist can help to make sense of the rapid changes in life that can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety. Therapy can be a very effective tool for teens and young adults, to begin to understand their depression and create actionable solutions that work. Regular mental therapy sessions can give you the tools that you need to understand what you are feeling, and how to effectively manage those feelings to be happier and healthier.

One important thing to remember is that your therapist cannot solve your problems for you. They will make suggestions and help guide your journey, but it is up to you to make the positive changes and put in the work to improve your mental health.

Therapy is an empowering experience that can make a real difference in your life. Reach out today, and begin to work towards a brighter future.

Mental Health Support From An Experienced Team

While the topic of mental health has been taboo in the past, people are starting to be more open in their conversations about these issues. The stigma about mental health is changing as talk therapy becomes more commonplace. People of all ages benefit from mental health support and are open about their experiences with friends and family.

If you feel the urge to take a proactive approach to treat depression, then a skilled therapist is a great resource. These therapy appointments help you explore current thought patterns and depression symptoms. As you build an ongoing relationship with your therapist, you can dive deeper into the core issues.

Over time, talk therapy helps you feel empowered because you are utilizing tools that help you manage your symptoms and emotions. Talk therapy, along with other healthy lifestyle habits, can be an effective way to treat depression and help you enjoy a fulfilled life once again.

For more information about treating depression and other types of mental health conditions, reach out to our caring team at Lifeworks Counseling Center. We provide a comfortable environment and knowledgeable therapists who can help with your unique needs.

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If You Find It Hard To Remember How You Felt During The Week Take Notes Out Of Session

In other words, keep a journal between therapy sessions. This can be especially helpful if youre shy or find it difficult to remember things on the spot.

Of course, you dont have to bring your journal with you or read from it in session. But writing things down allows you to look for patterns in your feelings and behaviors that you might want to address with your therapist, Small says.

For instance, a person may observe that they have been feeling inadequate or insecure and this would be a good thing to address with their therapist, she says.

Can Counseling Help With Depression

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Depression is a mood disorder that affects an estimated 16 million American adults per year. Depression has the ability to affect how you feel and interact with the people around you, as well as how you go through your everyday life. It is mostly known for the feelings of sadness that it brings on. However, depression can also bring on feelings of loss of interest and loss of happiness. The condition can affect anyone and it can happen at any age.

You are not alone if you are depressed, and it is important to note that it can be treated. There are reports that up to 90% of people suffering from depression respond well to treatment. The reason for this is the therapeutic process. It is necessary for you to find the correct psychologist, psychotherapist, or counselor to understand the underlying causes of your depression, so they can develop the right strategies to help you feel better.

While we have been saying a lot about treating depression, we have not gone into depth about the different types of depression. In this next section, we will go into the types of depression that you may be experiencing.

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Questions To Ask Your Doctor

During your appointment, youll also want to ask questions to clarify things that you dont understand. In order to prepare for your appointment, below is a list of questions that you may want to consider asking depending on how the appointment goes.

  • Is it possible that my symptoms are being caused by some other underlying condition?
  • How long will it take before I start to feel better?
  • What course of treatment do you recommend?
  • What types of therapy do you recomend?
  • What types of medication do you recommend? What are the benefits and drawbacks to each?
  • How long will I be taking medication? How can I tell if its working? What should I do if I miss a dose? What do I do if I dont like how it makes me feel?
  • Are there complementary therapies I could use to manage my symptoms?
  • Are there lifestyle changes I can make to help manage depression?
  • When should I come back for a follow-up appointment?
  • When will I hear about a referral?
  • What should I do if I find myself in a crisis?

What Type Of Talk Therapy Is Best For Depression

There are many different kinds of talk therapy. The two most commonly used for depression are cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy. CBT focuses on looking at how negative thought patterns may be affecting your mood. The therapist helps you learn how to make positive changes in your thoughts and behaviors. Interpersonal therapy focuses on how you relate to others and helps you make positive changes in your personal relationships. Both types of therapy can be effective in treating depression.

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Have You Ever Seen A Therapist Or Counselor Before

Your therapist might ask if youve ever seen a therapist, counselor, psychiatrist or other mental health professional before.

If you have, make sure to let them know. Your therapist might ask about your past experiences with therapy, as well as the specific aspects of therapy that you found helpful and rewarding or difficult and uncomfortable.

If youve never seen a therapist before, your therapist may spend more time helping you to feel comfortable and familiar with the therapeutic process.

Bring Up How You Feel The Sessions Haven’t Been Valuable For You So Far

Your First Therapy Appointment | Therapy Talk

Honesty, honesty, HONESTY.

The ability to open up and talk about your faults is needed. So is the ability to tell your therapist that the sessions have not been helpful so far.

Your therapist has many ways of working with different individuals. They might have guessed wrong with you, and thats ok because they too are only human.

If you dont tell them that the interactions so far havent worked, they wont adapt.

Like any other professional you might hire in your life, not everyone works out. This conversation may be a good time to agree that they will help you find another therapist.

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What Kinds Of Talk Therapy Are There

CBT or Cognitive Behavior Therapy is goal-oriented and works best when the patient takes an active role. One aspect of CBT helps a person recognize the automatic thoughts or core beliefs that contribute to negative emotions. The therapist helps the person see that some of these thoughts and beliefs are false or dont make sense and helps the person change them. The behavioral aspect of CBT takes place after a person has a more calm state of mind. The person can then take actions that help him or her move closer to planned goals. For example, if depression has caused someone to withdraw from life, that person may be encouraged to participate in hobbies or spend time with friends. Or a person may be gently coached, under supervision, to confront situations, things, or people that cause fear or panic. Through practice, a person learns new, healthier behaviors.

DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. The therapist assures the person that their behavior and feelings are valid and understandable. At the same time, the therapist coaches the person to understand that it is their personal responsibility to change unhealthy or disruptive behavior. The therapist reminds the person when their behavior is unhealthy or disruptivewhen boundaries are oversteppedand then teaches the skills needed to better deal with future similar situations. Often times DBT involves both individual and group therapy.

What Kind Of Therapist Should I See For Depression

Various kinds of mental health specialists offer talk therapy:

  • Psychiatrists. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who treats mental illnesses. While some psychiatrists only see patients to prescribe medication, others also provide talk therapy. In most states, psychiatrists are the only mental health professionals who can prescribe medication.
  • Psychologists. A psychologist can help you learn how to manage your depression and teach you ways to cope.
  • Social workers, counselors, or therapists. These mental health professionals can also help you learn to manage depression and teach you coping skills.

No matter what type of therapist you see, look for someone you feel comfortable talking to. âYour comfort level with the therapist is much more important than what kind of degree that person has,â says Eric Endlich, PhD, a Boston-based clinical psychologist. âTherapy is generally much more successful if you like your therapist and have a good relationship with that person.â

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How Would You Describe Your Partner Friends Or Family

If someone else plays a significant role in your life, its important to let your therapist know about how they treat you and how you feel around them.

Your therapist may ask you certain questions about your relationships with other people, or about your family dynamics, your interactions with friends, etc.

These can offer insight into how you connect with others, identify the people that are there for you and show you how strong your support network is.

While talking about your relationships with other people may feel unusual, remember that your therapist isnt there to judge you.

How To Talk To Your Parents About Therapy

Depressed Woman Talking With Her Therapist Stock Photo ...

The thought of talking to your parents about therapy can be scary especially if they dont really understand what you are going through or seem willing to try. So start by explaining a little bit about the way youve been feeling lately. Tell them you believe that having proper support and educated advice is the best route to take for many reasons, some of which you might want to share too.

Remember that everyone in life needs help with something at some time. Theres no shame in explaining to your parents that while you dont know exactly what you need or how it all works, you would like to give therapy a try so you can start feeling better. Our article on How To Tell Your Parents You Need Therapy will help you work through this difficult time.

If you are already in therapy and want to open up about your mental health or therapy progress, a therapist can help teach you ways to talk to your parents. You might want to explain your thoughts or feelings or there may be parts of your therapy journey that you want to share along the way. Soif what you want is to talk to your parents about therapy, one thing you can talk about in therapy is how to talk to your parents! Because you never know, you might want them as a source of support or encouragement outside of therapy.

You can also suggest certain therapy techniques to your family that allow for all members to work together, one of these therapy techniques is structural family therapy.

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What Are The Types Of Talk Therapy

Choosing the right therapist is just part of the equation. Youll also want to read up on the different approaches to talk therapy. The good news? There are a lot of options, which means youll likely find one that works for you.

There are five broad categories of psychotherapy, according to the American Psychological Association. These approaches include:

  • Behavioral therapy. The goal of behavioral therapy is to reduce or eliminate self-destructive or unhealthy behaviors by addressing them and also reinforcing desirable behaviors.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. Therapists who use cognitive therapy focus more on what you think rather than what you do.
  • Humanistic therapy. Within humanistic therapy are three subtypes: client-centered therapy, Gestalt therapy, and existential therapy.
  • Psychodynamic therapy. This approach takes a dive into the unconscious meanings and motivations of your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. In psychodynamic therapy, a trusting relationship between the therapist and the client is ideally developed. Some people will refer to this as talk therapy.
  • Holistic or integrative therapy. Rather than focusing on one style, therapists who use an integrative style of therapy blend elements from different theories to create a style that meets their clients needs.

Mental health professionals use certain styles of talk therapy when treating specific conditions like anxiety or depression, which are the most common mental health conditions.

Talk About Yourself And Your Self

Self-destructive behaviors arent always physical they can be emotional too. In therapy, you can start to dig into some of the consistent thoughts you have about yourself.

While you might not be fully aware that youre doing it or able to explain specific thought patterns, maybe you often tell yourself you arent attractive or smart enough.

Just start by describing yourself. Talk to your therapist about the way you feel about any aspect of yourself. Our short term thoughts greatly effect our long term vision of ourselves.

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Therapy Does Not Fix You Because You Are Not Broken

This is one of the areas where therapy and medical treatment vastly differ. With medical treatment, the best outcome is a cure where you eradicate the illness and ensure it doesnt return. In therapy, this isnt possible because mental illnesses, negative beliefs and maladaptive behaviors are not diseases.

Therapy helps clients uncover strengths and learn new skills that will allow them to deal with the challenges that arise in life, counselor Crystal Johnson told Talkspace. A successful therapy experience does not mean a client is cured, it means the person has the inner and outer resources to deal with the ups and downs of life.

This is how I feel about my therapy experience. Therapy has reduced some of the psychosomatic symptoms of my mental illness, but its not going to eradicate it. It is mostly a tool for me to better cope with my problems. It cant fix me because I was never broken.

How Do I Know Which Kind Of Therapy Is Right For Me

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There are many different approaches when it comes to therapy. Therapists may train in one approach or use a number of different methods. Some use specialist techniques for example, an art therapist would use art to help you explore your feelings. Others offer specialist treatment for specific issues such as addictions or eating disorders.

It can be easy to be overwhelmed by the number of different types of talking therapy out there. Dont let that put you off. We go through some different types below, but the most important thing is the relationship you have with your therapist. Trusting them and feeling comfortable opening up means you will get the most from your sessions, no matter what approach they use.

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When To Stop Therapy Or Counseling

When to stop therapy depends on you and your individual situation. Ideally, you will stop therapy when you and your therapist have decided that you have met your goals. However, you may feel at some point that you have gotten what you need out of therapy, even if your therapist feels differently.

Leaving therapy can be difficult. Remember that the therapeutic relationship is a strong bond, and ending this relationship is a loss even if treatment has been successful. Talk about this with your therapist. These feelings are normal. Its not uncommon for people to go back briefly to a therapist from time to time as needs arise.

If Youve Truly Run Out Of Things To Say Ask Yourself Whether Its Time To End Therapy

Psychotherapy isnt meant to last forever. So, if you used to find it easy to think of things to talk about, and now youre not, it might be a sign youve reached an end point.

Its perfectly normal to feel like you dont need therapy after a while. As a therapist, we want to work ourselves out of a job, says Small.

But before you quit, make sure youre ending therapy because you truly got what you needed out of your sessions, and not just because youre dissatisfied with your therapist.

A 2019 study of 99 adolescents ages 11 to 17, for example, found that people who ended therapy out of dissatisfaction had poorer outcomes than those who left because they felt they got what they needed.

To tell the difference, Rapoport recommends thinking back to your first session. Does it feel like you accomplished what you set out to accomplish? If so, have you identified new goals along the way that you could shift to instead?

If youre continuing to feel like youre learning more about yourself, or youre gathering new information and resources, its usually a sign that youre still getting something out of therapy, she continues. If it feels like youve stalled, or that youre not getting anything from your sessions that you wouldnt be able to get from a conversation with someone else, it might be time to take a break.

Keep in mind that you dont need to stop abruptly. You can always talk with your therapist about putting more time between sessions and seeing how you feel.

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