Are you experiencing emotional distress? Or are you looking for other ways to manage or overcome your depression? You may want to look into talk therapy. Also called talking treatment or talking therapy, it is used in treating mental health issues like anxiety and coping with emotional problems brought about by difficult events or experiences.
But how effective is talk therapy for depression? Is it the right treatment for you? These are some of the things we will answer in this article.
What Is Talk Therapy?
As the name suggests, this treatment or therapy is all about “talking it out” with a qualified professional like a counsellor in a confidential setting. It is meant to help people identify the cause or trigger of their mental health issues.
But talk therapy is not just for people suffering from depression or anxiety disorder. It is also for those experiencing emotional distress because of grief, trauma or extreme stress. The session provides a safe space for them to talk about their thoughts and feelings.
In talk therapy, the talk therapy specialist is there to listen to you without judgement. One of her essential tasks is to create an environment where you can freely share your thoughts and emotions.
The goal of talk therapy is to help you understand what you are going through and find ways to cope or avoid the issue. More importantly, it aims to make you feel good and have a better outlook on life.
Talk Therapy and Counselling: Are They the Same?
There are different approaches to talk therapy, and counselling is one of them. In counselling, the conversation is non-directive and open-ended. The counsellor provides support instead of offering advice and specific solutions. She will be there to listen to you, provide encouragement and empathise with you.
Unlike cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), counselling does not involve the therapist and the client working together to resolve the problem. What happens instead is that the counsellor supports you as you talk through your issue and find or determine the best solutions to cope with it.
Counselling can be helpful during or after a difficult life event such as the death of a loved one, divorce and serious illness. It could benefit people who are having a hard time coming to terms with what is happening or has happened to them.
Can Talk Therapy Help with Depression?
Yes, it can be useful for people who have depression. When used in conjunction with medications, talk therapy can effectively address depression.
Yet, despite studies showing that seeing a counsellor or therapist can benefit depressed individuals, the prevailing notion is that taking medications is a more cost-effective approach. This is because pills are inexpensive as compared to getting therapy.
However, a study found that neither approach is superior to the other. After five years, the costs and benefits of medications and counselling end up being equal. Hence, the researchers recommend that talk therapy be given as the first treatment option for individuals newly diagnosed with depression, especially if they are not comfortable taking medications.
But it should be noted that counselling is a good option only for those with mild to moderate depression. For people with major depression, taking medications or being hospitalised may be the best approach.
Talk Therapy for Depression: How to Make It Work for You
One thing you have to keep in mind is that talk therapy will only be effective if you find the right counsellor. Apart from having the qualification and experience, she should be someone you could trust and be comfortable with. Otherwise, you won’t be able to open up – honestly share your thoughts and feelings.
So, in your first session, pay attention to how the counsellor makes you feel. Find out if you can have a good relationship with her.
Also, talk therapy will only be effective if you are willing to do the work. This means being honest with yourself and your counsellor – sharing what you think and feel and letting your counsellor know if you have questions or issues about what she is doing.
Doing the work also means listening to your counsellor, following her instructions and completing the exercises. It also entails doing your homework outside of the sessions, e.g., keeping a mood diary and sleeping well.
In conclusion, talking to a qualified professional like a counsellor can be helpful if you have depression or experiencing emotional distress. It is an effective treatment provided that you work with the right professional and are willing to do the work needed to get better.
Are you looking for a Dublin-based clinic that offers talk therapy for depression? Our trained and experienced depression counsellors can help you feel better and overcome your issue. Call us today on 015240708 or send us a message here to schedule an appointment.