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Video:How Can Counseling Help Depression?

with Gary Trosclair

In this About.com video, learn how counseling can help depression, and what medications are more effective in conjunction with psychotherapy.See Transcript

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Transcript:How Can Counseling Help Depression?

Hi, I'm Gary Trosclair. I'm a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City and Westchester County, New York. I'm also on the faculty of the Jung Institute of New York, where I teach clinical courses, and I supervise. I'm here for About.com to talk about how counseling can help depression.

Counseling can help depression by setting up a situation which fosters healing, change, and insight. I'll outline five ways in which that can happen, though there's certainly more ways than that. If any of these ways seem like they can be helpful to you, I'd suggest that you contact a counselor or psychotherapist for a consultation.

Medication and Depression

If you've decided to take medication for depression, you might want to know that medications are much more effective when used in conjunction with psychotherapy or counseling. First of all, counseling provides ongoing and reliable contact with a professional who'll be empathic, and who'll listen to what you're going through.

How Does Counseling Help Depression?

Being heard in itself is not enough to heal depression, but it is an important part of it. Many people who are depressed feel very bad about themselves and feel that no one would be interested in listening to them, and so they isolate themselves. Counseling can interrupt this pattern and help people to return to socializing. Counseling provides a safe place to express thoughts and feelings that might not feel safe expressed elsewhere. This also helps us to develop more comfort with being authentic, which will be helpful long after your last therapy session. Counseling helps us to gain insight into what initially caused the depression, and how we reacted to it, so that we can move on to live in ways that are more fulfilling.

These things aren't always as obvious as you might think, so it can be really helpful to have a trained professional to help you to find out what's going on beneath the surface. Counseling provides a place where we can slow down and go inside to see what we might be thinking or feeling that sustains the depression without our even knowing it. This helps us to see what we can do differently to stop the depression. 

Counseling provides a place where we can get help in challenging our thought patterns that contribute to the depression. In particular, it's really important to challenge self-critical thoughts. Self-blame and taking too much responsibility is often a byproduct of depression, and having a place to think about and to sort out what you are responsible for and what you're not responsible for can be very helpful.

Counseling can help us to see what's been left out of our lives and what's been left out of our personality so that we can see what might need to be added to move on from the depression. Sometimes depression is less about the past, and more about being able to live in the present and move onto the future by living in a different way. 

These are some of the ways that counseling can help depression. For more information, please visit About.com. Thanks for listening. 

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