Depression is a serious mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Among many different treatments, finding the right one can seem overwhelming.
In this article, we will discuss how to find a therapist who can help you manage and treat your depression. We’ll also explain more about the symptoms of this condition, and how it can be overcome.
Want to skip right to the suggestions for depression therapists? Here are our 2 recommended therapy solutions:
Depression therapists near me
In this part of the article, we’ve looked at two services you can use to find a depression therapist near you or online.
BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that connects individuals in need with licensed therapists who provide personalized, evidence-based treatment for a range of emotional and behavioral issues, including depression.
These professionals offer a variety of different therapeutic approaches, with a focus on talk therapies such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for depression.
Therapy sessions on BetterHelp last between 30 to 45 minutes, and can be conducted over the phone, by live chat, or via video call. You also have the ability to message your therapist in between each counseling session.
Being able to message your therapist at any time allows you to receive immediate feedback from your counselor, which can help in treating the behavioral symptoms of depression.
To get started with BetterHelp, you can visit their website and choose between individual, couples or child therapy. If you need couples or child therapy, BetterHelp will transfer you to one of their sister websites – ReGain or Teen Counseling.
After creating an account, BetterHelp will ask you a few demographic questions, as well as questions about your overall physical and psychological health. Here, you can specify your preferences in a therapist, such as their gender, religion, and whether they are LGBTQ+ affirming.
If you’re not satisfied with your therapist, you can request another one at any time without providing any specific reason. Also, you can cancel the subscription whenever you like, without facing cancellation fees.
TherapyTribe is an online directory of therapists who specialize in the treatment of various mental health issues, including depression.
To find a therapist through TherapyTribe, you can visit their website and use the search function to enter your location and the issue you’re dealing with, such as depression. This will generate a list of therapists in your area who specialize in the treatment of depression.
You can then browse through the profiles of different therapists to learn more about their background, training, and approach to therapy. If you click on their name, you can read the therapist’s biography, and find out about what kind of treatment they offer, their licensing, experience, and whether or not they accept insurance.
If you’ve found the right therapist or if you need more information, you can view their phone number or email address next to their name and get in contact.
In addition to the therapist directory, TherapyTribe also offers a support community where you can join a “tribe” of people going through similar issues to you.
This includes a forum where you can connect with others people, as well as articles and blog posts on topics related to depression.
What is depression?
Depression is a common mental health disorder that falls under the group of so-called depressive disorders. It comes in many forms, including seasonal depression, dysthymia, postpartum depression, and major depressive disorder.
Some of the key symptoms of depression include persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness, followed by behavioral symptoms, such as a lack of interest in activities you normally enjoy.
Various factors can contribute to depression, including genetics, chemical imbalances in the brain, life experiences, and underlying physical conditions. Even though some groups are more prone to depression, it can impact people of any age, race, or socioeconomic background.
The symptoms of depression
Depression can manifest itself in a variety of different ways, and it has a lot of symptoms to look out for, including behavioral, emotional, and cognitive symptoms.
It’s important to note that not everyone with depression will experience all of these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary widely from person to person.
Behavioral symptoms of depression include:
- Decreased energy and fatigue
- Changes in appetite and sleep patterns
- Changes in activity levels (either increased or decreased)
- Difficulty functioning at work or school
- Social isolation and withdrawal from social activities
- Difficulty performing daily tasks and self-care activities
- Changes in libido (sex drive)
Cognitive symptoms of depression include:
- Negative or pessimistic thoughts about oneself, the future, and the world
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
- Distorted thought patterns or errors in thinking
- Memory problems
- Difficulty seeing the positive side of things or finding hope
- Negative self-esteem or self-worth
Emotional symptoms of depression include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness
- Loss of interest in activities
- Difficulty experiencing pleasure
- Difficulty feeling happy or experiencing positive emotions
- Mood swings
- Increased irritability or frustration
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
Who can help with depression?
There are a variety of professionals who can help to treat depression and its symptoms.
In this part of the article, we’ve explained the different credentials and qualifications to look for when you’re searching for a depression therapist or counselor.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the treatment of mental health disorders, including depression. They can diagnose mental health conditions and prescribe medication, but not all of them are licensed to provide psychotherapy.
In order to provide therapy, psychiatrists have to finish additional training in a specific focus area, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, gestalt therapy, or psychoanalysis.
These professionals are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat mental health disorders, including depression. Just like psychiatrists, they need to finish additional training in some of the above-mentioned psychotherapeutic approaches before they can provide therapy.
Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists do not have medical degrees and cannot prescribe medications, but they will usually work with psychiatrists if medication is needed.
Licensed professional counselors (LPCs)
Licensed professional counselors can provide talk therapy and counseling. They usually have a narrower scope of practice than psychologists and psychiatrists.
Unlike psychologists, LPCs cannot provide psychological testing, and unlike psychiatrists, they cannot prescribe medication. However, their knowledge and skillsets can be valuable in the treatment of depression.
What kind of therapy is used to treat depression?
Depression can be treated with a variety of psychotherapeutic methods and tools. However, the effectiveness of each method depends on the severity of the issue and your personal responsiveness to this type of treatment.
In this part of the article, we’ve looked at some of the most common psychotherapeutic approaches used to treat depression.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
A cognitive-behavioral therapist (CBT) approaches the treatment of depression by helping the individual to identify and change negative patterns of thought and behavior that may be contributing to their condition.
This may involve techniques such as:
1. Identifying and challenging negative thoughts
A CBT therapist will work with the patient to identify negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves, the world, and the future that may be contributing to their depression. The goal would be to replace these thoughts with more realistic and positive ones.
2. Setting goals and problem-solving
Setting realistic goals for improving mood and functioning is the next step when treating depression with CBT. This psychotherapeutic approach heavily emphasizes the importance of actionable skills and strategies that you can use when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
3. Teaching coping skills
A CBT therapist will teach the individual skills for managing their symptoms, such as relaxation techniques, healthy ways of coping with stress, and effective communication skills.
4. Encouraging positive activities
In order to improve their mood and increase their sense of self-worth, individuals going through CBT treatment are encouraged to engage in activities that bring them pleasure and a sense of accomplishment.
This psychotherapeutic approach focuses on the unconscious mind and early childhood experiences as a way to understand the underlying causes of the individual’s negative thoughts and behaviors.
A psychodynamic therapist might encourage you to speak freely about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences without censoring yourself. The therapist would listen for patterns or themes in your responses and help you explore the meaning and significance behind them.
Some of the techniques used to understand the unconscious meaning behind thought patterns and behaviors are interpreting dreams, free associations, and slips of the tongue, also known as “Freudian slips.”
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a type of therapy that combines Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness techniques in the treatment of depression.
Much like regular CBT, MBCT focuses on helping the individual to recognize and change negative patterns of thought and behavior that may be contributing to their depression.
It also teaches mindfulness skills, which involve paying attention to present-moment experiences in a non-judgmental way.
One of the techniques used in MBCT is mindfulness meditation, like focusing on your breathing, in order to cultivate present-moment awareness and acceptance.
The goal is to develop a more accepting and compassionate relationship with your thoughts and emotions, rather than trying to suppress or eliminate them. This can help individuals to become more resilient and better able to cope with negative thoughts and emotions when they arise.
Psychopharmacologic therapy, also known as medication treatment, involves the use of prescription medications to treat mental health disorders, including depression.
The most commonly used medications for depression are antidepressants, which work by altering the levels of certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters.
There are several different types of antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
These medications can take several weeks to start working, and the right medication and dosage for an individual may take some trial and error to determine. Also, these antidepressants often have side effects that vary from person to person.
It’s important to note that medication alone is not usually sufficient to treat depression. Many people with depression also benefit from therapy.
Is online therapy an effective treatment for depression?
There is evidence to suggest that online therapy, also known as teletherapy, can be an effective treatment for depression. A number of studies have found that online therapy is at least as effective as in-person therapy for treating depression.
One advantage of online therapy is that it can be more convenient and accessible, particularly for individuals who live in rural or underserved areas, or those who have mobility or transportation challenges.
Online therapy can also be more flexible, as it allows individuals to schedule sessions at times that are convenient for them and to access therapy from any location with an internet connection.
It’s important to note that online therapy is not suitable for everyone, and it may not be as effective for individuals who are experiencing severe symptoms of depression, or who have complex mental health needs.
One of the downfalls of online therapy is that not every platform employs psychiatrists, which means that access to prescription medication is limited.
If you’re experiencing severe depression symptoms, the best thing to do would be to consult a mental health professional in person, as they can provide a closer level of support, and point you in the direction of a psychiatrist if you require medication to treat your depression.
Depression is one of the most common mental health issues people face, and there are many different approaches to treating it. Finding the most suitable treatment is the first step toward getting better.
If you still aren’t sure how to find the right depression therapist, or if you have any questions about treating this condition, feel free to leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you.