Which type of therapy is right for me if I have depression or low mood?

As we’ve discussed in previous blogs (which you can find here), there are different types of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and counselling. We’ve highlighted the most effective treatments out there for depression specifically, as determined by research which guides the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). We’ll do another blog about treatments for different anxiety problems.

Depression

Depression is where you find yourself feeling very low in mood, lacking motivation, have physical symptoms such as headaches and fatigue, and generally feel quite bad about yourself. Additionally, children and teenagers might find that they are angrier and more irritable, rather than sad, when they are depressed. The guidelines for depression are quite lengthy, and vary for children, adolescents and adults. See below for a brief summary. For full details, you can visit the relevant NICE page here for adults, and here for children and adolescents.

Adults (age 18+) may be offered:

  • Group or online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Guided self-help (workbooks to work through, with the support of a trained practitioner to guide you, usually via telephone calls)
  • Individual CBT – this is what we offer at Brighter Life Therapy.
  • Behavioural activation  – similar to CBT, it’s designed to increase your activity levels to boost your mood
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT) – psychotherapy that focuses on your and your relationships in particular.
  • Behavioural couples therapy – recognising difficulties in the relationship which may be maintaining the depression and improving communication.
  • Medication may be prescribed instead of or in conjunction with any of these psychological therapies.

Teenagers aged 12-17 may be offered:

  • Online CBT
  • Group CBT, IPT or Non Directive Supportive Therapy (NDST – minimal techniques but rather active listening and support)
  • Individual CBT – this is what we offer at Brighter Life Therapy.
  • Medication such as Fluoxetine in conjunction with a psychological treatment.
  • If CBT doesn’t work, you might try IPT‑A (Interpersonal Therapy for Adolescents), family therapy (attachment-based or systemic), brief psychosocial intervention or psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Children aged 5-11 may be offered:

  • Online CBT
  • Group CBT, IPT or NDST
  • Individual CBT – this is what we offer at Brighter Life Therapy.
  • Family-based IPT
  • Family therapy – family-focused treatment for childhood depression
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – understanding the unconscious processes.
  • Medication such as Fluoxetine in conjunction with a psychological treatment.

As you can see, there are many different therapies recommended for depression. In the NHS, the type of therapy offered will depend on the nature and severity of the difficulties, and the available therapists in the service. Usually, group, online or guided self-help therapies will be offered first, as they are least intensive. These are called ‘low intensity interventions’. Individual or ‘high intensity’ therapy will then be prioritised for those who need more intensive support, or for whom the lower intensity interventions didn’t work for.

At Brighter Life Therapy, we specialise in ‘high intensity’ individual CBT, so this is the main one we offer. If you’re interested in CBT for depression, please do get in touch via the enquiry forms.

If you’d like CBT for depression, get in touch below:

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