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Healthy Minds


From time to time we will post articles on this website that will be of interest to our clients.  If you’re interested in any specific topics, please contact us.

How Psychotherapy Helps People Recover from Depression

Can Depression Be Successfully Treated?
Yes, it can. A person ‘s depression is highly treatable when he or she receives competent care. It is critical for people who suspect that they or a family member may be suffering from depression seek care from a licensed mental health professional who has training and experience in helping people recover from depression. Simply put, people with depression who do not seek help suffer needlessly. Unexpressed feelings and concerns accompanied by a sense of isolation can worsen a depression; therefore, the importance of getting appropriate help cannot be overemphasized.

How Does Psychotherapy Help People Recover from Depression?

Several approaches to psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and psychodynamic, help depressed people recover. Psychotherapy offers people the opportunity to identify the factors that contribute to their depression and to deal effectively with the psychological, behavioral, interpersonal and situational causes. Skilled therapists can work with depressed individuals to:

Pinpoint the life problems that contribute to their depression and help them understand which aspects of those problems they may be able to solve or improve.

A trained therapist can help depressed patients identify options for the future and set realistic goals that enable them to enhance their mental and emotional well-being. Therapists also help individuals identify how they have successfully dealt with similar feelings if they have been depressed in the past.
Identify negative or distorted thinking patterns that contribute to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that accompany depression
For example, depressed individuals may tend to overgeneralize, that is, to think of circumstances in terms of “always” or “never.” They may also take events personally. A trained and competent therapist can help nurture a more positive outlook on life.
Explore other learned thoughts and behaviors that create problems and contribute to depression
For example, therapists can help depressed individuals understand and improve patterns of interacting with other people that contribute to their depression.
Help people regain a sense of control and pleasure in life
Psychotherapy helps people see choices as well as gradually incorporate enjoyable, fulfilling activities back into their lives. Having one episode of depression greatly increases the risk of having another episode. There is some evidence that ongoing psychotherapy may lessen the chance of future episodes or reduce their intensity. Through therapy, people can learn skills to avoid unnecessary suffering from later bouts of depression.
In What Other Ways Do Therapists Help Depressed Individuals and Their Loved Ones?
The support and involvement of family and friends can play a crucial role in helping someone who is depressed. Individuals in the “support system” can help by encouraging a depressed loved one to stick with treatment and practice the coping techniques and problem-solving skills he or she is learning through psychotherapy. Living with a depressed person can be very difficult and stressful on family members and friends. The pain of watching a loved one suffer from depression can bring about feelings of helplessness and loss. Family or marital therapy may be beneficial in bringing together all the individuals affected by depression and helping them learn effective ways to cope together. This type of psychotherapy can also provide a good opportunity for individuals who have never experienced depression themselves to learn more about it and identify constructive ways of supporting a loved one who is suffering from depression.

Are Medications Useful for Treating Depression?

Medications can be very helpful for reducing the symptoms of depression in some people, particularly in cases of moderate to severe depression. Often a combination of psychotherapy and medications is the best course of treatment. However, given the potential side effects, any use of medication requires close monitoring by the physician who prescribes the drugs. Some depressed individuals may prefer psychotherapy to the use of medications, especially if their depression is not severe. By conducting a thorough assessment, a licensed and trained mental health professional can help make recommendations about an effective course of treatment for an individual’ s depression.

In Summary
Depression can seriously impair a person’s ability to function in everyday situations. But the prospects for recovery for depressed individuals who seek professional care are very good. By working with a qualified and experienced therapist, people suffering from depression can help regain control of their lives.

Reproduced from the American Psychological Association Help Center.

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Healthy Divorce: How to Make Your Split as Smooth as Possible

No one enters into a marriage expecting it to fail. Still, more than 20 percent of first marriages end in divorce within five years, and 48 percent of marriages dissolve by the 20-year mark, according to 2006-2010 data from the government’s National Survey of Family Growth.1 Separation and divorce are emotionally difficult events, but it is possible to have a healthy breakup.
Cooperation, communication and mediation

The end of a marriage typically unleashes a flood of emotions including anger, grief, anxiety and fear. Sometimes these feelings can rise up when you least expect them, catching you off guard.

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The Shame Game and ADHD: How to Overcome

The Shame Game and ADHD  by William Dodson, M.D.

Why people with ADHD struggle with feelings of shame and how they can overcome them.

Shame is Not Guilt

Shame is one of the oldest known English words that originally meant to “hide or cover up.” As such, shame is the hardest thing to deal with since it tends to be hidden and never addressed. Feeling shame is different than feeling guilt. Guilt focuses on what one has done. Shame focuses on who one is.

Feeling Separate and Unequal

For ADHDers, shame arises from the repeated failure to meet expectations

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