What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Depression?


The cognitive-behavioral treatment of depression is a highly structured, practical, and effective intervention for patients suffering from depression. This type of therapy treats depression by identifying and addressing the behaviors and thinking patterns that cause and maintain depression. This therapy focuses on your present, here-and-now thoughts and behaviors. You and your therapist will look at how actions, or lack of actions, contribute to your feeling bad or good. There are actions you can take to start feeling better. You and your therapist will also look at the negative and unrealistic ways of thinking that may make you feel depressed. Therapy can give you the tools to think more realistically and feel better. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, you and your therapist will first identify your symptoms and how mild or severe they are. You will be asked to fill out forms or standardized questionnaires that can scientifically measure your symptoms. These may include the Beck Depression Inventory, the Symptom Checklist Revised, the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test, or other questionnaires. In the initial meetings, you will be asked to select goals you wish to attain-such as increasing self-esteem, improving communication, reducing shyness, or decreasing hopelessness and loneliness. You and your therapist will monitor your progress in therapy by referring to your initial measures of symptoms and your movement toward the goals that you establish.