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How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Can Help Depression

person in counseling learning how cognitive-behavioral therapy can help depression

When you or a loved one is living with depression, all aspects of life may be negatively affected, from home life to work and hobbies. However, since depression is widespread, its symptoms and treatment are well understood. Many evidence-based interventions are available to help, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression. 

If you’re located in or near Washington State and wonder how cognitive-behavioral therapy can help depression, contact Northpoint Seattle today. Our friendly staff is eager to tell you more about our range of mental health and addiction recovery offerings.

Call 888.483.6031 or fill out our online form to get started.

What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and How Does It Work in Depression Treatment?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a prevalent modern form of one-on-one counseling with a high success rate and diverse applications. It combines cognitive therapy’s emphasis on thoughts and moods with behavioral therapy’s focus on behavior and action. While it’s often effective for working with depression, CBT can also help people living with conditions like anxiety, OCD, insomnia, PTSD, panic attacks, phobias, and more. Moreover, many therapists combine CBT with other therapeutic modalities to create a customized program and maximize impact. 

CBT depression treatment explicitly helps clients learn to identify their negative cognitions (thoughts) and the behavior or action that stems from them. Once they can pinpoint the areas where their thoughts self-sabotage, they gain more agency in rerouting emotions and behavior in healthy and self-affirming directions. Often, ill-adaptive thoughts occur habitually, triggered by life stressors such as a challenging job or a complex family dynamic. A good CBT therapist will empathize with their client’s challenges and help them discover how to gain more power over aspects they can control, i.e., their reactions.

A few common areas CBT clients often examine in relationship to depression are:

  • Lack of equal attention to positive aspects of situations
  • Black-and-white thinking that doesn’t support a nuanced and accurate view of reality
  • Habituated adverse reactions such as self-scolding or putting oneself down either internally or aloud

People in CBT can also focus work on overcoming the tendency to filter out positives and fixate on negative information.

What Are Some of the Key Benefits of CBT for Depression? 

There are many advantages of cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression, including:

  • Relatively short duration for effectiveness – CBT may produce significant results in around 20 sessions, unlike other therapy styles. That said, therapists can also customize it so it lasts much longer. For people working with depression that causes severe damage to their quality of life, an efficient intervention like this can be a game-changer.
  • Personal agency restoration – Depression can make a person feel disinterested and powerless throughout their life. CBT works explicitly to combat this by giving power back to the client to affect real change whenever stressful or alienating situations arise in their daily lives. 
  • Fits nicely into dual diagnosis care – Many people living with depression also struggle with substance abuse. CBT is a regular component of most addiction rehab programs precisely because of its high success rates in coping with cravings and maintaining a commitment to sobriety over time. 

CBT for depression also pairs well with medication. Sometimes, the best way to treat depression is through a combined approach. Medication such as antidepressants can vastly improve mood and functionality for those who need them. Pairing a pharmaceutical intervention with therapy, such as CBT, helps keep the client engaged in their treatment. It provides coping strategies and tools that allow the medication’s impact to integrate more fully. 

Call Today to Learn More About CBT Depression Treatment at Northpoint Seattle

If you or someone you care about is struggling with depression, remember that you’re not alone, and practical support such as CBT is available to you. Call 888.483.6031 or reach out online to speak to a team member at Northpoint Seattle. We’re standing by to answer your questions about depression and substance abuse treatment through evidence-based practices like CBT.