This blog is not a substitute for therapy, but provide evidence-based education for the purposes of self-help and information.
If you haven’t been feeling like yourself for a while, and nothing that normally helps you when you’re feeling down is working, you might be depressed. Feel like you’re the only one struggling like this? You are not alone. Depression is something that more Canadians struggle with than you might think. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) affects 5.4% of the Canadian population. Depression can affect anyone, from a new parent, to first responders, and even senior citizens. While it can have serious consequences if not treated, you should know that depression is a highly treatable mental health condition. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one great method in providing support for those suffering with depression.
Maybe you’ve heard the term CBT thrown around when doctors talk about treatments for depression, or on TV interviews, but what IS CBT? Cognitive behavioural therapy is an evidence-based (which means a lot of research and peer reviewed studies have confirmed that it works), structured form of psychotherapy that focuses on how your thoughts impact your mood and behaviour.
CBT, at its core, focuses on the fact that many mental health struggles are based, in part, on unhelpful ways of thinking or patterns of behaviour that do more harm than good. The goal in CBT is to help you to examine and challenge certain thought patterns and behaviours in order to change them and adopt healthier ways of dealing with life’s challenges.
This form of mental health therapy has a few different ways of being conducted. Depending on the issue that you are dealing with, your counsellor can focus on helping you to shift unhelpful thoughts (cognitive interventions) or by teaching you to change behaviours that no longer serve you (behavioural interventions). Often therapists will use a combination of both cognitive and behavioural interventions to treat depression.
Cognitive Interventions for Depression:
Behavioural Interventions for Depression:
If you’ve been struggling with feeling sad, or numb, or even unexplained anger, and these feelings have been bothering you for more than a few weeks and aren’t getting better, you may be depressed. Seeing a Registered Psychotherapist and trying CBT to help your depression is a great first step in getting back to feeling like yourself again. To book a consultation or a first session with one of therapists at Christina Janiga Psychotherapy click here.
Sources for this article are shared below:
Kennerley, H., Kirk, J., & Westbrook, D. (2016). An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (3rd Edition). SAGE Publications, Ltd. (UK). https://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781473998254