17. Psychotherapy

CBT for Depression
Joel Becker PHD

Two main types of psychotherapies—cognitive-behavioral ther- apy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT)—are effective in treating depression. CBT helps people with depression restruc- ture negative thought patterns. Doing so helps people interpret their environment and interactions with others in a positive and realistic way. It may also help you recognize things that may be contributing to the depression and help you change behaviors that may be making the depression worse. IPT helps people understand and work through troubled relationships that may cause their depression or make it worse.

For mild to moderate depression, psychotherapy may be the best option. However, for severe depression or for certain people, psychotherapy may not be enough. For teens, a combination of medication and psychotherapy may be the most effective approach to treating major depression and reducing the chances of it coming back.27 Another study looking at depression treatment among older adults found that people who responded to initial treatment of medication and IPT were less likely to have recurring depression if they continued their combination treatment for at least 2 years.23
More information on psychotherapy is available on the NIMH website at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/ psychotherapies/index.shtml.

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