Counselling for Depression
Counselling tends to see depression as primarily an emotional problem. Being overly critical of ourselves, feeling we are worthless and being left with unresolved feelings from difficult relationships can make us feel low and depressed.
Counselling aims to help people get in touch with the feelings underlining their depression, to express these, make sense of them and develop new ways of looking at ourselves and the world around us. This is achieved by a counsellor focusing on how you feel and understanding your situation from your point of view. The counsellor is not there to tell you what to do but to help you to explore with you what to talk about in a thoughtful and understanding manner.
Couple Therapy for Depression
Couple therapy for depression aims to help couples understand the ways in which difficulties in their relationship can contribute to depression in one or sometimes both partners. Often couples find it hard to talk openly and honestly with each other. Meeting with a couple therapists can open the way to better communication and help to improve relationship quality.
Couple therapy for depression often focuses on helping couples to communicate openly and clearly, become more aware of each other’s needs, manage feelings of anxiety and stress arising from the challenges of relationships and help you come to terms with life changes which might have triggered depression, such as becoming parents or losing a loved one.
Dynamic Interpersonal Psychotherapy (DIT)
Dynamic Interpersonal Psychotherapy (DIT) is a structured psychological therapy developed for treating depression. DIT is helpful for people with emotional and relationship problems, especially if these are linked to previous relationship difficulties.
DIT aims to identify a core repetitive pattern present in historical relationships (for example, whenever someone tried to get to know you, you fear the worst and push them away to make sure no-one gets close enough to hurt or disappoint you). Once this pattern is identified, it will be used to make sense of difficulties in relationships in the ‘here and now’ and contribute to improving mental wellbeing.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) differs from Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) as it concentrates on the issues in the ‘here and now’ as opposed to looking at recurring patterns through past relationships. IPT primarily focuses on how relationships affect us, for example, a relationship may make us feel depressed. It also focuses on how mental health difficulties can affect a relationship, for example, a depressed mood can affect the quality of our relationships.
The types of concerns that IPT addresses include:
Conflict with another person: No relationship is perfect, but sometimes a significant relationship at home or at work can become very stuck in disagreement or arguments, and is a source of tension and distress.
Life changes that affect how you feel about yourself and others: Life changes all the time. As it does it throws up new challenges, such as when we have a child or lose a job. These changes, whether wished for or not, can leave us feeling unable to cope with the demands of the new situation and what is expected of us.
Grief and loss: It is natural to feel sad following the loss of a significant person in our life. Sometimes, however, it can be very difficult to adjust to life without that person and we may then put our life on hold and feel unable to carry on with our normal activities and relationships.
Difficulty in starting or keeping relationships going: Sometimes relationship issues develop because of what is missing, for example, not having enough people around us or not feeling as close to others as we would like. Not having someone to turn to for company or support can be very stressful and can leave us feeling alone and overwhelmed by the demands of life.