More then 264 Million people are effected by depression. When seeking help for depression, finding a therapist can seem very daunting and overwhelming, especially when you are presently experiencing symptoms. It can feel like you are trying to climb Mount Everest, using the little reserves you have, just to get out of bed some days. Plus, you don’t even know what the benefits of therapy really are, how to find a good therapist, or if it will even work for you.
What are the benefits of therapy for depression?
So, let’s discuss the benefits of therapy for depression. While depression can be a part of your genetic makeup, life stressors, and how you internalize those can also trigger it. Therapy will help you process your thoughts and feelings about those life stressors, while finding new ways to cope with them. The therapy will also give you the opportunity to discuss how and why you internalize things, causing some negative views about yourself and life. You will be provided with new perspectives to allow you new ways to view everything so you can become more supportive of yourself.
Many people wish therapy was a quick fix or the therapist had a magic wand to “cure” you. But in reality therapy is about understanding your self and symptoms and finding new ways to cope, which helps you build a long-term healthy relationship with yourself. So therapy can take time. This also doesn’t mean your depression symptoms will go away forever, but instead it is about being able to maneuver through them, reducing the severity of the symptoms and length of the cycle.
How to find a good therapist for depression?
So, now that you understand more about what to expect, lets discuss how to find a good therapist for you. When you search for a therapist, whether is it via Google, Yelp, health insurance listing, or websites like Psychology Today, you will want to have a list of questions to ask, so you can “interview” the therapist during the complimentary phone consultation.
Here is a list of questions to ask a potential therapist for treatment of depression:
- Have you worked with people dealing with depression before?
- What methods do you use to work with depression symptoms?
- How effective have these methods been in your practice?
- How long do you expect I will be in therapy?
- Do you think you can help me and why?
Once you ask these questions to ideally to multiple therapists, you will know more about each one in regards to their knowledgeable and experienced with symptoms of depression. You will also get a feel for their individual styles and personalities. Then you can make your decision based on whom you feel comfortable talking to, feel like you can trust, and seem to have a good connection with. In reality, having a good connection with the therapist is just as valuable as the therapist’s knowledge and experience.
Will therapy work for me?
Even though searching for a therapist when you are experiencing depression seems like a lot of energy and effort, the benefits of the experience and personal growth are well worth it. You will gain more self-awareness about your internal process and find new tools to help support you in dealing with those and the world around you.
Since there is no magic wand, the therapy process can vary in terms of how long you will need it. The therapist will listen, empathize, offer new perspectives and offer many new coping tools and strategies. You will likely have to try the different strategies out to find the ones that work for you. But before you know it, you will have a great self-care toolbox for overcoming depression.
So, the answer to if therapy will work for you is two-fold. Therapy can help anyone, but you need to be open to trying some new strategies. And be open to using the strategies that work for you, outside of the therapy sessions. Once you know which tips and tricks work for you, you will have them available for you forever. It’s all for you and up to you how much you get out of therapy.