Depression: What should I be looking for in a counselor or psychotherapist?
If you have depression, you will experience a low mood for a long period of time. Unlike the occasional bout of feeling sad, some days you may find it impossible to get out of bed, while other days you may feel more able to hide it and carry out normal daily tasks.
Living with depression can be difficult, not only for sufferers, but also for those around them. Despite this, many will wait a long time before seeking help.
This is especially true if they fear it will make them feel rejected, ridiculed or deprived of a sense of control.
This page will explore why seeking help early is key, what the symptoms of depression are and how it can develop.
We will also look into the different forms of counselling for depression.
There are currently no laws in place stipulating what training and qualifications a counsellor must have in order to treat depression.
However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have developed a set of guidelines that provide advice about the recommended treatments, including the following:
- Possible first treatments for mild to moderate depression include a self-help programme, a treatment called computerised cognitive behavioural therapy and a physical activity programme (exercise). If you decide not to have these treatments or they are not available, you may be offered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT for short) in a group with other people who have similar problems.
- If self-help, computerised cognitive behavioural therapy and/or physical activity have not helped you, your healthcare professional should discuss with you whether to try either an antidepressant or a psychological treatment.
- Psychological treatments include one-to-one cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy. You may also be offered a treatment called behavioural activation. If you have a regular partner you may be offered behavioural couples therapy.