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Depression Counselling in Vernon

When you want to break out of depression and get back to living, the right tools matter. Practical, evidence-based therapy can definitely help you decrease feelings of depression and get you engaged in the kind of life you are hoping for. 


Counselling in Vernon and Armstrong BC 

A Short definition of Depression

Depression is a feeling of low mood that lasts for too long, weeks or months. It includes diminished interest or pleasure in most activities most of the time. It can include feelings of fatigue, worthlessness, excessive guilt, and even thoughts of death. It is serious and causes impairment of social and work functioning.

Does Counselling Help Depression?


Overall, the answer is yes. Depression comes in different forms and causes, so some depression is more resistant to recovery than others. In studies of depressed individuals in treatment, counselling therapy produces much better results than staying home. Medication from a doctor or psychiatrist may help with depression too, and the best improvement in chronic depression, according to much research, comes from both counselling therapy and medication together. As a counsellor, I leave the medication decision up to you and your doctor. My job is to help you with the best-known and tested strategies for easing the effects of depression.


Counselling Approaches to Depression

Counselling is very personal and needs to fit with a client's own personality, history, and emotional sensibilities. There is no one-size-fits-all version of helping with depression. I draw on these widely used streams of therapy. You might find that some make more sense to you than others. 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

Patterns of unhelpful thinking and beliefs build up and reinforce depression with a negative mindset. A depressed person often feels convinced they are unlovable, worthless, helpless, incompetent or something else like that. CBT helps clients to challenge unhelpful thinking and replace negative thoughts and beliefs with a more balanced, realistic perspective. We do this by gently exploring, sometimes directly challenging, thoughts and feelings to find helpful, beneficial replacements. 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Unpleasant thoughts and feelings drive depression. What if you could allow these thoughts and feelings to pass without giving them much importance, and instead pay attention to being the kind of person you want to be?  In 

ACT, they call this "psychological flexibility," where you are able to experience negative feelings and still be mindful of the present moment, acceptance, and also keep doing the things that matter most, commitment. In contrast to CBT, this therapy does not try to replace negative thinking. ACT helps clients to accept and sidline it, while taking satisfaction from living their best. 

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)

In depression, important emotions may lie hidden under the cover of low mood and hopelessness. Getting to the root of depression starts with identifying these emotions. In EFT, becoming more aware of these emotions makes it possible to regulate them. Even more than just regulating these emotions, EFT works to deepen "primary emotions" so they can be transformed with healthy positive emotional alternatives. This kind of therapy is more about experiencing emotion than just talking about it. 

Mindfulness-Based CognitiveTherapy (MBCT)

This therapy combines CBT with the practice of mindfulness. MBCT builds mindfulness skill, encouraging clients to both become familiar with depressive modes of thinking and feeling while at the time developing a new, less reactive) relationship with these experiences. 

Behavioral Activation (BA)

This is a simple, practical-sounding approach that sometimes works well. When depression takes hold of a person, they stop doing normal healthy activities and become withdrawn, avoiding people and places that they used to enjoy. This creates a snowball effect that can make depression worse and worse. Behavioral Activation is like coaching that helps clients to resume enjoyable activities such as work, socializing and exercising. Research shows this helps reduce depression. BA involves identifying the processes that support withdrawal, and teaching problem-solving skills. 

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

This therapy seemed strange to researchers at first because it does not directly target symptoms of depression. Instead, IPT starts by having clients take stock of the personal relationships in their lives, both good and bad. Then clients make some choices about how to improve or settle those relationships. It could mean reconciling, or it could mean accepting and closing relationships. It could also mean grieving a death or a lost relationship. IPT helps clients to feel better by working to solve social and relationship problems that contribute to depression. 

Depression has been studied and tested since the earliest days of psychotherapy. These therapies above are named in the American Psyhological Association's list of evidence-based therapies for depression. Most counsellors study and practice some version of these therapies. 

I would be happy to talk with you more about counselling for depression. Feel free to call 236-600-9923 or use the booking or contact form below.


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