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Depression is a disorder that affects more than 10% of the population over the course of their lives, but it continues to be poorly understood. Those with depression, and their loved ones, struggle to understand what they are experiencing. It can be comforting to learn that they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings.
Symptoms of a Depressive Episode
- depressed mood loss of interest or pleasure significant weight change diminished concentration
- sleep difficulties fatigue nearly every day feelings of worthlessness recurring thoughts of death
- Symptoms must cause significant distress.
- Symptoms must last for at least two weeks.
- Women are 2x more likely to develop depression.
- About 1 in 10 people will experience depression during their lifetime.
- Most people experience their first depressive episode between ages 20 and 30.
Anxiety is a mental and physical reaction to perceived threats. In small doses, anxiety is helpful. It protects us from danger, and focuses our attention on problems. But when anxiety is too severe, or occurs too frequently, it can become debilitating.
The Cycle of Anxiety
An anxiety-producing situation leads to uncomfortable symptoms such as worry, fear, a racing heart, sweating, or a feeling of being overwhelmed.
Uncomfortable symptoms are controlled by avoiding the anxiety-producing situation. Examples of avoidance include:
- Skipping class to avoid giving a presentation • Using drugs or alcohol to numb feelings
- Procrastinating on challenging tasks
Short-Term Relief from Anxiety
Avoidance of the anxiety-producing situation gives an immediate sense of relief. The symptoms of anxiety lessen, but only temporarily.
Long-Term Anxiety Growth
The fear that initially led to avoidance worsens, and the brain learns that when the anxiety- producing situation is avoided, the symptoms go away. As a result, the symptoms of anxiety will be worse the next time, and avoidance is more likely.
- Providing dignity, respect and compassion for all.
- Providing a collaborative approach between client and therapist – focusing on clients wellbeing.
- Providing a complete non-judgmental service.
- Providing personalised support, for example by incorporating the person’s family knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds into the planning and delivery of the counselling.
- Providing support to a person to aid them in making informed decisions about, and successfully manage, their own health and wellbeing.
- Providing a collaborative and professional partnership in the clients evaluation.
Person-centred Therapy will hopefully provide a change in behaviour and mindset supported by a system that puts the person at its heart.
A very simply introduction to CBT follows:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has become one of the leading approaches to psychotherapy. Once clients learn how CBT works, they typically find that it can easily be applied to their own lives. It just makes sense.
For clients to use CBT effectively, they first need to have a strong understanding of the cognitive model. Psychoeducation will usually be the beginning for using CBT.
The Cognitive Model
CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are constantly interacting and influencing one another. How we interpret or think about a situation determines how we feel about it, which then determines how we’ll react.