Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) For Depression

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression

Anyone who suffers from depression understands it is tough to enjoy life to the fullest every day. Some days are brighter than others, but on those dark days, everything seems to feel extra heavy. And with the pandemic still on the loom, some might be struggling a little extra. Most people find themselves sitting at home much longer than before, scrambling and wondering how to get through this on their own. Even after almost two years, many are still working from home, and this can be harmful to those who suffer from depression. Seeking professional help is a great first step. At Dr. Messina & Associates, located in Southlake, TX, you will be provided with diagnosis, treatment, and guidance so you do not have to do this on your own.



Understanding that depression is different from grief and sadness is the first step. The death of a family member, a tough break-up, or losing a job are all difficult experiences that often lead one to feel deep sadness or grief. When a person is grieving, pain comes in waves, and their self-esteem is usually well maintained. When a person suffers from depression, their mood and interests have changed for two weeks or more. Depression causes severe symptoms that alter how a person thinks, feels, and carries out daily activities. There might be changes in sleeping patterns, eating habits, and even changes in work performance.

Common Signs of Depression Include:

Symptoms may vary, depending on the stage of depression the person is experiencing. If you are experiencing signs of depression, you should not be battling this on your own. There is a variety of treatments that could be beneficial for you.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is known as one of the most effective methods of treatment for patients suffering from depression. In addition to depression, it is highly effective treating psychological disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. CBT is a form of treatment that focuses on analyzing the pattern and relationship between feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. This will allow the patient to become aware of self-destructive behaviors and patterns and in turn, adapt to healthier managing and thinking.

CBT is a type of talk therapy (psychotherapy). While working with a professional and attending several CBT sessions, may allow you to become aware of negative thinking. These sessions are beneficial to patients suffering from depression as many have feelings of guilt, helplessness, or worthlessness. These negative thoughts can be challenged through cognitive behavioral therapy, and in turn, allowing yourself to see and respond more effectively. 


CBT as a Treatment for Depression

During CBT a combination of both cognitive and behavioral approaches is taken to reduce depression. Your therapist might try to challenge your negative patterns and thoughts and will also attempt to try a different approach instead of the negative pattern. Therapy allows you to recognize the faultiness in the way you perceive things and your way of thinking. CBT may be helpful to restructure old mindsets and help you understand thought patterns.        

Many patients are seeking nonpharmaceutical approaches to treating psychological disorders. Because CBT is a therapeutical approach to treatment, this might be an option for you if you wish to explore an alternative. Although about two-thirds of patients are treated successfully with the use of prescription drugs, many do not respond to these medications. Cognitive Therapy is a great form of treatment especially for those who suffer from severe or chronic depression.       

CBT has been found to be highly beneficial for other psychological disorders. It may be used for anxiety disorders, such as for patients with reoccurring panic attacks.

Cognitive therapies attempt to decrease the frequency of panic attacks as well as their intensity of them. This can also be an effective therapy for patients suffering from phobias, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorders.           


What to Expect From CBT?

On your first session, your therapist will first ask you a few questions to gather some basic information about you. Your therapist might ask questions about your past and current emotional and physical health. Asking these questions will allow the therapist to assess your situation better. 

During the CBT process, your therapist will ask you to speak about your thoughts and feelings. It is okay if you are having a hard time talking, your therapist will always guide you and ease your way through the process. You will be asked to identify troubling conditions in your life, become aware of these emotions, identify patterns of negative thinking, and reshape the negative thinking. You will learn new coping skills, and ways to analyze situations during your cognitive therapy. New coping skills mean healthier behaviors and patterns. You will be challenged to shift your mindset, to have a more positive outlook, and to improve your attitude.

You will be doing some homework, and some self-reflection as you need to apply the techniques learned at home.


CBT Effectiveness

According to several studies, CBT has been shown to effectively treat patients. The results from these studies have determined that patients suffering from major depression will find a much greater benefit from cognitive therapy rather than no therapy. It is even believed it can be a viable alternative to antidepressant medications for patients who wish not to take medication. 

To put in perspective, a study shows that for every three patients who were treated with CBT, one will get better simply because of therapy. While medication may be needed and should be taken along with therapy if prescribed, CBT does have a short- and long-term effect. The medicinal effects can wear off, but the progress you make during therapy will stay with you for the long term.


Getting Help

Here at Dr. Messina and Associates, our compassionate team of professionals are qualified to help you at our Flower Mound, Texas, and Southlake, Texas, offices. Our Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Counselors specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychological testing, and medication management for a variety of emotional and behavioral health needs. All services are available in-person and online (telehealth). If you or a loved one are seeking help with mental health, we are here to help.

Dr. Michael Messina

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