Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Depression

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the UK, with as many as 3 million people in the UK being presently diagnosed with the condition.

Many don’t seek help. Others seek help but are prescribed antidepressant medication. Some seek access to talking therapies for depression.

Here, we are going to look at one of the first line talking therapies for depression, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and how modern CBT techniques can help alleviate the symptoms of depression and keep them gone for good.


What To Expect From CBT Treatment For Depression

Therapy for Depression: More and more, depression is beginning to be understood in a much broader sense than simply being a disorder of the brain and more of a condition that involves a combination of biological, psychological, social and cultural factors.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been shown to be as effective a treatment for depression as antidepressant medication, but people are often unsure of what to expect when they begin CBT treatment. The avoidance, reduced activity, negative thoughts and low motivation that people experience as part of the depression often means that they will delay or avoid seeking help entirely.

I write this guide here so that you know exactly what to expect from CBT therapy for depression, to break down some of the concerns or worries you may have about treatment.

If you decide that you want to get help from us, either face to face or online, call us on 07887 701176, email [email protected] or via our contact page.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been shown to be as effective a treatment for depression as antidepressant medication.


Treatments For Depression

The Cognitive Model of Depression works from the assumption that it is the way that we think about ourselves, the world and other people that contributes to and maintains depression.

The model suggests that we all develop a view of ourselves and the world through our experiences with it. Early experiences in our lives lead us to form a model of how and who we are and how we can relate to our world around us. As the world is not necessarily an easy place to live in, we develop rules and assumptions to help us through.

The Cognitive Model of Depression then goes on to suggest that if we are presented with a situation in which one of our rules or assumptions no longer fit our experience, then this will activate deeper “Core Beliefs” or “Schema”, which then give rise to the depressive symptoms.



Behavioural activation for depression is another CBT approach to depression which has been tested and shown to be an effective treatment.

Unlike the Cognitive Model of Depression, Behavioural Activation places less of an emphasis upon the thoughts that we have whilst we are depressed and focuses more upon the changes in our behaviour.  As mentioned earlier, when we get depressed, we tend to withdraw, isolate ourselves and avoid places, people and situations because of how we feel.

This is in part understandable.  If I am not experiencing things that make me happy, or even worse, if the things in my life are actually making me feel worse, then it is an understandable response to avoid things and to retreat to a place where I feel less unhappy.  The problem is though, while retreat from painful life events can make me feel relief in the short term, over the longer term this behaviour can cause me to miss out upon the things in life that might event make me feel good.  I back off from stressful life events, I do less, I don’t experience others things that might make me feel better and a cycle ensues.

In addition, as I reduce my activity and avoid stressors, this gives me more time to dwell upon my negative thoughts, which in turn increases my low mood.  Because I’m avoiding my problems, they also don’t get resolved meaning they stay the same or get worse.  And here we have our second “maintenance” cycle.


Overview Of Fundamental CBT Treatments

Therapy for Depression: This is an overview of the fundamental CBT treatments for Depression. Other “Third Wave” offshoots of CBT such as Mindfulness-Based CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focused Therapy are also rapidly demonstrating their effectiveness as treatments for Depression too and are covered elsewhere on the site.


Therapy for Depression: Contact Us To Make An Appointment

Contact Us
| Website designed & hosted by Cyberfrog Design | Privacy and Cookie Policy