People Suffering from Depression May Benefit from Different Types of Psychotherapy

The Serious Dangers of Alcohol and DepressionIt cannot be denied that depression, which has become very common in today’s society, can be very devastating, with its effects impacting negatively on a person’s quality of life. While medical therapy has yielded positive results in addressing this problem, it has always been the inclination of many people to avail of a non-drug therapeutic approach.

In this connection, it is indeed very encouraging to note that the findings of a study which was published in the prestigious journal PLOS Medicine have shown that psychotherapeutic interventions in its various types can all benefit a person suffering from depression. This means a healthcare provider may elect to choose from among different options in dealing with a patient with the end of using a method that will ideally suit the patient’s needs and circumstances.

University of Bern Study

Led by Jurgen Barth, a team of researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland carried out a review of 198 scientific studies assessing seven types of psychotherapeutic interventions. These were identified as the following: interpersonal psychotherapy, behavioural activation, cognitive behavioural therapy, problem solving therapy, psychodynamic therapy, social skills training and supportive counseling.

Total number of patients involved in the large scale review was placed at over 15,000. These therapies were compared by the authors against a control which was composed of patients availing of the usual care and those on the waiting list.

Results of Study

After assessing of the data gathered, the research team was able to show that all these seven therapies were equally effective at reducing symptoms of depression when compared to those having the usual care or those in the waiting list. They learned that all these interventions worked well regardless as age, sex, socio-economic status, and other demographic factors. The authors maintained that all seven psychotherapeutic interventions in the treatment of depression had moderate to large effects.

Types of Psychotherapeutic Interventions

To get an idea of these therapies, a brief description has been provided.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy. Focus is given on interpersonal issues related to depression using a manual that is short and highly structured.

Behavioral Activation. Positive interactions between the patient and the environment are enhanced by raising the awareness of the patient through pleasant activities.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Negative beliefs of a patient are given focus and assessed for its effects on current and future behavior and then addressed by restructuring beliefs and changing of outlook.

Problem Solving Therapy. In this method, the problems of a patient are defined and after an evaluation of options, the best solution is selected.

Psychodynamic Therapy. Under this therapy, past unresolved conflicts and other causative factors are evaluated and determined how they affect the current situation.

Social Skills Therapy. Skills are taught to the patients to help them build and keep a healthy interaction with other people based on respect and honesty.

Supportive Counseling. This is a general type of therapy that aims to have the patients talk about their emotions and experiences and offer empathy while holding from making any solutions or teaching new skills.