Depression can flood a healthy mind with negative thoughts.
Examples of negative thoughts include:
– “I don’t deserve to have any fun.”
– “I’ll never get the job, so I won’t even apply.”
– “This date will be a disaster because I’ll be rejected.”
If you are consumed by such thoughts, your sleeping and eating may be disrupted, your energy may be low for even simple tasks, and you may not be able to enjoy much of anything.
Fortunately, cognitive therapy effectively treats even severe depression, as Sharon Begley reports in the May 23rd, 2002 issue of The Wall Street Journal. Begley writes that for severe depression, the largest and longest-running study to pit medication against psychotherapy found that Cognitive therapy is at least as effective as standard drugs. Jay Amsterdam, a research psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania and a co-author of the study, was quoted, “ I didn’t think that in people with real, bio-chemically based depression, cognitive therapy would be effective…. When I saw the result, I told Rob DeBeus [the head researcher of the study] he had a highly effective treatment for depression, and that if he could bottle it he’d have a billion-dollar drug.”
Cognitive therapy may initially work more slowly than medication against severe depression, but after four months, the results are identical, and during the next year, 75% of Cognitive therapy respondents avoided relapse. “This suggests that cognitive therapy has an enduring effect that protects against relapse,” says psychologist Steven Hollon of Vanderbilt University, a co-author of the study. “It looks like people walk away from psychotherapy with something they can use for life.”
Unlike cognitive therapy, antidepressants come with a dark side: unless the medication is continued, a considerable risk of relapse may exist within a year after the medication is stopped. A study published in the January 2004 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry compared a group of depressed adults undergoing 15 to 20 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy to a group of depressed adults treated with paroxetine (Paxil). The neuroscientists in Canada found that cognitive therapy provides patients with an ‘override capacity,’ helping the patient resist being sucked into the pit of depression. The difference between cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants seems to be that antidepressants reduce activity in the brain’s emotion centers, called the limbic system, where stress and negative emotions come from. Cognitive behavioral therapy quiets over-activity in the cortex, the seat of higher thought, teaching the brain to respond to those signals in a healthier way, leading to a more enduring effect. Within a year after stopping the antidepressant, the relapse rate for another depressive episode was 80%; for the cognitive behavioral group, the relapse rate was 25%. (The Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2004, D1).
If your depression is mild to moderate, your therapist will discuss all treatment options and together you will decide the best course of action. For severe depression, or at your request, your therapist will also work with you to recommend a psychiatrist or another medical doctor for a medication evaluation.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy offers you: (1) a concrete rational for depression and treatment (2) a highly structured and clear plan for change (3) feedback and support so that you can see change (4) skills that increase your personal effectiveness and independence.
•Individual sessions are available through office visits, telephone sessions, and online interactive videoconferencing (webcam). INDIVIDUAL THERAPY
•Group therapy offers a lower cost opportunity to learn cognitive behavioral techniques, and gain insight from other group members. To review group therapy in NYC options, click: GROUP THERAPY
The availability of competent cognitive therapists is an issue. At Advanced Cognitive Therapy of New York, you will work with a highly experienced therapist who is compassionate, understanding, and nonjudgmental. Your therapist is also specially trained by Dr. Jeffrey E. Young, the creator of schema therapy, and received a certificate of completion through advanced training from the Schema Therapy Institute. Affiliated with the Cognitive Therapy Center of New York, you can be assured your therapist expertly uses the latest cognitive behavioral techniques and skills, with broad experience in your area of concern, and genuinely wants to help you feel better.
Call now for a consultation to discuss therapy options: (212) 725-7774