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Counselling Therapies

There is a wide variety of psychological therapies (including short-term therapies for 10 to 20 weeks) for people with depressive symptoms. A “talking therapy?allows you to talk with the therapist to work out ways to solve your problems. In a “behavioural therapy,?you learn to gain satisfaction and reward from your behaviours, effectively eliminating or mitigating behavioural patterns which contribute to your depression.

Severe depression (especially in the case of a relapse) are usually treated first by drugs (or even by a electrotherapy) until symptoms are significantly relieved. Psychological treatment may then be used as an additional treatment or be the sole therapy in order to achieve the best results.

Research found that short-term cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy are both helpful in treating depression.

Here are some counselling therapies to introduce:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

This is usually used in short-term therapies. It helps identify negative thinking and behaviours that lead to depression. According to research, cognitive behavioural therapy is proven to be very effective. It is also suggested that cognitive behavioural therapy is more effective than the use of drugs in lowering relapse rate. (Blackburn et al., 1986)

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

This is a therapy which cracks the problem at the point where interpersonal relationship issues arises and searches for the factors which lead to and deterioate depression. It helps you improve interpersonal skills, seek effective ways of communication, learn to express feelings appropriately, and find yourself the most suitable role in society and working environment.

Psychodynamic Therapy

This therapy helps you better understand your history, discover your own defense mechanisms, and then guide you to choose the best ways to tackle problems. It focuses on resolving negative emotions from inner conflicts. However, only a few studies support its effectiveness at present.

Family therapy

This therapy directs attention on family structure and the influences of family relationships, and investigates if there is miscommunication among members. Family therapy also analyses the role of the patient within the family to determine if family role could be a cause to the disorder.


Blackburn, I.M. Eunson, K.M. & Bishop, S. (1986). A two-year naturalistic follow-up of depressed patients treated with cognitive therapy, pharmacotherapy, and a combination of both. Journal of Affective Disorders, 10, 67-75.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Dr. Grohol ‘s PsychoCentral