Can CBT help people with depression in the Hastings area?

Cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT has been shown to help ease depression by easing the symptoms in those patients who do not react in the intended way with chemical therapy. This is the conclusion of a piece of research published in the Lancet, the British medical journal summarised at

 CBT, which is offered by many counsellors in East Sussex, is derived from psychotherapy. The research report discovered beneficial effects in almost fifty percent of 234 people who were getting the treatment in addition to more routine care from their doctor.

 Surprisingly, as many as 6 out of 10 people diagnosed with depression do not get the anticipated improvements from the tried and tested anti-depressants as the main alternative treatment. Thus, it is the opinion of the mental health charity, ‘Mind’, that clients  must be given access to a spectrum of therapies and drugs. CBT aims to talk and guide sufferers into a self-aware change of mind-set. In any given situation, clients are armed with a series of cues to alter, for the better, how they feel towards what is happening to them.

 CBT is a ‘talking’ therapy that empowers people to alter the negative aspects of their self-esteem that are the precursors to negative mood states and destructive behaviours. The rationale behind it is that our thoughts and recollections prompt our moods. It helps people with depression learn to select positive over negative thoughts and thereby improve their mood, self-image, actions, and even their health.

 A research study on CBT tracked 469 people with depression who were not responding to antidepressants. The subjects were selected from three different locations and medical practices around Britain. Within the research population, a control group continued on their therapy programme as normal, while the experimental group were treated with CBT in addition to antidepressants etc.

 After half a year, 46% of the experimental group self-reported at least a halving of the intensity of their symptoms. Only 22% of the control group had the same level of improvements. The researchers are clear that the psychological approach can complement the chemical approach.

 In the year following the study, the patients continued to feel the benefits, and the conclusion is that CBT definitely improved the quality of life of many people with these mental health issues.

 But what of those subjects with depression who did not improve with the addition of CBT to their care plan? They too were not improving with antidepressants, but neither did they feel better with the talk therapy. It seems their condition was too severe or deeply chronic to be affected by one treatment alone or even a combination. A lot more research is needed into the differences between their condition and that of those who did improve. It was never likely that a single silver bullet treatment was out there waiting to be discovered.

 Having said that, a lot of people did feel a lot better with just one hour every week, talking with a therapist about the way they think and how their mind works.  This mean that they should be able to change their behaviours for themselves, even when their work with their counsellor has ended. Particularly encouraging from this study was the diversity of the patients that improved. All ages and a big variety of social settings felt the effects of CBT.

 CBT is among the range of approaches which many counsellors in the Hastings area can offer for clients troubled by anxiety, stress and negative thoughts, as well as depression. 

added at 12:01am on 17th January 2013

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