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
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
|Individual sessions are available through
office visits, telephone sessions, and online interactive
|Group therapy offers a lower cost opportunity to learn
cognitive behavioral techniques, and gain insight from
other group members.
Competency of Therapist is an Issue
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 or
(888) 4-ACT-NYC or
contact us via our online form.