How Psychotherapy Helps Depression

A recent Dutch study was intended to explore whether psychotherapy can be helpful for treatment the symptoms of depression in diabetics. Because the study was randomized and controlled, a number of respected journalists have pointed to the study as good strong evidence of the efficacy of psychotherapy for depression:

Results revealed that both MBCT and CBT have persistent beneficial impact on depressive symptomatology and related symptoms, validating the evidence from previous researches regarding the long-term clinical outcomes of either MBCT or CBT.

Both psychotherapy methods (MBCT and CBT) are effective in treating depressive symptoms in a variety of clinical populations.

Although the study only focused on two modalities: MBCT, or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy; and CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, it nonetheless showed strong value in the notion that depression can be treated with talking rather than through medications alone. Psychoanalytic, or psychodynamic therapy, wasn’t included in the study, but we know from similar research that all modalities tend to show something close to parity over short time frames when it comes to issues of depression.

Analytic therapy can also produce longer results that are slower and therefore harder to measure, partly because psychotherapy resists easy quantification. Yet we know that therapy designed to treat the root causes of depression can result in lasting relief, especially in individuals who don’t show a genetic or neurochemical predisposition to hopelessness.

Our depression therapy experts are among the finest therapists in New York, and our extensive training courses have developed top-rated Boston counselors, Philadelphia psychotherapists, and many more professionals. To begin speaking with an experienced analytic therapist today, contact PPSC.

The Connection Between Insomnia, Depression and Talk Therapy

Several outlets reported this week that a new small NIH-funded study has affirmed an earlier finding that talk therapy could be an unexpectedly effective cure for insomnia – and that curing insomnia could relieve the symptoms of depression. Here’s the New York Times:

Curing insomnia in people with depression could double their chance of a full recovery, scientists are reporting. The findings, based on an insomnia treatment that uses talk therapy rather than drugs, are the first to emerge from a series of closely watched studies of sleep and depression to be released in the coming year.

Although most researchers and clinical psychologists have long considered insomnia a symptom of depression, it turns out that the causality may flow both ways:

Several studies now suggest that developing insomnia doubles a person’s risk of later becoming depressed — the sleep problem preceding the mood disorder, rather than the other way around.

It is an encouraging finding for the field of therapy for depression, and yet more evidence that talk therapy can give rise to deep-seated changes which cannot always be matched by drugs. The study in question focused on a form of cognitive therapy known as CDT-I (“I” for insomnia), but no study has yet been undertaken that compares this type of therapy to another modality such as analytic therapy. Either way, the tidal wave of new evidence underscoring the timeless power of dialogue continues to color national conversations on mental health.