Therapy works best when you attend all of your scheduled appointments. The effectiveness of therapy depends on your active participation. It requires time, effort, and regularity.
As you begin therapy, establish some goals with your therapist. Then spend time periodically reviewing your progress with your therapist. If you don’t like your therapist’s approach or if you don’t think the therapist is helping you, talk to him or her about it and seek a second opinion if both you and your therapist agree, but don’t discontinue therapy abruptly.
Tips to help you get started
- Identify sources of stress. Try keeping a journal and note stressful as well as positive events.
- Restructure priorities. Emphasize positive, effective behavior.
- Make time for recreational and pleasurable activities.
- Communicate. Explain and assert your needs to someone you trust; write in a journal to express your feelings.
- Try to focus on positive outcomes and find methods to reduce and manage stress.
Remember, therapy involves evaluating your thoughts and behaviors, identifying stresses that contribute to depression, and working to modify both. People who actively participate in therapy recover more quickly and have fewer relapses.
Therapy is treatment that addresses specific causes of depression; it is not a "quick fix." It takes longer to begin to work than antidepressants, but there is evidence that suggests that its effects last longer. Antidepressants may be needed immediately in cases of severe depression, and the combination of therapy and medicine is very effective.