When I first start therapy with a new client who is dealing with depression they often come to me exhausted after weeks or months of emotionally running with no traction. So I try to give them a foot hold right away.
We start with the basics: How are they sleeping? What are they eating and drinking? How are they moving? Sometimes just adjusting these three things makes a huge difference.
We might discuss the appropriateness of medication. If exploring that avenue makes sense to them I try to get them linked with a psychiatrist I believe will work well with them.
Then I teach them about cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, how it’s the most effective therapy model known to work on depression and anxiety. I want my clients to know as much as I do about CBT and the other treatments for depression and anxiety. That way they can do it for themselves outside the office, on their own and forever.
A lot of this is covered by Therese Borchard, writer of Beyond Blue and Associate Editor at PsychCentral in ’12 Steps To Sanity’. Therese shares her personal steps to recovery (all of which I heartily endorse) and writes about them from the perspective of a person who has been there.