Cognitive Therapy for Depression

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We’ve all been in bad moods from time to time. Having negative thoughts during a difficult life experience is part of being human. Most of the time, we continue to function and move on. But for people with depression, negative thoughts can take over and distort your view of reality.

Cognitive therapy is one way to defuse those thoughts and treat depression. Cognitive therapy is a type of psychotherapy that modifies mood patterns by stopping negative, hypercritical, and other types of thinking that can lead to depression, anxiety, and other conditions. Over time, cognitive therapy has helped change the way patients view the world.

In studies, researchers have found that cognitive therapy works just as well as antidepressants in treating people with mild to moderate depression. Medication and/or psychotherapy can shorten depression’s course and reduce symptoms such as fatigue and poor self-esteem that often accompanies depression.

Cognitive therapy was developed in the 1960’s as an alternative way to treat depression with the underlying principle being “thoughts influence moods.” According to cognitive therapists, negative thoughts become automatic responses, meaning they occur without a conscious effort. Even if the thoughts may have some truth to them, the patient distorts or exaggerates the reality and in turn fuels the depression.

With cognitive therapy, the patient learns to recognize and correct automatic negative thoughts. Then over time, the patient is able to discover and correct deeply held but false beliefs that contribute to the depression. This leads to lasting improvements in mood and an overall positive outlook on life.

Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge is an adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment center for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-215-2519 for more information.


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If you’re ready to take the next step in the recovery process for you or your loved one, the compassionate team at Pasadena Villa is here to help. Give us a call at 407.215.2519 or complete our contact form.

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