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Help For Depression and Anxiety

Psychotherapy and Counseling Proven Effective

Over the past 25 years many research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of psychotherapy. A recent study by James Coyne, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, shows that people who struggle with depression are greatly helped by therapy and mental health counseling. Dr. Coyne explains that therapy works by helping people recognize that their depressing thoughts and beliefs don’t match up with reality.

Another recent study reported in PLOS Medicine (an international journal published by the nonprofit Public Library of Science) indicates that seven distinct types of psychotherapy are particularly effective in reducing symptoms of depression. The specific therapies studied include interpersonal psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and supportive counseling, among others. The study also showed that combining aspects of these different therapies based on each client’s unique needs seem to be most effective.

Many of these studies also compared the effectiveness of counseling and therapy with psychiatric medications – primarily anti-depressants. The results are somewhat mixed, but seem to indicate that therapy alone is equally effective or more effective than medication alone. There is some evidence that a combination of medication and psychotherapy is most effective for many patients. Medication can help to manage anxiety and depression, but will not be effective in the long run without therapy to help people learn more healthy coping skills.