Depression is an incredibly difficult disease to navigate. It can leave you feeling isolated and alone even when you’re surrounded by the people you love the most.

Unfortunately, many people (loved ones included) without a history of depression are unable to empathize with the disease; their only comparison is the feeling of sadness. While sadness is a very valid emotion, depression is an entirely different concept. More than a bout of sadness, major depression impacts every area of your life.

Symptoms of depression include difficulty concentrating, the inability to get out of bed, suicidal ideation, insomnia, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed, feelings of irritability and hopelessness – the list is expansive. However with a list this vast, comes equally vast research.

Studies show that group therapy for depression is an incredibly effective method of treating the disorder.

Why? Group work combats depression’s biggest threat – isolation. If you don’t know much about group theory, in short, it includes a small group of people and a therapist working together to discuss and resolve problems that the group shares. In group therapy for depression, we work on ways to overcome and to live vibrantly, regardless of the disease.

We learn to rediscover hope when it feels like all is lost. But the best part about it is that we do it together – you, me and a group of people who feel the same way you do. Overcoming the feeling of isolation is difficult on your own, but when you have a group of people working through it together, it becomes much more bearable.

The method that I use in group therapy for depression is CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).

CBT is a goal-oriented approach to therapy that focuses on the way our thoughts and beliefs impact our actions. We will delve into what beliefs you have about yourself, your relationships, and even the beliefs you have about your disorder that may be contributing to it. CBT is a form of talk therapy, which means we participate in a lot of discussions. You’ll get to share your beliefs while hearing beliefs from others. Relating to someone with your same struggle is incredibly beneficial in overcoming it.

Another benefit of group therapy for depression is that you’ll delve into where your depression comes from. For example, depression doesn’t just appear out of thin air. It’s something that requires predisposition, and a specific situation or traumatizing event will trigger it. This event might be the loss of a loved one or a major life change/transition. There are specific groups set for those who have experienced a death in the family, who are going through a divorce, who were involved in a traumatic accident, etc. During group sessions, we will discuss the event and the impact that it has on your life and your emotions. You will learn that depression is a very normal response to the life experiences that you’ve encountered.

Depression can leave us feeling like we have no control over our lives, but by engaging in group therapy for depression, you can regain that control. The more you talk about your disorder, the more you relinquish the power it has over you. It is also therapeutic and powerful to be able to provide support to others who are struggling. You can share tactics with fellow group members that work for you, or provide insight on how it gets better. On days when you’re struggling a lot, it can be beneficial to hear stories of hope from other group members.

So what next?

If you are struggling with depression, remember that you are not alone. Contact me today to set up an appointment or to learn more.

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