1. Health

Depression Counseling

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Updated November 29, 2012

Depression Counseling

Woman with Headache

Mitar Gavric @Dreamstime.com

Depression counseling shouldn't be a last resort when you are feeling blue for an extended period of time. While everyone feels depressed once in a while, feeling that way for longer than a few days may signal a more serious problem. Clinical depression is different than feeling “blue” for a few days; it lasts for weeks or longer. A person with clinical depression has difficulty in performing daily activities, such as getting out of bed and going to work. They may cut themselves off from family or friends. Their sense of wellbeing is replaced with hopelessness. At this point, depression counseling may help to put things back in perspective.

Types of Depression Counseling

Individuals seeking help from depression may receive counseling sessions with a certified counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist. It is important to note that only a psychiatrist can prescribe medication for depression.

After a diagnosis of depression is made, individuals can sometimes choose whether to attend group counseling sessions, online counseling sessions or individual ones. The type of counseling that an individual may use is determined by the counselor, depending upon the severity of symptoms.

In addition, there are two forms of counseling offered; short term and long counseling. Short term counseling is usually done under a time frame of 90 days or less, and long term counseling can last as long as the individual and their counselor believe it is needed. While depression counseling is rarely done short-term, health insurance coverage constraints occasionally force patients to choose short-term counseling. Be sure to check with your insurance carrier to see what type of counseling is covered under your policy. In addition, many counseling centers offer payment plans so everyone can get the help they need in a way that fits their budget.

Choosing a Therapist or Counselor

Choosing a therapist can be the hardest part. You want to make sure that you are comfortable with the person you will be seeing for depression counseling. The first step is to decide if you want to see a man or woman. This is personal preference, but one that will affect your comfort level with the therapist. You may find that the first therapist you meet doesn't make you feel comfortable, and that is okay. You may need to meet with a couple of therapists before you find someone you feel comfortable sharing your troubles with. Individuals who suffer from chronic pain or disability may want to choose a counselor who specializes in treating people with chronic pain or specific diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Verify the Credentials of Your Therapist

It is important for anyone seeking counseling to see a certified counselor or therapist. One way to check for certification is to ask to see the credentials of the individual you are considering using for your depression counseling. The individual should be certified by the state that they are practicing in, and should have a certificate with this information to show you. You can check out references for therapists in your state by calling your state's government offices. State and government listings are usually found in the front of phone books. Your primary care physician or specialist may also be able to refer you to a verified counseling center in your area.

Deciding whether or not to seek depression counseling can be a difficult decision. The stigma of people needing to seek counseling is omnipresent in our society. No one wants to be seen as weak and unable to manage his or her own affairs. However, there are better ways to spend your time than being upset and depressed for days on end. If you are unsure whether counseling is for you, discuss it with your physician. They will keep your discussion confidential, and you can make a decision about your current treatment plan together.

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