Depression, Despair, and Hopelessness

Depressive Thinking Drives Shame and Despair

CBT Treatment for Depression, Despair, and Hopelessness:

Behavioral Activation Promotes Recovery
Cognitive behavior therapy fights depressive inaction by promoting engagement in key life areas. Behavioral activation promotes opportunities for:

  1. Practicing coping skills, like cognitive restructuring and mindfulness
  2. Addressing fear-related avoidance
  3. Obtaining enjoyment and success

Cognitive Strategies Help Reduce and Control Depressive Thinking
Mindfulness, the practice of suspending judgments and focusing on the present moment, is used to help disengage from the grip of depressive thinking. Cognitive restructuring is used to replace depressive thoughts with more reasonable, balanced alternatives that support a range of healthy feelings and actions.

Avoidance & Withdrawal Limit Opportunities for Enjoyment and Success
Behaviorally, depression is characterized by inaction, what the person is not doing. When depressed, the person is not practicing skills and taking risks needed to gain enjoyment and meaning in life, such as facing challenges, developing social networks, and working toward goals.

Acceptance & Mindfulness
In CBT you’ll be coached in accepting and adapting to fixed, unwanted realities you can’t change—like your personal history, temperament, and certain emotional discomfort, —and taking action where you can: like how you handle challenges and hardships, make the most of existing and future opportunities, and participate in shaping your life. Mindfulness is an acceptance skill that helps 1) respond to yourself with empathy and compassion 2) observe yourself more clearly and  3) step back from and no longer be driven by distressing emotional patterns— like obsessive worry and rumination, compulsive urges, spikes of panic and rage.