Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for Depression
At the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley, we offer cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for adults and teenagers with depression. Our approach with depression is practical, goal-oriented, compassionate, and scientifically-based while focusing on your individual needs. From our convenient office in Saratoga Avenue just 1/2 mile from Hwy 85, we serve the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Cupertino, and Campbell. If you think you may be experiencing depression, you can learn more about depression and our treatment approach below.
What is Depression?
Most people feel sad or low at some point in their lives. Clinical depression is characterized by pervasive low mood, low self-esteem and loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. When people experience depression, they often feel lethargic, unmotivated, overwhelmed, nervous, easily annoyed, and/or irritable. Depression may be accompanied with difficulty in concentrating, fatigue, increased or decreased eating, and sleeping too much or too little. Feeling hopeless, trapped, and worried are common when depressed. There are several types of depression. I offer therapy and counseling for the following types of depression:
- Major Depression – With major depression, you may have symptoms that make it hard to work, study, sleep, eat and enjoy friends and activities. Symptoms may include fatigue or loss of energy every day, feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost everyday, impaired concentration or indecisiveness, sleeping more or less than usual, significant weight loss or gain, a feeling of restlessness or of being slowed down, and recurring thoughts of suicide. Not everyone has every symptom. Cognitive Behavior Therapy for depression can help you get your life back.
- Dysthymia – Some people experience a low-level of depression on most days which feels like a chronic form of unhappiness. The symptoms of dysthymia tend to be similar to depression, but they are less intense and more long-lasting. You may feel indecisive, pessimistic and have a negative self-image. A negative thinking style often accompanies dysthymia. Sometimes, people who are dysthymic also experience bout of major depression. This is called “double depression.” Therapy for dysthymia focuses on helping you develop a more realistic thinking style so you can feel more hopeful in spite of life’s challenges.
Cognitive Behavioral Model of Depression
Some people have a biological predisposition to depression, while others experience depression in response to stressful life events. For most, depression develops due to a combination of these factors. In the cognitive behavioral model, depression is thought to be maintained by the person’s negative and often unrealistic beliefs about themselves, others, and the world as a whole. If you are depressed, you may believe that you are worthless, nobody cares about you and your life will never improve. This type of negative thinking may then lead you to isolate yourself and avoid engaging in healthy and rewarding activities (e.g. spending time with friends, exercise, etc.) which then further increases feelings of depression and negative thinking.
Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Depression
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) helps individuals struggling with depression to increase positive and fulfilling experiences, while also modifying negative and unrealistic thoughts and interpretations about themselves, others, and the world. Some of the main components of cognitive behavior therapy for depression include:
- Cognitive Restructuring: Learn to monitor your mood and the accompanying thoughts and behaviors while developing a sense of how negative thinking exacerbates depressed feelings and can lead to unhealthy coping. Gain skills to evaluate negative thoughts and develop more realistic and helpful ways to interpret the world.
- Behavioral Activation: Identify how you are currently spending your time and start incorporating previously enjoyed activities or new activities into your schedule. The therapist will collaborate with you to identify and schedule fun and rewarding activities, such as engaging in hobbies, exercise, or spending time with friends and family.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness: Examine your relationships and interpersonal and social skills, enhance your skills for dealing with stressful social, work, school and family situations, and identify ways to develop more fulfilling relationships.
- Emotion Regulation: Learn to identify and label emotions, the function of emotions, how to reduce vulnerability to negative emotions and how to increase positive emotions.
- Mindfulness: Become an observer of your thoughts and emotions and respond to them in a nonjudgmental way.
Common Goals of Depression Therapy and Counseling
- Identify the cycles of depression
- Skillfully manage daily stressors
- Learn skills to manage emotions and remain more balanced
- Challenge negative thinking and increase more balanced thinking
- Decrease negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, anger, chronic unhappiness, mood swings and low self esteem
- Learn tools to decrease vulnerability to future depression
Increase sense of well-being
- Increase positive emotions such as joy, satisfaction, peace, and love, to name just a few
- Increase resiliency and improve ability to respond to adversity
- Gain an increased sense of meaning and purpose
- Increase self-confidence, enjoyment of activities, energy and motivation
How to Get Help for Your Depression
The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley specializes in evidence-based treatment for depression. We are located in Saratoga on the border of San Jose and Saratoga just 1/2 mile from Highway 85. With our convenient location near highway 85, we serve the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Cupertino and Campbell, CA.Contact us at (408) 384-8404 for more information on how we can help you overcome your depression.