Counseling for Depression
As well as therapy for Sadness, Grief, and Dysthmia
In Grand Rapids, MI
Are you or someone you know suffering from depression, overwhelming sadness, grief or dysthymia? Depression is actually one of the most common mental health issues in the United States. Everyone feels sad or melancholic from time to time, but at times in our lives these emotions can actually become debilitating when they reach the form of depression, or prolonged grief, overwhelming sadness, or a “low level of depression that just keeps bothering me” (also known as dysthymia). Therapy and trauma-informed counseling can help you get relief from depression. For some people, certain forms of depression can cause people to feel as if they cannot go to work, school, or even function. Severe forms of depression can cause people to feel suicidal and can even cause negative health outcomes. If you are beginning to experience depression, overwhelming sadness, prolonged grief or dysthymia it is important to get assessed soon and determine if counseling is right for you.
*Note: Counseling, Psychotherapy, and Therapy are interchangeable words describing the same thing.
Counseling for Depression, Sadness, Grief, and Dysthmia at Health for Life Grand Rapids
- Mood Issues (low mood, anger, aggression, irritability, unexplained anxiousness, and restless, crying a lot)
- Emotional Impact (feeling hopeless, sad, empty, anxious, despair, self-blaming)
- Behavioral Changes ( loss of interest in life, no longer finding meaning in activities that you once loved, extreme fatigue, thoughts of suicide, drinking excessively, smoking excessively, using drugs, engaging in high-risk activities)
- Cognitive Impact (trouble concentrating, difficulties completing tasks, extremely delayed responses during conversations)
- Sleep Cycle Disruptions (insomnia or cannot sleep, sleeping too much, not sleeping through the night, restless sleep)
- Physical Troubles (fatigue, unexplained pains, headaches, digestive issues)
- Libido Changes (Reduced sexual desire, unable to perform sexually)
- Counseling is a process that involves interactions with a therapist in a confidential setting. The therapist utilizes counseling techniques as well as empirically proven techniques to help guide an individual on a path out of their unique version of depression. It is not just “talking” with someone in a room. It is a dynamic experience and it has helped millions of people get back to their lives.
- Thousands of scientific studies (with actual people suffering from depression) have confirmed that counseling (in general) is effective for treating depression and helping people feel like themselves again.
- Many recent studies have shown that EMDR therapy is highly effective at reducing depression in people by targeting the events that inspired the depression with this highly advanced therapy.
- Research has demonstrated that therapy for depression is at least as effective as antidepressant medications during the treatment period and more effective in preventing a return of the symptoms after the treatment is stopped. This is not to devalue the positive impact of antidepressants; rather, it is to underscore the reliable strength of psychotherapy.
- In general, most medication research studies compare outcomes of medications to placebos (e.g. sugar pills). As a result of the effectiveness of clients taking sugar pills and reporting large decreases in depression, researchers have determined that at least 75% of the reduction in depressive symptoms when taking an antidepressant is not due to the active ingredients in the medication but rather is based on the (1) client doing something active and (2) having confidence in the helpfulness of the treatment and in the clinician who is prescribing the medication (or placebo). This means that it’s not just the medication that is working, but the individual who is taking the medication and the relationship between that individual and their doctor which is pivotal for recovery.
- Studies have consistently found that the majority of individuals prefer counseling over taking medications. However, utilizing the preferred treatment of the individual (regardless of the particular treatment) also seems to produce better results.
- Psychotherapists form a healing relationship with a client and utilize proven techniques to help the person identify triggers and reasons for the sadness, work through the expression of the sadness, processing unknown origins of sadness and more.
- Counseling has been proven to be highly effective for short and long-term depression and thus, it should be able to help someone experiencing overwhelming sadness because a person with overwhelming sadness understands what they are going through and is not yet fully in a depressive state.
- Therapy can gently guide someone through the difficulties of overwhelming sadness and help them feel better so that they get back to the things they love to do.
- Grieving is a natural process and most therapists are trained to help people move through the stages and emotional ranges of dealing with the complexities of this emotional state.
- Grief is not easy and even though it is a natural process, many people seek help from a professional to help ease their suffering.
- There is no shame in asking for help, and as is noted in over 10,000 studies on counseling, more than 79% of clients felt better after just a few sessions of counseling.
- Psychotherapy can definitely help people recover from dysthymia symptoms over time.
- According to much of the research literature, people with dysthymia may require multiple health interventions to ensure a full recovery (These may include: Counseling, Medication Management, Group Therapy, Supportive Mentorships, Bibliotherapy, and Psychological Education)
- Recovery from dysthymia often takes a long time, and the symptoms often return. One study found that 70% recovered in an average of about four years, and 50% had a recurrence. Following recovery from dysthymia, the literature suggests that clients continue to engage in counseling and other treatments to prevent a recurrence.
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Ali, N. S., Ali, B. S., Azam, I. S., & Khuwaja, A. K. (2010, July 19). Effectiveness of counseling for anxiety and depression in mothers of children ages 0-30 months by community workers in Karachi, Pakistan: a quasi-experimental study. BMC Psychiatry. https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-244X-10-57.
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Westra Department of Psychology, Westra, D., & Psychology, D. of. (2020, February 18). The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy: What the Research Tells Us. Find a Psychologist. https://www.findapsychologist.org/the-effectiveness-of-psychotherapy-what-the-research-tells-us
Wiswede D, et al. 2014. Tracking Functional Brain Changes in Patients with Depression under Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Using Individualized Stimuli. PLoS ONE. 2014. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0109037