The counsellor's task is to reinforce the positive step which has brought the client to seek help and also to encourage the active and resilient aspect of his/her personality which is currently unavailable.
Anti-depressants can be prescribed, but medication is not a solution in itself; a combination of counselling and medication has been found to help people address the issues in their lives that are the cause of the depression, resulting in a long-term change.
The most striking characteristic of depression is a negative one; an absence of built-in self esteem. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) skills can be helpful here, recognising negative and self-blaming thoughts, interpretations and expectations. These are then replaced by more positive cognitions. Many of the styles of thinking that are associated with depression arise from early negative experience with parents and others. An important part of the work is to explore immediate or automatic thoughts, learn how to recognise them as they occur and how to challenge them.
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