How can counselling help with long-term depression and low moods?

Living with depression and low moods can be a deeply challenging experience. For those who have struggled with these feelings for most of their lives, the burden can feel particularly heavy.


While it might seem daunting to take the next step towards seeking help, speaking to a professional can be a transformative decision. Counselling offers a pathway to understanding, managing, and alleviating the symptoms of depression, leading to improved mental health and quality of life.

Understanding long-term depression

Depression is more than just feeling sad or having a bad day. It is a persistent condition that affects how one thinks, feels, and behaves. Key symptoms of long-term depression can include:

  • Persistent low mood: Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless most of the time
  • Loss of interest: A lack of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Fatigue: Chronic tiredness and a lack of energy
  • Sleep disturbances: Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite: Significant weight loss or gain due to changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty concentrating: Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things
  • Feelings of worthlessness: Intense feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide: Recurrent thoughts about death, suicidal ideation, or suicide attempts

These symptoms can vary in severity and may come and go over time. For those who have experienced depression for a long period, the condition can become an ingrained part of life, making it even more crucial to seek professional help.

The benefits of counselling for depression

Counselling can provide a supportive and structured environment to explore and address the complexities of long-term depression. Here are some key ways in which counselling can help:

Understanding the root causes

  • Exploring past experiences: Counsellors can help individuals uncover and understand past experiences that may have contributed to their depression.
  • Identifying triggers: Therapy can assist in identifying specific triggers that exacerbate low moods, enabling individuals to develop strategies to manage them.

Developing coping strategies

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): CBT is effective in helping individuals challenge and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to depression.
  • Behavioural activation: This technique involves gradually increasing engagement in positive and meaningful activities to counteract depression.

Emotional support and validation

  • Safe space for expression: Counselling provides a non-judgmental environment where individuals can express their feelings and thoughts openly.
  • Building trust: Establishing a trusting relationship with a counsellor can provide the emotional support needed to navigate difficult emotions.

Improving self-esteem and self-worth

  • Positive reinforcement: Counsellors can help individuals recognise their strengths and achievements, building self-esteem and a sense of self-worth.
  • Self-compassion: Therapy can teach individuals to develop a kinder, more compassionate relationship with themselves.

Creating a personalised treatment plan

  • Goal setting: Counsellors work with individuals to set realistic and achievable goals, providing a sense of direction and purpose.
  • Tailored approaches: Therapy is tailored to meet the unique needs and preferences of each individual, ensuring a personalised approach to treatment.

Enhancing problem-solving skills

  • Practical solutions: Counsellors can help individuals develop practical solutions to everyday problems that contribute to stress and low mood.
  • Decision-making support: Therapy can assist in improving decision-making skills, and reducing feelings of overwhelm and indecision.

Incorporating mindfulness and self-care

In addition to traditional counselling techniques, incorporating mindfulness and self-care practices can further support the management of depression and low moods:

Mindfulness meditation

  • Present-moment awareness: Mindfulness meditation helps individuals stay present and observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment.
  • Stress reduction: Regular mindfulness practice can reduce stress and improve emotional regulation.

Breathing exercises

  • Deep breathing: Practicing deep, slow breathing can activate the body’s relaxation response, helping to reduce anxiety and promote calmness.
  • Breath awareness: Focusing on the breath can ground individuals in the present moment, easing feelings of overwhelm.

Physical activity

  • Exercise: Regular physical activity has been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
  • Mindful movement: Practices like yoga or tai chi combine physical movement with mindfulness, enhancing both physical and mental well-being.

Healthy lifestyle choices

  • Balanced diet: Eating a nutritious diet can support overall health and well-being.
  • Sleep hygiene: Establishing healthy sleep habits can improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue.

Taking the next step

Deciding to seek help for long-term depression and low moods is a courageous and important step. Here’s how to get started:

  • Research counsellors: Look for licensed professionals who specialise in treating depression and have experience with long-term cases.
  • Consider different modalities: Explore various types of therapy, such as CBT, psychodynamic therapy, or mindfulness-based approaches, to find what resonates best.
  • Schedule a consultation: Many counsellors offer an initial consultation to discuss your needs and determine if they are a good fit.
  • Commit to the process: Therapy is a journey that requires time and commitment. Be patient with yourself as you work towards healing and improvement.

Living with long-term depression and low moods can feel isolating and overwhelming, but you do not have to navigate this journey alone. Counselling offers a supportive, structured environment to explore the root causes of your depression, develop coping strategies, and build a healthier, more fulfilling life. Incorporating mindfulness and self-care practices can further enhance your well-being and resilience.

If you have been struggling with depression and feel ready to take the next step, consider reaching out to a professional counsellor. This step can lead to meaningful change and provide the support you need to move towards a brighter future.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Windsor SL4 & Newbury RG14
Written by Hope Therapy & Counselling Services
Windsor SL4 & Newbury RG14

Hope Therapy & Counselling Services are dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate mental health and wellbeing support to individuals, couples, and families. Our team of experienced and qualified counsellors & therapists are committed to helping clients navigate life's challenges and achieve personal growth and well-being.

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