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13 min read

How Does Therapy Help in the Treatment of Depression?

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Sep 29, 2023

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

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The challenges of depression can often feel overwhelming, leaving you in search of effective treatment options. If you’re curious about the role therapy plays in alleviating depression, know that you’re among many seeking the same clarity. Therapy, or psychotherapy, has long been a cornerstone of mental health treatment, providing a structured setting where individuals can explore their feelings, identify triggers, and learn coping strategies from a licensed therapist.

This article sheds light on how therapy can be a valuable component of your overall depression treatment plan. We’ll explore the different types of therapy available, how they are effective in treating depression, and how you can find a qualified therapist via telehealth platforms like Klarity.

Whether you’re struggling with mild or severe depression, therapy offers a safe space to discuss your concerns and work on personalized solutions. With Klarity, you can hand-pick a licensed therapist and schedule an initial consultation at a time that works best for you.

Choose a provider on Klarity today to create a customized depression treatment plan that includes therapy.

What is Depression Therapy?

Depression therapy, often referred to as psychotherapy or “talk therapy,” is a treatment approach that involves talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health professional. Therapists use various techniques to help individuals understand the root causes of their depression, manage depression-related symptoms, and develop coping mechanisms to improve their quality of life.

In a typical therapy session, you’ll work collaboratively with your therapist to identify problem areas, set achievable goals, and track your progress. The goal is not just for depressive symptom relief but also equipping you with the skills needed for long-term mental health management.

Benefits of Therapy in Depression Treatment

Talk therapy can offer numerous advantages for those grappling with depression. Some of the key benefits for working with mental health professionals include:

  • Improved Emotional Regulation: Talk therapy helps you understand the triggers and thought patterns that lead to depressive episodes, enabling better emotional control.
  • Enhanced Coping Strategies: Learn practical skills to cope with stress and triggers, reducing the severity of depressive symptoms.
  • Increased Self-Esteem: Through self-discovery and goal-setting, therapy can help elevate your sense of self-worth.
  • Relationship Skills: Gain valuable insights into interpersonal dynamics, improving your relationships and social interactions.

Types of Depression Therapy

There are various types of depression therapy approaches, each offering a unique set of techniques and strategies to manage depressive symptoms. From cognitive-behavioral therapy to interpersonal therapy and even group therapy, the options are diverse and tailored to meet individual needs. 

Below, we’ll delve into some of the most common types of depression therapy, exploring how each can contribute to effective treatment.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly used approaches for treating depression. It focuses on identifying negative thought patterns and beliefs that contribute to depressive symptoms. By recognizing and challenging these unproductive thoughts, individuals can develop healthier coping mechanisms and emotional responses.

Licensed therapists employing CBT guide individuals through a structured, often short-term program to develop healthier coping mechanisms and emotional responses. This approach is not only effective for depression but also widely applicable to various mental health disorders, including anxiety and phobias.

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) zeroes in on the social and relational factors that may contribute to depression. IPT aims to improve communication skills and increase self-esteem by utilizing specific strategies and exercises, allowing individuals to build healthier relationships and thereby reduce depressive symptoms.

This form of therapy is structured and usually spans a specific time frame, like 12 to 16 weeks. IPT targets relationship issues and aims to resolve them, thereby improving emotional well-being. It can be particularly useful for those who are dealing with grief, relationship disputes, or significant life changes, as it helps to better contextualize and manage emotional responses in these situations.

Group Therapy

Group therapy provides a supportive community setting where individuals can share experiences and coping strategies. Led by a licensed therapist, group therapy sessions allow participants to gain different perspectives on their condition while offering and receiving emotional support. Engaging in group therapy can also help reduce the sense of isolation that often accompanies depression.

It is often employed as a supplementary treatment alongside individual therapy, offering a broader emotional and social context for recovery. Group therapy can be particularly beneficial in providing real-world feedback and a variety of coping mechanisms, helping to mitigate the sense of isolation that often accompanies depression.

Ready for the next step in your mental health journey? Book an appointment with a licensed provider on Klarity today.

Is Therapy Effective At Treating Depression?

When questioning therapy’s effectiveness in treating depression, it’s essential to note that scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that therapy, usually in combination with antidepressant medications, can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals dealing with depression. 

Therapeutic approaches like cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and group therapy offer structured environments to address the root causes and symptoms of moderate depression or major depression, providing long-term strategies for managing the condition.

Of course, different people respond to therapy in various ways, and while some may see immediate benefits, others may require a longer therapy time frame. Regardless, therapy remains a cornerstone in comprehensive mental health care, offering emotional insight and coping skills that are valuable for long-term mental health care.

How Long Does Therapy Take to See Results?

How long it takes to see tangible results from therapy can vary widely among individuals, depending on several factors like the severity of symptoms, the therapeutic approach used, and personal commitment to the process. Some people may experience noticeable improvements within a few weeks of consistent sessions, while for others, it may take months to realize significant change. 

It’s also essential to set realistic expectations and goals with your therapist to gauge your progress adequately. While therapy may not provide an immediate “cure” for depression, it does offer the tools and strategies needed to manage symptoms more effectively, leading to improved quality of life over time.

Other Depression Treatment Options

While therapy is a crucial component in treating depression, it’s often just one part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Many individuals find that combining therapy with other treatment options, such as antidepressant medication, creates a more effective approach to managing and treating depression. 

This multifaceted method addresses the emotional and psychological aspects of depressive disorders, as well as the physiological factors that could contribute to symptoms of depression. With a comprehensive plan in place, individuals can explore various avenues to achieve the most effective results. Personalizing your treatment plan with the guidance of a licensed mental health care therapist ensures that you’re taking a well-rounded approach to managing your depression.


Medication is often considered a primary or complementary treatment option for those dealing with depression. Antidepressants like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) are commonly prescribed to help balance the neurotransmitters associated with mood regulation. Medication can provide immediate relief from acute symptoms, thereby making it easier to engage in therapeutic work.

It’s essential to consult with a licensed healthcare provider, like those on Klarity, for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan that may include medication. Always communicate openly with your mental health provider about any side effects or concerns to ensure that the medication is serving its purpose effectively.

Complementary Coping Strategies

Beyond traditional therapy and medication, there are various complementary coping strategies that individuals can employ to manage depression-related symptoms more effectively. They encompass a wide range of approaches, from lifestyle changes to alternative therapies like acupuncture, providing individuals with a full spectrum of options to create a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan.

While these coping strategies should not replace professional medical advice or treatment, they can certainly enhance the efficacy of a well-rounded approach to managing depression. It’s important to consult with your mental healthcare provider before incorporating any new strategies into your care plan to ensure they align well with your existing treatments.

Lifestyle Changes

One of the most impactful yet often overlooked coping strategies is making lifestyle changes. Exercise, diet, and sleep play crucial roles in mental health, and even small adjustments can lead to significant improvements in mood and energy levels. 

Regular exercise has been shown to release endorphins, which naturally elevates mood, while a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can directly affect brain function and emotional well-being. Adequate sleep is also vital for mental health, as sleep deprivation can exacerbate depression symptoms. Consulting a healthcare provider for tailored lifestyle recommendations can make this coping strategy more effective.


Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that has gained attention for its potential benefits in treating depression. Rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to regulate the flow of “qi” or life force energy.

While the scientific understanding of its efficacy is still evolving, some studies suggest that acupuncture can improve mood and reduce the severity of depression symptoms. If you’re considering this option, it’s essential to consult a licensed acupuncturist and your healthcare provider to discuss its potential benefits and risks in your specific case.

How to Find the Right Depression Therapist

Choosing the right therapist for depression treatment is a critical step in your mental health journey. Since the success of therapy often hinges on the relationship between the client and therapist, it’s important to find someone you feel comfortable with and who has the expertise to address your specific needs. Many online platforms, including Klarity, offer convenient ways to connect with licensed therapists, making the initial search less daunting.

There are several factors to consider when selecting a depression therapist, such as credentials, area of expertise, treatment approaches, and even logistical details like location and session costs. It’s advisable to conduct initial consultations with potential therapists to gauge the level of comfort and compatibility. Discuss your symptoms, medical history, and treatment goals to understand if they’re the right fit for you. 

Hand-Pick Your Depression Therapist Today

With Klarity, you don’t have to find a depression therapist on your own. We give you the power to hand-pick a licensed therapist specializing in depression treatment on our network. This makes it easier for you to find the right fit, as you can sort through all of the options and filter by area of expertise, location, price, and if they require or accept your insurance, among other criteria. 

This personalized approach empowers you to choose a therapist who aligns with your specific needs and treatment goals. With Klarity, flexibility and affordability are at the forefront. Whether you’re looking for online therapy sessions from the comfort of your home or prefer in-person meetings, you can find a therapist on Klarity who can accommodate your preferences. 

Find a provider on Klarity today to begin depression therapy.

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