Which do you choose and what constitutes therapy? I believe that sometimes both are called for to work hand in hand.
You may be able to avoid taking prescribed drugs if therapy such as Cognative Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Counselling, for example, are offere. They can help to change the way you feel and perceive your situation. CBT, in my opinion, can help in some circumstances, it can help you to see your situation from a different perspective and become better able to deal with your life's events.
It has it's place and works for many to realise a new way forward as long as you stick to it and want to make changes to your life, or change the way you feel about a situation you have found yourself in. For example, if a loved one dies or becomes estranged from you, CBT may help to see how a new life can be carved without them. It is less able to deal with deep, long-standing issues; in my opinion.
For whose with multiple, long term, deep rooted issues, and more than mild to moderate depression, in my opinion, CBT alone is less effective, and sometimes not at all.
In order to make CBT effective in some cases, talking therapy is needed, often working hand in hand, each allowing the other to work as issues are brought to the front in counselling, then dealt with using CBT. They can merge without giving each a specif label/time frame. For some people, or situations, counselling is the primary, or only way to go.
So what is involved in each? In the smallest of nutshells, is used to identify how you feel in a given situation. You are given charts to fill in noting down things like;
What the situation/event is...............................Having coffee with a friend
The emotions you feel at that time..................Very happy
A percentage score............................................80%
The idea is to look back on the chart and try to fill your life with more of the things that make you happy(ier), rather than the things generating negative emotions. You may also then be able to change things like, for example, if you job is the root of most of your unhappiness, you may be able to change your job or the hours you work.
Not all changes are possible so you may need to take steps to minimise those negative situations, or give yourself a positive focus within them.
Counselling explores you and your life at a deeper level. You go at your own pace and only talk about what you want to talk about, when you are ready. A Counsellor will help and encourage you. By opening up and talking, you can then discover why things in your current life are causing so much stress - especially the little things that are seemingly insignificant.
I must stress that it is important to find a Therapist for both CBT and Counselling who is properly qualified. In the UK, the NHS has a link to find qualified CBT Therapists click here, and for Counsellors, click here.
There are other forms of therapy, you need to find which one suits you. More in part two!
Jeany Pavett, Author of Life After Death: A Mother's Story