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Depression

 
It has been well established that counselling is an effective treatment for depression. From the turn of the century when Freud noticed that patients got better as they were allowed to talk about their problems and subsequently developed his “talking cure,” counselling has firmly established itself as an important intervention. Advancements in technology have birthed new medications designed to stimulate neural networks withering from underuse, which have been tremendously helpful for those suffering from depression. Below are a few studies from well respected medical journals analyzing published data (meta-analyses) on the effectiveness of counselling, some comparing it to medications, and others showing the effectiveness of the two in combination.
  • A meta-analysis published in JAMA Psychiatry (Nov 1997) showed that whereas combined psychotherapy-pharmacotherapy interventions were not as effective as psychotherapy alone for cases of mild depression, it was found to have better effect in treating severe and recurrent depressions.
  • Another similar meta-analysis confirmed that a combination of psychotherapy with pharmacological intervention is most efficacious in treating depression (JAMA Psychiatry, July 2004).
  • When cognitive therapy was compared to antidepressant treatment for moderate to major depression they were found to have similar positive effect, greater than placebo (JAMA Psychiatry, April 2005). Those patients therefore, who are unresponsive to antidepressant intervention or are otherwise averse to taking medication may be referred out for cognitive therapeutic intervention.
  • In comparing interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) with other treatments, including pharmacotherapy, via a 38-study meta-analysis, this form of psychotherapy performed overwhelmingly better than the rest (The American Journal of Psychiatry, June 2011)