13 Signs You Need a New Depression Therapist (or Need to Find One in the First Place)


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Feeling down or sad from time to time is a normal part of life. If you’ve dealt with a lot of setbacks and challenges, it’s OK to wonder if you may be experiencing depression. When you start to notice a lack of energy or motivation that stays with you for weeks or months, or when your hopelessness seems too much to bear, talking to a depression therapist is a great way to sort out what your emotions are telling you.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most commonly occurring mental health disorders. An estimated 8.3% of U.S. adults, or 21 million people, have had at least one major depressive episode. People who are suffering from depression don’t always look sad or upset to the people around them. Asking for help can be tough, but it’s a necessary first step to get the treatment you need.

After you’ve worked through some of those feelings with a therapist, you should have a few new coping skills you feel comfortable using. It’s true that you’ll only get as much out of your therapy experience as the amount of effort you put into it. You deserve a therapist who can meet you where you are and help you make positive changes. But if you’re making an effort and still feeling overwhelmed, or if you’ve never seen a therapist before, there’s still hope. Keep reading to learn about some signs that may be telling you it’s time to find a (new) depression therapist.

If you’re experiencing a crisis right now, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.

How can a depression therapist help me?

Of course, there’s a lot more to you than your depression. The point of treatment isn’t only to treat symptoms, but to create a life worth living. The best depression therapist is one who “gets you” and encourages you to make changes that are not just healthy, but worthwhile and enjoyable. 

Lightfully therapists use a clinical model called process-based therapy (PBT) to treat each client as a whole person. PBT focuses on core processes that form the basis of all mental health disorders to create personalized treatment plans including several evidence-based therapies for each client.

Going without any treatment for depression can cause new mental and physical symptoms to develop in time. The same is true for pushing through with a therapist you don’t love. When you’re in an acute crisis, it can be harder to reach out for help. Even if your depression symptoms are mild, adding a therapist to your support network now can set you up for better mental health later on.

A depression therapist can help you with any of these mental wellness goals:

  • Understand your feelings and symptoms and explore what might be causing them.
  • Learn how your thoughts affect how you feel — and practice positive self-talk.
  • Identify and address underlying issues related to depression symptoms.
  • Recognize behaviors that may be contributing to your depression and choose healthier alternatives.
  • Adapt your daily habits to make functioning with depression easier.
  • Learn new coping skills.

Signs it’s time to find a new depression therapist and what to look for

We know — finding a new therapist can be a hassle. But hanging on with someone who just isn’t connecting with you won’t do much to alleviate your symptoms. Try listing reasons you should stay with your current therapist. If you have few answers besides convenience, it’s definitely time to start looking. It’s worth your time and effort to find a great therapist, not just an OK one.

Here are some great reasons to stay with your current therapist or things to look for in a new one:

  • You feel comfortable sharing personal thoughts with them. 
  • You feel like they hear and understand you.
  • They understand your therapy goals and why they are important to you.
  • They specialize in depression and any other symptoms or conditions you need help with.
  • They meet your needs for therapy that are relevant to your culture or lifestyle.
  • They use therapeutic modalities you believe will be effective for you.

If you’re seeing any of these telltale signs, consider starting your search for a new depression therapist:

  • You don’t feel like you’re making progress.
  • It seems like your therapist isn’t fully hearing you, or they’re talking more than you are. 
  • You’re cycling through the same discussions and not seeing much change.
  • You have a hard time telling the truth or talking about all your concerns.
  • You’re no longer feeling a personal connection with your therapist.
  • You’re feeling too dependent on your therapist.
  • You’re not sure why you’re going anymore.

 

Signs you may need therapy for depression

 

Are you still unsure if therapy is right for you? Many people find relief through spiritual practices, belonging in a community, or even regular exercise. But there are some signs to be aware of that you may need therapy for depression:

  • You don’t have the energy for daily activities like getting out of bed, taking a shower and eating regularly.
  • You no longer enjoy your favorite activities.
  • You feel a constant or overwhelming sense of hopelessness, emptiness or sadness.
  • You’re having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much.
  • You have little appetite or you’re eating more than usual. 
  • You get easily frustrated, angry or irritable over small things.

Explore depression therapy programs with Lightfully

At Lightfully, we offer outpatient therapy programs that go a step beyond regular therapy sessions with a primary therapist. Our licensed clinical experts will create your personalized treatment plan with evidence-based, clearly defined, data-driven and whole-person-centered care. Along with psychotherapy, you’ll get to experience group therapy and work with a psychiatrist as needed. Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and virtual IOP include three to six hours of programming per day.

Ultimately, we want to help everyone become a better version of themselves. And change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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