3 Top Therapy Techniques for Major Depressive Disorder


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Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as clinical depression, is a type of mood disorder. It can significantly affect a person’s mental health. Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental health disorders to affect people in the U.S. It’s estimated that about 21% of people in the U.S. have a lifetime prevalence of MDD. Someone with this mood disorder might experience any of the following symptoms: 

  • Chronic sadness or hopelessness
  • Delayed thinking and movement
  • Unusual sleep patterns
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Feeling worthless
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Suicidality

The causes of major depressive disorder aren’t well known. However, research suggests that MDD can be linked to numerous factors. Some include brain chemistry, genetics and hormones. For those with clinical depression, treatment is essential. It can potentially reduce the severity of a person’s symptoms. Several types of treatment are available to someone with MDD.

What kinds of treatment are available to someone dealing with major depressive disorder?

There are a couple of treatment modes that may be able to impact the symptoms of major depressive disorder. Each one has the ability to bring positive effects, but in many cases, the best change results from the modes being used in conjunction with one another. 

  • Talk therapy — One of the first treatment modes is talk therapy. Talk therapy is a broad term for any kind of mental health counseling involving “talk” treatment between a mental health counselor and a person with a mental health disorder. Therapy can be held in person or remotely. It can also be helpful in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Some people benefit from intermittent sessions, while others benefit more from intensive programs. Mental health care providers can also implement therapeutic talk treatment to their clients using various evidence-based strategies. One example is process-based therapy, which enhances overall well-being through process-oriented models.

  • Medication — Another treatment mode is medication. Some types of medication may be helpful for people dealing with major depressive disorder. However, the effectiveness of medication can vary. Whether medication is the right route for you or not, it may be helpful for you to discuss it with a trusted medical professional. Oftentimes, medication paired with talk therapy or another mode is more effective than medication alone.

What are some therapy techniques that help someone with MDD?

Several therapy techniques could prove helpful for individuals with MDD symptoms. Here’s more on the top techniques:

  • Process-based therapy (PBT) — At Lightfully, we use process-based therapy as our clinical model. PBT is a therapy approach that integrates a variety of evidence-based therapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), to address the underlying drivers of mental health symptoms like those associated with depression. This technique involves personalized, whole-person-centered treatment and viewing clients as people rather than diagnoses.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) — CBT is one of the more mainstream clinical models for major depressive disorder and is integrated into PBT. This technique combines cognitive and behavioral therapies to change negative thought processes and behaviors.

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) — DBT is another method that is integrated into PBT. DBT encourages clients to accept their negative thoughts and behaviors and promotes symptom management through mindfulness.

Allow Lightfully Behavioral Health to treat your major depressive disorder with therapy

Our mission at Lightfully is to provide high-quality mental health care to various types of clients through a focused approach to process-based therapy. The framework of our clinic consists of evidence-based, clearly defined, data-driven and whole-person-centered care

Lightfully offers various levels of care to both adults and teens: Residential Treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also referred to as our Day Treatment Program. We also offer a Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP) for adults. Have you experienced MDD or MDD-related suicidal ideations? Our team would like to help you. Lightfully as a clinical treatment provider is one of the only programs to accept clients with a history of suicide attempts directly into our Residential Treatment Program. This program is a gentler alternative to most inpatient programs. We want what’s best for you and will do our best to help you achieve positive mental health outcomes. 

Change is possible. Don’t let your major depressive disorder continue to control your life. 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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