Treating Depression By Problem Solving Therapy

 

In recent years, problem solving therapy has been shown to be an effective contribution to the treatment of depression, along with many other useful techniques, which are described on this site.

 

As depression is brought about by stresses, learning techniques to deal with stresses will obviously be very useful.  One such technique is problem solving therapy.

 

STEP ONE is to write down all the problems/stresses that are affecting you, and presumably a major cause of your depression.

 

STEP TWO is to take each problem in turn, and write it on a separate sheet of paper.  For each problem, write down what options you have to deal with that problem.

 

STEP THREE is to take each option you have written down and write down the pros and cons of that particular solution or option.  Do this for all the options you have available for that problem.  For example, if someone at work is treating you unfairly, one option might be to write them a polite letter, one option might be to write them an angry letter, one option might be to go and have a discussion with them, and one option might be to get a third party known to both of you to try to discuss the difficulty.  Writing down the pros and cons of each way of dealing with the problem will give you some idea of how appealing each solution is, and the positive and negative consequence of trying that solution.

 

STEP FOUR is to choose a particular best option, and write down the steps to follow in putting that plan into action.

 

 

A major benefit of this sort of approach, and indeed one that applies to anything about which you are worrying, is that putting on paper problems and their possible solutions reduces the stress of these problems.  If you find yourself tempted to worry about these issues again, ask yourself if there is something new that you have not written down, and write it down.  If there is nothing new, then you can tell yourself that there is no point distressing yourself going over the same thoughts and worries repeatedly, as you are only going to come to the same answer as is already written on your papers.  Of course, if you are significantly depressed, it will unfortunately be very difficult for you to think your way through problems, so asking someone close to you or your therapist or doctor to help with the above process may be very useful.

 

Important Disclaimer:  This site is medical information only, and is not to be taken as diagnosis, advice or treatment, which can only be decided by your own doctor.