How to Find a Counsellor for Depression

Author: NCS

What is depression?

Depression is a real illness with real symptoms and it can affect anybody at any stage of life. For some people, depression can be triggered as a result of a specific event, physical illness or by a specific experience (past or present). For others, there may not be any clear reason why they have become depressed.

Stories of recent celebrities who have experienced depression and, from the outside world, may seem like they ‘have it all’ or ‘do not have a reason to be depressed’ prove that depression really can affect anyone at any time and it is important that everyone gets the help and support they need.

The good news is that there is a lot of help and support out there so no one should suffer in silence.

Symptoms of depression

Depression can feel different for everyone and it is important to remember that each experience of depression can vary depending on the individual.

Symptoms can range from psychological to social to physical. The NHS has provided an overview of symptoms from each of these categories:

Psychological symptoms

The psychological symptoms of depression include:

• continuous low mood or sadness

• feeling hopeless and helpless

• having low self-esteem

• feeling tearful

• feeling guilt-ridden

• feeling irritable and intolerant of others

• having no motivation or interest in things

• finding it difficult to make decisions

• not getting any enjoyment out of life

• feeling anxious or worried

• having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself

Physical symptoms

The physical symptoms of depression include:

• moving or speaking more slowly than usual

• changes in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)

• constipation

• unexplained aches and pains

• lack of energy

• low sex drive (loss of libido)

• changes to your menstrual cycle

• disturbed sleep – for example, finding it difficult to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning

Social symptoms

The social symptoms of depression include:

• not doing well at work

• avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities

• neglecting your hobbies and interests

• having difficulties in your home and family life

It is important to seek help or advice from your GP if you think you may be depressed.

Types of depression

There are different types of depression and different severities of depression. MIND has provided an overview of the different types of depression which we have shared below:

"If you are given a diagnosis of depression, you might be told that you have mild, moderate or severe depression. This describes what sort of impact your symptoms are having on you currently, and what sort of treatment you're likely to be offered. You might move between different mild, moderate and severe depression during one episode of depression or across different episodes.

There are also some specific types of depression:

• Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – depression that usually (but not always) occurs in the winter. SAD Association provides information and advice. See our page on SAD for more information.

• Dysthymia – continuous mild depression that lasts for two years or more. Also called persistent depressive disorder or chronic depression.

• Prenatal depression – sometimes also called antenatal depression, it occurs during pregnancy.

• Postnatal depression (PND) – occurs in the weeks and months after becoming a parent. Postnatal depression is usually diagnosed in women but it can affect men, too."

Types of therapy and counselling for depression

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has become very well known as a treatment of choice within the NHS for symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, this does not mean that it is the ONLY choice for you and it can be useful to know and understand what other options are available to you because something that might work for one person may not work for others.

We have listed a range of counselling approaches and a brief description of each on our website, so you can have a read through in your own time by clicking this link.

As you will see from the link, there are many ways of practicing counselling and you may find that one approach appeals to you more than another.

A lot of counsellors will have trained in a few different styles, so they can tailor their approach to each client. You will also be able to see which approaches your counsellor uses if you search for a counsellor through the Find a Counsellor page on our website.

Finding a counsellor for depression

One size certainly does not fit all when it comes to counselling and it is important that you find a counsellor you feel comfortable with. It is also important that you see a counsellor who is on an Accredited Register.

It may be that your GP, a local charity or organization can offer you counselling but if this is not possible or you have decided to look for a counsellor privately we have provided some information below for you.

The therapeutic relationship between you and your counsellor is extremely important to help achieve a positive outcome and as a client, you should always feel safe and comfortable with your therapist.

We have made it as easy as possible for you to search for a qualified counsellor on our website. Our Accredited Register is like an online directory of counsellors which allows you to search for a counsellor by your location (postcode, town or area) or search for those offering different types of counselling such as online or telephone counselling if this is more suitable for you.

We have encouraged all members on our Accredited Register to provide as much information about themselves as possible so that you, the potential client, can get a real feel for the counsellor’s approach and way of working.

The ‘I need help with’ filter allows you to filter the results to show the counsellors who work with depression. Other practical information is available including; which languages the counsellor speaks, how much they charge, which areas they might specialize in and whether they work with certain age groups or specific charities.

If you think that counselling could be the help you need, follow the link below to find a counsellor near you today: https://www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org/find-counsellor/.


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