Depression

Frequently Asked Questions

15. Will psychotherapy effectively treat my depression?

Psychotherapy can be very helpful for older adults with depression. Two main types of psychotherapies -- cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT) – have been shown to be effective in treating depression. These therapies are sometimes called "talk therapies."

During CBT, a mental health professional will help you change negative ways of thinking and behaving that may contribute to your depression. One version of CBT known as problem-solving therapy focuses on teaching you methods of finding solutions to difficult situations in your life that may be bothersome to you. During IPT, a mental health professional helps you understand and work through troubled personal relationships or events that may cause your depression or make it worse.

Sometimes treatment will include both medication and psychotherapy. Studies have shown that such combination treatment is highly effective in treating depression among older adults.