Several types of psychotherapy -- or "talk therapy" -- can help people with depression. Some treatments are short-term, lasting 10 to 20 weeks, and others are longer, depending on the person's needs.

Effective Talk Therapies

Two main types of psychotherapies -- cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT) -- have been shown to be effective in treating depression.

There are various cognitive-behavioral therapies that can be effective in treating depression in older adults. These include cognitive therapy, problem-solving therapy, and behavioral activation treatment, among others. By teaching new ways of thinking and behaving, CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) helps people change negative habits that may contribute to their depression. IPT (interpersonal therapy) helps people understand and work through troubled personal relationships or events that may cause their depression or make it worse.

Sometimes Psychotherapy is Not Enough

For mild to moderate depression, psychotherapy may be the best treatment option. However, sometimes psychotherapy alone is not enough. A study examining depression treatment among older adults found that patients who got better with medication and IPT were less likely to have the depression return if they continued their combination treatment for at least two years.