Therapy questions for depression (Top 5)

In this article we are going to discuss some questions related to depression that you can address in therapy. 

We will also take a quick look at what depression is and how it impacts the lives of those affected.

Questions you can ask your therapist about depression

Some questions you can ask your therapist about depression include:

  • Why do I feel depressed?
  • What do I do in case of an emergency?
  • What is therapy exactly?
  • Will you be collaborating with other professionals?
  • How to inform my social circle about your diagnosis
  • What can you do to support your treatment?
  • Ask about their practice
  • Address blocks in progress

Depression

Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. It can cause the affected person to function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. 

Although there are known, effective treatments for mental disorders, there are various barriers to treatment. Barriers to effective care include a lack of resources, lack of trained health-care providers and social stigma associated with mental disorders. 

Symptoms 

During a depressive episode, the person experiences a depressed mood (feeling sad, irritable, empty) or a loss of pleasure or interest in activities, for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks. 

Several other symptoms are also present, which may include poor concentration, feelings of excessive guilt or low self-worth, hopelessness about the future, thoughts about dying or suicide, disrupted sleep, changes in appetite or weight, and feeling especially tired or low in energy. 

In some cultural contexts, some people may express their mood changes more readily in the form of bodily symptoms (e.g. pain, fatigue, weakness).  Yet, these physical symptoms are not due to another medical condition. 

During a depressive episode, the person experiences significant difficulty in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, and/or other important areas of functioning. 

A depressive episode can be categorised as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the number and severity of symptoms, as well as the impact on the individual’s functioning. 

Questions you can ask your therapist about depression

SOme of the questions you can ask your therapist about depression in your sessions with them includes:

Why do I feel depressed?

The initial step in getting treatment for your depression should be a comprehensive assessment. When you have your session for the first time it is important to ask your therapist why you could be feeling depressed. 

Finding this out can involve a series of questions and tests both in therapy and with a physician to root out biological causes. 

Asking your therapist to give you a clear idea of what could be causing your depression can help develop awareness and a place to start from if you want to educate yourself. 

Asking them this can also help you take control over your own journey instead of being in the dark about the causes of your feeling depressed

What do I do in case of an emergency?

For many people therapy will usually look like one-on-one sessions with a therapist once a week, lasting from 45 minutes to an hour- the extent to which your therapist offers support can differ. 

Some might be open to communication outside of the session while others might not. Whatever the case, it’s important to know what to do in an emergency — specifically, who you should contact if you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide outside of the therapy setting. 

For safety reasons, you should work with your practitioner to put in place a contingency plan from the outset of therapy.

What is therapy exactly?

There are many definitions when it comes to therapy and while the professional practice of it is understood as a collaborative treatment that centers on the relationship between the client and care provider, it can also differ according to the practice of each therapist. 

Asking your therapist to explain to your what therapy is, can be a place to start so that you are aware and educated about the processes of therapy and what is required of either parties to make it work. 

These questions will also help you understand the strategies they use and what are the techniques that will be applied for your treatment. 

Will you be collaborating with other healthcare providers?

Some people who are depressed or show symptoms of depression may not need medication however others might. It is important to know what collaborative efforts will be taken by your therapist to help you treat your depression.

Whether you choose medication, psychotherapy, or both, it’s important for your treatment providers, past and current, to be in communication so that all the services you receive work in conjunction with one another. 

How to inform your social circle about your diagnosis?

Depression can not only affect you but also affect those around us in a number of ways. You may also change the way you conduct your day-to-day life. 

Perhaps you find it difficult to enjoy time with your family and have had disruptions at work. If this is the case, it’s likely that other people in your life has noticed- your family, friends, and even employers. 

Asking your therapist what are some effective strategies to communicate your mental health status can equip you to deal with the issue when the need arises. 

Your therapist can also help you address communication skills or even educate you about mental health and employment laws to protect you from being wrongfully fired. 

What can you do to support your treatment?

Psychotherapy is the foundation upon which change takes place. However, the goal of therapy is that the change happens outside of the therapy room- in the real world. 

It is important that change that is benign discussed in the session is being implemented. Asking your therapist what are some strategies you can do that can help you deal with your depression can be a good place to start.

These strategies can include managing healthy eating habits, sleep patterns, and other behaviors (for example, getting exercise or avoiding alcohol) that could be central to your treatment plan.

Ask about their practice 

It is important that you ask your therapist about their practice. These questions can include:

  • What is their therapeutic approach
  • What is their philosophy of change?
  • What do they think of diagnoses?
  • Their thoughts on collaboration or are their approach more directive 
  • Number of sessions
  • Their methods of addressing feedback
  • Their fees and pay scales
  • Questions related to ethics and what happens if ethics are not maintained
  • Questions related to confidentiality and how they protect your privacy

Address blocks in progress

If you think that you have reached a dead end in therapy and it does not seem to be working, it’s essential to share this information with your therapist. 

Asking them “why is my progress stalling?” or “why is therapy not working” can be a good issue to ask your therapist so that you and your therapist can address issues related to resistance that could be part of the problem. 

Conclusion

In this article we have discussed what depression is and what are some questions related to depression that you can address in therapy.  

References

www.who.int

www.healthline.com

www.australiacounselling.com.au

Frequently asked questions related to “Therapy questions for depression”

How do I talk to my therapist for the first time?

During your first session, your therapist will usually take the lead and ask questions to understand what you’re struggling with and what brought you in to see them. 

You’ll likely talk about some of your past (family history, traumatic experiences) and how your symptoms or feelings are manifesting today.

You don’t have to worry about how you come off to your therapist because they are trained to make sense of your situation and not judge you. 

What should I ask myself before therapy?

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Beginning Therapy includes:

  • What do I want to work on?
  • What do I hope to get out of therapy?
  • How much am i willing to commit to working on myself
  • What are my boundaries?
  • How much am I willing to open up?
  • Am I ready for change?
  • What happens if I don’t like this therapist?

Why do therapists ask where you feel something in your body?

Emotions are often a psychological and physical experience. A therapist might ask you where you feel your emotions as a way of bringing non-judgmental curiosity to what we’re experiencing so that it can help us to see our feelings for what they are.

What should I talk to my counselor about?

Here are some things you can talk about with your counsellor:

  • Bring up whatever’s bugging you right now.
  • Tell your therapist about what kept you up in the past
  • Talk about what you think and how you feel
  • Talk about your relationships.
  • Talk about things that hurt you in the past 
  • Address things that you have tried to help yourself even if they failed. 
  • Talk about your fears when it comes to therapy.

Why can’t I look at my therapist?

Even with their therapist it can be difficult to look them in the eye. Some possible root causes range from guilt, shame, anxiety, low self-esteem, shyness, past abuse, depression or autistic spectrum disorders to varying cultural norms and cognitive overload.

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