Types of Cognitive Therapy for Depression

Cognitive therapy is used by psychologists as one of the approaches to treat a mental disorder, such as depression. This process involves helping the patient develop skills which will teach him how to identify his behavior or thinking which is causing him to get more upset or depressed, and also teach him how to modify his beliefs and change his behavior.

This is considered to be a very effective way of treating depression because the patient also actively participates in the healing process and it is a more effective treatment with better far-reaching consequences.


Cognitive therapy believes that depression can be as a result of the person’s distorted thinking and perspective regarding a particular issue and by highlighting those distorting, the psychologist encourages the patient to look at this distortions in a new light and recognize where he is going wrong. Here are a few types of cognitive therapy techniques used to treat depression:

Rational Emotive Therapy

Rational Emotive Therapy or RET is type of cognitive therapy which can be used to treat a number of mental illnesses including depression. It was developed by Aaron T Beck and is based on the premise that depression comes from irrational thoughts which leads to irrational expectations, goals or emotions. The therapy aims to guide the person on how to have realistic thoughts so that he can eliminate the distorted thoughts and display more balanced emotions rather than sudden strong impulses.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT is another very popular form of cognitive therapy used for treating depression where the basic premise is that a person’s dysfunctional thoughts influence his behavior and if he is made to recognize those thoughts, his behavior and approach to life can be changed. CBT is often used with RET because our thoughts and behavior are very closely linked and only when we can bring these two under control and learn to recognize the irrational patterns can we treat depression effectively

Exposure Therapy

It is a form of therapy where the psychologist makes the person suffering from depression face the reasons which is making him upset or sad. There can be many traumatic events in one’s life which can cripple us and stop us from leading a healthy and fruitful life. In order to avoid going into a downward spiral, we must face our fears and anxieties, so that by being exposed to them we can move forward and ultimately get rid of negative feelings which lead to depression.



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