On the last page, we learned about evidence-based treatments. Now, let’s take a look at one of these proven treatments for depression, called CBT.

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Tutorial Walkthrough

The avatar will help guide you through the website.

This tutorial will walk you through the interactive components of the website.

  1. Click the arrows on the left and right sides to move through the tutorial.
  2. Click the icon in the upper right to close the tutorial.
  3. Click the avatar icon therapist avatar to access tutorial at any time.

The avatar will help guide you through the website.

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Click the wheel icons to view the treatment steps. The current step will be at the top of the wheel.

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Let’s learn about Proven Treatment for Depression

What is CBT for Depression?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or “C-B-T”) for Depression is an evidence-based “talk” therapy, or counseling treatment, proven effective in hundreds of research studies. The treatment teaches skills for changing thoughts and behaviors that affect how we feel.

Watch this video to learn more about CBT treatment. And, check out the wheel at the bottom of this page to learn about the specific parts of treatment!

About 75% of people who receive CBT for Depression treatment improve.

75%

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CBT for Depression is effective for younger and older Veterans.

CBT for Depression is recommended by experts at the highest level, based on decades of research.

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CBT for Depression is about as effective as medications – and has more lasting effects.

scales weighing medications vs CBT
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On average, CBT treatment reduces symptoms of depression by about half

and, many people have even greater improvement, as well as better quality of life.

What Happens in Treatment?

CBT for Depression includes proven steps for changing thoughts and behaviors that affect how we feel.

Click on an item on the wheel to learn about the different steps of CBT for Depression!

Behaviors have a blue background.

Thoughts have a green background.

blue square bike changes wheel item

Increase Pleasant Activities

People with depression have few activities that provide joy or meaning. In treatment, you and your therapist will identify and increase activities, specific to you, that make you feel good about yourself and your life.
meditate changes wheel item

Learn Relaxation Skills

Stress or worry can lead to symptoms of depression. Treatment includes training in effective relaxation skills for lowering stress and calming the mind and body. These new skills can help you to feel more content and in control of your emotions.
thoughts changes wheel item

Catch Negative Thoughts

People with depression usually have negative and extreme thoughts about themselves, the world, and the future. CBT teaches powerful skills for catching these thoughts so they can be changed.
modifying thoughts changes wheel item

Change Negative Thoughts

After learning how to catch negative thoughts, your therapist will help you learn how to check out and replace these thoughts with more balanced thoughts. These skills will give you more control over your feelings and reactions in different situations.

Click the arrows below to learn about the different steps of CBT for Depression

blue square bike

Increase Pleasant Activities

People with depression have few activities that provide joy or meaning. In treatment, you and your therapist will identify and increase activities, specific to you, that make you feel good about yourself and your life.
meditate

Learn Relaxation Skills

Stress or worry can lead to symptoms of depression. Treatment includes training in effective relaxation skills for lowering stress and calming the mind and body. These new skills can help you to feel more content and in control of your emotions.
thoughts

Catch Negative Thoughts

People with depression usually have negative and extreme thoughts about themselves, the world, and the future. CBT teaches powerful skills for catching these thoughts so they can be changed.
modifying thoughts

Change Negative Thoughts

After learning how to catch negative thoughts, your therapist will help you learn how to check out and replace these thoughts with more balanced thoughts. These skills will give you more control over your feelings and reactions in different situations.