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Main Features of Depression

Main Features Of Depression

  • Beck described depressed people as focusing on unrealistically negative views and having a ‘negative cognitive triad; depressed people typically have a negative view of themselves, the world and the future’ (Mytton, 2000)
  • Thoughts about loss, defeat, failure will be the main themes of the NATs
  • The client will have a negative, rigid bias in most areas of life, e.g. won’t remember good events, or will put them down to ‘fluke’
  • This maintains depression (rather than causes it, there is still debate about the cause of depression)

How To Work With Someone With Depression

  • Write to GP/consultant telling them you have been approached by the client and asking their agreement that you can work with this client.
  • You can use a depression inventory (e.g. HADS or Mind Over Mood Depression Inventory*) to measure how depressed your client is if you choose to. These can be useful to assess how serious the client’s symptoms are and to see improvement and progress.
  • Clients need to see how they ‘construct reality’ and maintain their depression
  • It is important to educate your client about depression generally and what makes it worse etc. Get to know their triggers, thoughts and biases and help to make them conscious
  • Work out what specifically is relevant for this client
  • Help clients to uncover, challenge and change NATs
  • How has the client experienced coping/achieving/enjoyment? Enable the client to remember positive coping strategies, achievements and pleasurable activities. Make a list of goals about these features.
  • Set goals that show progress e.g. sleeping longer at night


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