Does counselling help depression?

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Health Assured team

30 March 2020

Counselling is a form of talk therapy with a professional therapist. It involves non-judgmental listening to issues an employee may be experiencing. The process also helps to find ways to deal with their problems.

While the term ‘counselling’ is normally used to describe other forms of talk therapy, it’s also a type of therapy.

It’s used to treat a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Counselling has also proven effective for dealing with bereavement. It also helps with anger issues and coping with upsetting physical conditions.

Health Assured’s Employee Assistance Programme offers 24/7 counselling as part of its service.

With it, you can support employees dealing with personal problems that might hinder that ability to perform at work. For urgent advice about depression counselling, contact our experts today on 0844 892 2493.

This piece explores counselling treatment for depression. We go through how it works and highlight its benefits. We’ll also expand on the types of counselling available to treat depression.

How does counselling help depression?

According to experts, as individuals, we’ve built our personalities, behaviours and problems over a period of time. Counselling helps to identify and deal with these problems.

With the help of a qualified professional, employees will learn to balance the pressures of work with the needs of home and personal life.

It’s important to remember that, counselling is a process and shouldn’t be expected to fix issues instantly.

As treatment for depression, counselling serves as a non-judgemental space focusing on the individual. In it, employees will discuss their feelings, emotions, thoughts, thought process and actions.

With an experienced therapist, the employee should feel secure enough to explore all emotions. As well as helping to better understand the cause of these emotions, it'll help to identify the triggers.

Does counselling work for depression?

Yes. The NHS recommends counselling for coping with depression.

The type of treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. It may also depend on the length of the depression episode.

A study by the American Psychiatric Association found that 80-90% of people undergoing counselling responded well to treatment.

One of the advantages of counselling for depression for employees is the confidentiality that it provides. In a non-judgmentally setting, it gives individuals the confidence to discuss their concerns freely.

Other benefits of counselling for depression include:

  • Easy access to trained counsellors
  • The ability to see things from different perspectives and with a positive outlook
  • Confront feelings in a safe space
  • Helping employee better understand themselves
  • Improving physical wellbeing
  • Boosting self-awareness and coping skills
  • Developing problem-solving skills

It also offers employees an opportunity to examine the cause of their depression and what it means for them. This involves thinking back to when it started and considering what they’d like to change through counselling.

So, for example, if this instance of depression is caused by work-related stress. Counselling sessions may involve challenging unhelpful thoughts, planning ahead, taking control of situations, etc.

While workplace counselling is obviously beneficial to employees, there are also many benefits for employers. You’ll see increases in performance and decreases in absenteeism.

As well as leading to lower employee turnover rates, it also helps the company gain a reputation as employers that prioritise employee wellbeing.

What happens at counselling for depression session?

The counsellor will encourage the employee to talk about their feelings and emotion.

They’ll listen without judgment and might ask questions to get a better understanding of their specific situation. Working together with the employee, they’ll explore any feelings and thought processes to identify negative patterns.

The approach might differ depending on the type of employee counselling you go for. Options include:

  • Face to face counselling: This direct form of counselling offers employees the chance to talk to a human and receive an immediate response. It also offers counsellors the opportunity to read the employee’s body language and reaction to certain triggers.
  • Telephone counselling: Can be done from anywhere allowing for flexibility while remaining as effective as face-to-face counselling. It can also benefit anonymous workers by removing the face-to-face aspect of the experience.
  • Live chat/email counselling: An extension of the telephone service. It reduces the intensity of the therapy experience while increasing the sense of anonymity.

It’s worth noting, the duration and frequency of these sessions depend on the recommendation of the therapist. It can be a short course of sessions over a few months or a longer course that lasts years.

Remember, counselling aims to help cope with depression and not to cure it. You shouldn’t expect to see its effects on your employee after a few sessions. Give them time and encourage them to stick to it.                      

Expert advice

Contact us today for more information on recognising and managing depression at work on 0844 892 2493.

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