Long Term Psychotherapy is thought by some to be more lastingly beneficial
According to a survey by the charity, Turning Point three quarters of British people experience depression at some point. This makes it one of the UK’s most common health issues. However, despite its frequency, a third of sufferers do not seek help due to many different reasons such as being judged, embarrassment, concerns about confidentiality and a feeling that they could cope by themselves.
Sadly, although depression is often the subject of news with celebrities talking of their experiences and the medical professionals and politicians discussing the costs associated with it, it is still often treated with a mixture of suspicion, contempt and shame.
In Britain around 31m prescriptions for antidepressants are handed out every year. Medication is cheap and allows the causes of depression to be placed in a neat box labeled, ‘chemical imbalance’. Short term therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are also financially cost effective but also give the impression that depression can be easily ‘cured’.
Psychiatrists such as psychoanalyst Dr. John Steiner say that there is some truth in the suggestion of a chemical imbalance. He says that some people are just more prone to depression than others. However, this is too simple an answer to the issue and it can be damaging to presume that this is the only explanation. What also must be looked at it the combination of a person’s relationship experiences with their genetic make-up. Steiner says of CBT that it “can often work in the short term, but it doesn’t affect the underlying problem. It’s a symptom-treatment, like antidepressants”.
Longer term psychotherapy aims to uncover those underlying problems. However, it is very hard to find anything other than CBT on the NHS today, primarily because of economical constraints.
It would seem though that the cost of longer term psychotherapy that can actually change a person’s life, needs to be weighed against the wider cost of the continued suffering of people with depression in terms of productivity and happiness.
Depression can affect people in different ways and therefore the therapists at The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice in Central London work with the sufferers of depression, both on long term bases and with short term psychotherapy in order to find an effective way to help and support the sufferer.