Ketamine infusion therapy has been found to bring about rapid relief of depression symptoms for those who have failed to experience any relief from conventional antidepressants. This is great news for the one-third of depression sufferers experiencing treatment-resistant depression, but ketamine therapy isn’t a cure for depression.
Instead, it’s a treatment that can bring about symptom relief long enough for sufferers of moderate to severe depression to participate fully in other treatments that can lead to long-term remission. Moderate to severe depression can be debilitating, so much so that its symptoms can effectively prevent patients from sticking with any of the several forms of psychotherapy beneficial for depression. Treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, psychodynamic treatment, and interpersonal psychotherapy can all be effective, if the patient sticks with them long enough.
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is a common and effective treatment for depression and anxiety. This type of counseling is limited in scope, consisting of an average of 12 sessions. Through CBT, you can learn to identify patterns of thought or behavior that are unhealthy, inaccurate, negative, and counterproductive. In addition to depression and anxiety disorders, CBT is also commonly used to help those without mental illness learn to cope with normal life stressors.
CBT has lasting benefits, because it teaches you a set of cognitive skills you can use to manage mental illness symptoms, prevent relapse, treat mental illness without medications, manage your emotions, and cope with grief or emotional trauma. When combined with ketamine infusion therapy, CBT could bring about lasting remission of your depression symptoms.
2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy or DBT is a form of CBT that emphasizes improving emotional regulation and interpersonal relationships. It consists of a combination of individual and group therapy sessions. In DBT, you’ll learn to identify and build on your personal strengths, while pinpointing counterproductive and unrealistic beliefs and thoughts that make life more difficult. You’ll learn to replace these unrealistic, negative thoughts and beliefs with more realistic, bearable thoughts and beliefs. You’ll also learn new emotional self-soothing skills, while role-playing productive, healthy ways of interacting with others.
3. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy or ACT is a type of mindfulness therapy that helps you learn to endure negative feelings and thoughts by developing healthier coping mechanisms. Some strategies you’ll earn in ACT include:
- Allowing your feelings to happen without acting on them
- Accepting that you won’t be good at everything
- Noticing your strengths as well as your weaknesses
- Recognizing life’s difficulties without trying to escape or avoid them
- Taking responsibility for your feelings, thoughts, and reactions
By accepting situations, personality traits, or emotions that are difficult or impossible to change, you can avoid a great deal of distress and even prevent depression relapse.
4. Psychodynamic Treatment
Psychodynamic treatment is the kind of treatment you probably think of when you think of psychotherapy. In psychodynamic treatment, you’ll talk freely with the therapist about whatever is on your mind. The therapist will attempt to identify counterproductive patterns in your relationships, as well as unhealthy patterns of behavior and thought, and unconscious negative emotions.
The things you say, as well as the way you react to your therapist within the client-practitioner relationship, will allow your therapist to extrapolate valuable information about your relationship behaviors, patterns of thought, and emotional problems. The therapist will also focus on helping you develop the tools you need to solve relationship and emotional problems. Unlike some other therapies, psychodynamic treatment is open-ended, and can last for a year or longer.
5. Interpersonal Psychotherapy
Interpersonal psychotherapy, or IPT, is short-term and limited in scope, just like CBT. It seeks to treat depression by addressing interpersonal issues that can hinder a depressed person’s ability to get his or her emotional needs met and cause depression symptoms. It is effective for treating people of all ages.
Over the course of 12 to 16 weeks, you will work with a therapist to identify and solve problems in the way you interact with others. By addressing these problems, you should experience rapid improvement in your depression symptoms. Over the long-term, you should retain your ability to make adjustments in your personal interactions to function well socially and experience continued symptom relief.
Many kinds of psychotherapy are effective for depression treatment, but it can be hard to stick with a course of therapy when you’re struggling with refractory depression symptoms. Ketamine infusion therapy can help you overcome depression symptoms long enough to seek the treatment you need to achieve lasting remission.