For people with depression, sometimes talking it out with a counselor is all that's needed. Being able to express sad feelings to an impartial expert can give relief, and a trained professional can help sufferers pinpoint the roots of their problems and steer them to appropriate solutions. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a person with depression typically will engage in one of two main types of therapies: cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy works by helping you figure out the anxious, often irrational thought and behavior patterns that contribute to your depression. This therapy teaches you how to push back on the negative thoughts and replace them with more positive, constructive ones, and is usually short-term-10 to 20 sessions often are enough to change a person's dysfunctional thinking and create a more rational way of looking at things that helps wipe out depression.
  • Interpersonal therapy. Interpersonal therapy focuses on how various social and interpersonal relationships might play a role in your depression. Maybe you lost a loved one, or are going through a romantic breakup. By figuring out how the relationships in your life contribute to depression, you can come up with methods of dealing with them and make them better. Like cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy is most often a short-term therapy.

There are other forms of therapy for people suffering from depression, including:

  • Psychodynamic therapy. This therapy focuses on a person's past in order to come up with possible connections between old conflicts and traumas that are causing the current depression. Sometimes, if a person has suffered unhappiness in the past, it can manifest itself in the way he or she behaves and feels today. A good therapist will help the patient see the link between old wounds and present depression. This therapy may be somewhat longer-term than cognitive behavioral or interpersonal therapies.
  • Group therapy. It can be helpful to talk about your feelings with other people suffering from depression, especially if they are dealing with the same issues you are. For some people, the safety of a group setting may enable them to be more forthcoming than they would if speaking with just one counselor.