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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works well for a lot of people. It focuses on the now, the reality of the person’s situation rather than projected negatives. But for some, focusing on the future and on the positive possibilities that may come later help pull them from a depressive state.
Researchers from Cedars-Sinai say a new treatment plan which helps patients create a positive outlook may help them deal with major depression better. Patients who were treated with Future-Directed Therapy ™ demonstrated significant improvement in depression and anxiety as well as quality of life.
“Recent imaging studies show that depressed patients have reduced functioning in the regions of the brain responsible for optimism,” said Jennice Vilhauer, PhD, study author and clinical director of Adult Outpatient Programs for the Cedars-Sinai Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. “Also, people with depression tend to have fewer skills to help them develop a better future. They have less ability to set goals, problem solve or plan for future events.”
Anand Pandya, MD, also of Cedars, said, “Future-Directed Therapy is designed to reduce depression by teaching people the skills they need to think more positively about the future and take the action required to create positive future experiences. This is the first study that demonstrates this intervention intended to increase positive expectations about the future can reduce symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder.”
In traditional therapies where people are encouraged to talk about their current problems and fears, there is a focus on the negative. “Talking about what makes you unhappy does not generate the necessary thinking patterns or action needed to promote a state of thriving and create a more positive future,” Vilhauer underscored.
Source: ScienceDaily, Cedars-Sinai
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