Therapy for Depression in Adults

At NYU Langone Psychiatry Associates, a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker may offer therapy to manage depression in adults. Therapy can help people with depression change beliefs or behaviors that lead to negative emotions.


Psychotherapy, or “talk” therapy, involves meeting with a mental health professional to identify and work through problems that may contribute to or result from depression. Psychotherapy usually takes place one-on-one with an NYU Langone psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker. 

NYU Langone therapists use a variety of techniques to manage depression. These include relationship building between you and the therapist, discussing how depression affects your daily life, improving communication, and encouraging behavioral changes to improve overall mental health. 

Psychotherapy can be used alone or in combination with medication to manage depression. It has been shown to help prevent a recurrence of a major depressive episode. The length of treatment varies, but most people work with a therapist for 12 to 16 weeks.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective for mild to moderate depression, as well as for preventing a recurrence of depression. There are two aspects to this type of therapy—the cognitive component, which helps to change how a person views a situation, and the behavioral component, which helps to change how a person reacts to the situation. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short term treatment, typically given for 1 hour per week for 12 to 16 weeks. Therapy may last longer for people with more persistent symptoms of depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy may be given alone or in combination with medication.

During therapy sessions, a person works with an NYU Langone therapist to learn how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence one another. The therapist explains how to test the reality of thoughts and perceptions in order to manage symptoms of depression.

More Depression in Adults Resources

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