Talking is one of the most helpful things anyone suffering from depression or anxiety can do. Sharing your feelings with friends and whānau you trust is a great way to start recovering. But sometimes they’re just not enough. Sometimes you need help from the pros and their powerful tools, as well.

Counsellors and psychologists use talking therapies to change negative patterns of thinking, improve problem solving, and sort out relationship problems. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is one kind of talking therapy that teaches skills about how to cope with negative thoughts and feelings by helping you to think in a more balanced and helpful way. It gets you to do things you enjoy or that give you a sense of achievement. SPARX is a great online “game” that incorporates CBT.

Talking therapies can help:

  • Speed up your recovery
  • Stop your depression or anxiety from coming back
  • Find ways to manage your illness and stay well

It’s about changing the way you think about your life and doing things differently.

It’s going from thinking…

  • I’m koretake/crap at everything
  • No one cares about me
  • I can’t do my homework
  • I’m worse than everyone else

To more like…

  • I’m OK at that
  • Yeah, I’ve got people who care for me
  • I can do some of my homework
  • I can do that better than others

It’s hard to shift how you think by going it alone. Talking with someone in a structured way makes this process easier and faster. You’ll come away understanding more about what contributed to the depression or anxiety, how to get through it, and some ideas about how to keep yourself well.

The more you concentrate on the things that you can do and are good at, the more you will find that you can cope with the stressful ones. OK so this all sounds easy, we know life's not that simple, but give it a go and surprise yourself. Certainly better than spending the same time worrying about things that you cannot do!