When You Need Help
As a sufferer of depression since childhood I know how difficult it is to find the correct help and that it takes a lot of personal effort as not many people seem interested in assisting, even those whose job it is to do so. The best therapeutic option available is a form of psychological therapy known as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy , or CBT for short.

CBT is all about changing the way we think about both the positive and the negative things that happen to us in life. There is a huge amount of psychological research that shows that the way we think about things, particularly the automatic thoughts that we have, has a profound effect on how successfully we cope with negative experiences. Those with positive automatic thoughts cope well, those with negative automatic thoughts don’t. The aim of CBT is to override the negative programming that we bring with us from childhood experiences with new positive patterns of thinking.

Where to access CBT:

Australian National University Psychology Department offers a completely free online, self-paced, CBT therapy program called Moodgym.It takes you through various exercises and helps you change negative attribution thinking, or warpy thoughts as moodgym calls them. It also takes you through some diagnostic questionnaires to assess your level of depression and anxiety.
Here’s the link: http://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

I would also recommend the following book, “Change Your Thinking” by Professor Sarah Edelman of Sydney University, available here at ABC shop online: http://shop.abc.net.au/products/change-your-thi… It provides a useful self-help option to those who don’t feel they need the help of , or can’t afford, a professional CBT therapist. (In Australia psychologists are covered by medicare. Some psychiatrists bulk bill and mine even does skype appointments that are covered by medicare. I’m also seeing a psychiatric nurse who is trained in CBT. Those appointments are also completely covered by medicare).

If you feel that you are in need of a therapist to take you through a program of CBT you have a few options. If you live near to a university that offers degrees in psychology they may offer free or inexpensive counseling through a clinic offered as part of the training program for postgraduate students. This can be highly effective if offered by a good university. This is the webpage of the University of Queensland’s clinic, http://www.clinic.psy.uq.edu.au/ . The next option is to seek out either a psychologist or psychiatrist who practices CBT and get a referral from your doctor for treatment. In Australia this is covered by medicare. You may still need to pay a little if they don’t bulk-bill. Finally, there may be public mental health services available in your community that provide CBT as an option, ring around and see what is available. For example, I believe some public hospitals offer psychological counseling services free to the public. There may be a waiting list however.