What would be an example of a scenario or conversation between someone with major depressive disorder and a therapist treating him with cognitive behavioral therapy and biomedical approach?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) aims to address the underlying behaviors and beliefs (or "cognitions") that cause depression. A scenario between a therapist treating someone with major depression disorder and the patient would involve the therapist probing the person for his or her underlying beliefs. Patients with depression often have negative automatic thoughts that result in depression.

For example, does the patient engage in "catastrophizing", a common irrational thought pattern in depressive people in which they always imagine the worst possible outcome? If the person, for example, gets a missed call from his girlfriend, he may assume the person wants to break up with him. The therapist would help him consider other possible alternatives for the call. The patient might also "personalize," that is, accept blame for situations that are not his or her fault. For example, if a group project at work goes wrong, the person may blame himself. A therapist could help the patient determine why the result was caused by many factors and people.

Biomedical treatment of major depressive disorder is mainly provided by a medical doctor, such as a psychiatrist. A common treatment for major depressive disorder includes a variety of SSRI, or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. This class of drugs, which takes about two weeks to work in most people, prevents the brain from removing serotonin, making more serotonin available. A scenario or conversation between a patient or therapist or doctor providing him or her with biomedical treatment might talk about the purposes and treatment plan of taking an SSRI or related drug.