If you are reading this perhaps it is because you are (or someone you know is) feeling depressed or having problems with symptoms of depression. Women have symptoms of depression twice as frequently as men suffer with depressive symptoms¹. As well as depression in men and women; children, adolescents and teenagers may also have depression.

Depression is ‘a period of at least two weeks during which there is either depressed mood or the loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities’¹. Frequently clients do not realise they are ‘depressed’ and may only report difficulties at work and or at home. As well as these aspects, depressive symptoms may include ‘changes in appetite or weight, sleep, psychomotor activity [feeling agitated or feeling ‘slowed down’]; decreased energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt; difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions; or recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation, plans or attempts’¹. Recognising signs of depression, sometimes people wonder ‘why am I depressed?’ and wonder about the causes of depression.

People suffering with symptoms of depression often suffer with anxiety. It can be a heavy burden to carry, causing a lot of suffering.

There is help for depression as problems with depressive symtoms (and anxiety) can be treated by counselling and psychotherapy. Rather than medication, or sometimes as well as, often people prefer a talking treatment for depression.

Dr Tony Weston’s BACP award winning research showed how clients improved through counselling in terms of their depression, anxiety and general distress caused by a number of problems such as abuse, addiction, anger, bereavement and relationship difficulties.

Dr Weston’s private practice is located close to Cambridge, 11.5 miles south of Addenbrookes NHS Hospital, just off the A1307 (and on the 13 bus route) in the South Cambridgeshire village of Horseheath. Dr Weston’s counselling psychotherapy treatment for depression is easily accessible from Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Hertfordshire and Essex. Distances from local centres are Bishops Stortford 20 miles, Braintree 20 miles, Sudbury 20 miles and Bury St Edmunds 21 miles.

Dr Weston enjoys working with individuals, couples and family groups (e.g. parent and child). Contact him now on 01223-894896 (phone is answered by a receptionist 24/7) or email him at tony.weston5@btinternet.com to make an initial appointment.

The rest of this page gives you some more information about depression problems and Dr Tony Weston’s research using validated scientific tests for signs and symptoms of depression. Dr Weston was pleased to accept the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) 2011 award for Outstanding Research Project from Ruby Wax. This was for his research on effective therapy for depression, anxiety and distress e.g. following bereavement, relationship problems, addiction, abuse etc. Participants included 321 clients – including 137 of Dr Weston’s own clients – and 27 fellow therapists.

NOTE: The information provided on this website is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment; if you are concerned about your health please contact an appropriate practitioner.

Research suggests women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed as ‘depressed’. During their lifetime 10-25% of women and 5-12% of men will be depressed. At any one time 5-9% of women and 2-3% of men are ‘depressed’. Episodes of depression may last several months or years and may recur several times during an individual’s lifetime¹.

Outcomes for clients presenting at this counselling service with symptoms of depression are shown below. To October 2018 there were 220 clients who had started with some level of clinical depression and who had a subsequent measurement of their depression, measured using the Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-II²). Client average age was around forty years (range 12 to 75 years), two-thirds were female, a quarter were single and two-thirds were themselves parents.

The average start score was 26.3, equivalent to a moderate/severe level of depression, and the average subsequent score was 11.7, equivalent to no longer being depressed. In this case the effect of counselling (ES = 1.50) was a ‘large’ effect after an average of nine counselling sessions. These average scores are illustrated in the graph below:

depression

Using the methodology described by Elliott, et al. (2013) these average outcomes compare well with the published literature for depression outcomes in clinical trials and practice-based studies. The average number of sessions was nine (range 2-116 sessions).

Severe Depression 

Severe Depression is defined using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) as those clients scoring 29 or greater on a scale with a maximum score of 63. To October 2018 there were seventy-two clients who started with severe depression and the average changes for these clients are shown in the following graph:

severe depression

The average start score was 37.8, equivalent to a severe depression, and the average subsequent score was 15.8, equivalent to a mild depression (absence of depression is defined as scores of 13 or less). In this case the effect of counselling (ES = 2.86) was a ‘large’ effect after an average of eleven counselling sessions.

Clinical trials typically exclude clients who have more than one presenting problem, perhaps focusing only on clients with depression alone. However, in ‘real life’, often clients present with more than one problem. This ‘naturalistic’ practice-based research included clients who are usually excluded from clinical trials, for example two-fifths reported some level of suicidal ideation, four-fifths suffered with anxiety, three-quarters reported at least one symptom of panic attacks, at least three-fifths had a so-called ‘personality disorder’, over two-thirds reported some level of trauma, a quarter reported problems to do with eating, and a quarter reported problems with addiction (e.g. drink, drugs, gambling, pornography, etc.), in addition to their depression.

This naturalistic research showed on average a large improvement for symptoms of depression, including those with severe depression, even if there were other co-occuring symptoms.

Please note past performance is no guide to the future and there are no guarantees about outcome in therapy.

You can contact Dr Tony Weston on 01223-894896 (phone is answered by a receptionist 24/7) or email him at tony.weston5@btinternet.com to make an initial appointment.

References:

1. American Psychiatric Association (2000) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition, Text Revision). Washington DC: Author.
2. Beck, A T, Steer, R A, and Brown, G K (1996) ‘Beck Depression Inventory Manual – Second Edition’. San Antonio: The Psychological Corporation.
3. Elliott, R, Greenberg, L S, Watson, J, Timulak, L and Freire, E (2013) ‘Research on Humanistic-Experiential Therapies’. In M J Lambert (2013) ‘Bergin and Garfield’s Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behaviour Change’ 6th Edition New York: John Wiley & Sons.
4. Jacobson, N S, and Truax, P, (1991) ‘Clinical significance: A statistical approach to defining meaningful change in psychotherapy research’. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59(1), 12-19.
5. Lambert, M J, Hansen, N B, and Harmon, S C, (2010) ‘Outcome Questionnaire System (The OQ System): Development and practical applications in healthcare settings’. In M Barkham, G E Hardy and J Mellor-Clark (2010) ‘Developing and delivering practice-based evidence: A guide for the psychological therapies’ Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.