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What is Beating the Blues?

Beating the Blues has eight sessions which each last about 50 minutes. Beating the Blues is based on CBT the most proven treatment for depression.

As you go through the program you will learn lots of things which will help you. But CBT is not just about receiving information – it's very important that you try to put into practice what you learn in every session.

So after each session there are things for you to do and think about as you go about your life. These are not difficult and the more of this ’homework’ you do the better you will feel.

CBT is not an instant cure but it is much more long lasting than drugs and other alternative treatments – precisely because it teaches you workable skills for life.

What will I Learn?

Beating the Blues will teach you to think differently about yourself and the things that happen to you.

It also gives you some 'doing techniques' which help you manage aspects of your life better.

The term 'Cognitive Behavioural Therapy' is just a therapists way of saying 'thinking and doing things differently'.

By the end of the program you will have learnt all about overcoming negative thoughts about yourself – even if you have had these for such a long time that they have become part of your 'inner beliefs' about yourself.

This is done in a session by session, step by step way so the more you do and the more 'homework' you do the better you will feel.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), is the most effective psychological treatment for moderate and severe depression and helps you to:

  • Reconsider how you think about yourself, the world and other people.
  • Understand how what you do affects your thoughts and feelings.

An effective course of CBT can help you to change how you think (the "Cognitive" part) and what you do (the "Behavioural” bit). When put into practice these changes can help you to feel better.

CBT is one of several "talking treatments", but unlike some of the other methods, it focuses on the problems or difficulties that are affecting you now. Rather than focussing on the causes of your distress or symptoms from the past, CBT teaches you ways to improve your state of mind now and in the future.

Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CCBT)

Computerised CBT is simply CBT delivered by an interactive computer program.

The interactive program works with you, helping you to understand the tools and learn the techniques that will modify your thinking.

A good CCBT program will lead you through the various stages of therapy in exactly the same way a therapist would in face-to-face sessions.

An interactive CCBT program can respond to your particular circumstances, or your problem, and ensure that the training of new ways of thinking and behaving is completed at a pace you find comfortable.

Some people prefer the anonymity that can only be achieved by working on a computer.

What is Depression?

The word depression is used to describe a range of moods - from low spirits to a severe problem that interferes with everyday life. People who are experiencing severe or 'clinical' depression are not just sad or upset.

The experience of depression is an overwhelming feeling which can make someone feel quite unable to cope, and hopeless about the future. If you are depressed you may lose your appetite and have difficulty sleeping. You can feel overwhelmed by guilt, and may even find yourself thinking about death or suicide.

There is often an overlap between anxiety and depression, in that if you are depressed you may also become anxious or agitated. Sometimes it is difficult to decide whether someone is responding 'normally' to difficult times, or has become clinically depressed.

A rough guide in this situation is that, "If your low mood affects all parts of your life (home, work, family, social activities), last for two weeks or more, and brings you to the point of thinking about suicide" (BMA 1998) then you may be experiencing clinical depression and you should seek some kind of help.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety can be described as a feeling of discomfort or unease. Anxiety which continues for a long time can have a serious effect upon your ability to cope with everyday life.

You may not be able to identify a specific cause of your anxiety, although feelings of anxiety are often associated with particular places or events.

How do you know if you are anxious? The easiest signs of anxiety to recognise are physical changes, such as sweating, a racing heart, palpitations, or rapid breathing.

These changes are caused by an increase in adrenaline, the substance which is released by your body to help you get ready to deal with danger or escape from something. It is quite normal to feel anxious when you are facing something dangerous or difficult, but it is not usual to feel anxious all the time or to feel that anxiety is ruling your life.