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Counselling for depression and anxiety

It is possible for a person to have depression and anxiety at the same time. If you think that you have these co-existing conditions - or have been diagnosed with both - there is a range of help and support available to you. One of these options is counselling for depression and anxiety, which gives you the opportunity to talk in confidence with a trained professional.

Remember, counselling for depression and anxiety is just one form of treatment. As different types of depression and anxiety need different treatment, it is important for you to access something that is suitable for you. At Priory Group, our specialists will be able to assess you and provide you with access to a tailored treatment programme - which can include counselling - to give you the right tools that you need to get your life back on track.

What to expect from therapy for depression and anxiety

Counselling at Priory Group gives you a safe and non-judgemental space to talk through your anxiety and depression. A counsellor may make use of different therapeutic techniques. These can include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness or eye-movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR).

Different forms of therapy are available

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT helps you recognise the unhelpful thoughts and beliefs causing you to feel anxious and depressed. This counselling gives you the opportunity to learn how to challenge these thoughts and beliefs, and move past them, to stop them from having such a hold over you.


Mindfulness encourages you to stay fully in the present, something that can be difficult when you have depression and anxiety. Through techniques including meditation and body scanning, you can learn how to detach yourself from negative thoughts and self-beliefs related to your past and future, and move past them so that they don’t have such a negative effect on you in the here and now.  

Eye-movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)

EDMR helps you to work through overwhelming emotional distress and trauma, which may be resulting in your anxiety and depression. It gives you the opportunity to recognise and reprocess disruptive moments in your life, identify associated destructive thoughts and feelings, and formulate more positive beliefs about yourself.  You work through these memories while focusing on an external stimulus that causes your eyes to move from one side to another.

Integrative counselling

Integrative counselling is a combined approach, where different aspects of numerous techniques are used. The techniques that are chosen are tailored to you and your needs, making sure you have access to the psychological support that will be most beneficial to you.

Psychodynamic counselling

Within this form of counselling, you focus on exploring past life events that may be contributing to your anxiety and depression. By helping you to get to the roots of your current challenges, you can understand how your past is impacting on your mental health and then learn coping strategies to help improve your wellbeing going forward.

Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT)

With CAT, you explore and analyse previous experiences in your life that possibly link to your current feelings of anxiety and depression. With the therapist, you work to understand how and why things from the past still impact you, and investigate the effectiveness of your current coping strategies. You then work on acquiring new tools so that you are able to cope in a way that is better for your health and wellbeing.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

ACT helps you understand and accept your wide spectrum of experiences, and the accompanying thoughts and feelings. Rather than fighting against emotions or feeling ashamed of them, you are encouraged to understand your inability to control them and to commit to no longer fighting against your past experiences. Instead, you are encouraged to practise behaving in a way that is consistent with your values and goals.

Compassion focused therapy (CFT)

CFT aims to help you become more compassionate towards yourself and others. It helps you to focus on appreciating the things that you like and enjoy, and teaches mindfulness so that you learn not to dwell on self-destructive thoughts and beliefs that can often exist in people with anxiety and depression. It is thought that this compassion can help to regulate mood, and lead to greater levels of self-acceptance.

Emotion focused therapy (EFT)

EFT gives you a chance to become more aware of your emotions, and learn ways to transform certain emotions that lead to negative or self-destructive behaviours. For example, someone with anxiety may attempt to isolate themselves due to their extreme worries around social interaction. EFT teaches you to ‘listen in’ on these emotions, and learn how to cope and manage them as opposed to dealing with or ignoring them, which can lead to or worsen your anxiety or depression.

Person centred therapy (PCT)

In these therapy sessions, you lead the discussion as opposed to the therapist. Acting as a facilitator, the therapist listens and acknowledges you, without taking hold of the conversation to help you on your own way to self-discovery.

If you would like to find out more about the different forms of counselling for depression and anxiety that are available at Priory Group, visit our approach to treatment page. We are also able to provide group, family and couples counselling if needed.

Who is counselling or therapy suitable for?

Typically, counselling is most suitable for those with mild to moderate anxiety and depression. When you come to speak with a Priory specialist, they will be able to assess your symptoms and circumstances to determine the right treatment programme for you.

If counselling for depression and anxiety is determined to be the most suitable approach, the sessions will take place at one of hospitals or wellbeing centres, where an experienced therapist will work with you across a number of weeks so that you make the right steps towards improving your mental health.

Other forms of treatment available for depression and anxiety at Priory Group include inpatient stays at our hospitals, where time away from everyday life and its responsibilities can help you to focus on getting better. Group or family therapy may also be recommended, and medication can be prescribed if deemed necessary.

Get in Touch Today

For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or click here to submit an enquiry form. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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