Depression can be a tricky condition to address. Traditional forms of counseling like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) have shown some success, but those who struggle with depression often experience reoccurrences of this condition throughout their lives. While everyone’s experience with depression is unique, many people with depression share a common struggle. They find it difficult to feel like they have a place in the world or reason for getting out of bed each day. This lack of a sense of purpose or not being part of anything bigger than themselves can increase feelings of isolation and depression. Religiously-integrated cognitive behavioral therapy is one approach to counseling that can be beneficial for individuals who are struggling without a sense of purpose in their everyday lives. Religiously-integrated cognitive behavioral therapy is flexible enough to be utilized with any organized religion or through exploring a sense of spirituality rather than one specific religion, so even if you’ve never considered yourself a religious person, it may be beneficial to you. In this blog, we’ll explore what this therapy approach is and how it can benefit individuals who struggle with depression.
What is Religiously-Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Religiously-integrated cognitive behavioral therapy (RCBT) is founded on many of the same principles and strategies as conventional CBT. It involves understanding how thoughts, emotions, and behaviors impact each other and working toward positive change by challenging specific thoughts, evaluating feelings, and modifying patterns of behavior. In addition to these traditional CBT practices, your therapist may also incorporate prayer, meditation, scripture reading, involvement in religious practices and communities, and other aspects of spirituality religion into your therapy plans both in the session and out. This integration of religion and/or spirituality helps to change the individual’s perspective, helping them to open up to new experiences and reconsider old patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting that have become problematic, dysfunctional, or otherwise impede their ability to achieve goals.
How Does RCBT Help those with Depression?
As discussed in the opening paragraph of this blog, RCBT is often beneficial in helping individuals to connect with something greater than themselves and develop a sense of purpose and place within the world around them. For those who do choose to follow RCBT as it relates to an organized religion, there is a specific community connected to this therapy practice that can help individuals feel more connected. For those who explore spirituality rather than a specific religion, engaging in mindfulness-based community practices like yoga or meditation classes can be a great way to make similar connections. Finally, RCBT helps focus the mind outward, which can alleviate many of the other effects of depression, including feelings of isolation, hopelessness, and helplessness.
Schedule a Session to Learn More
If you’re interested in getting started working with a therapist who can utilize RCBT or you would otherwise like to discuss counseling options or schedule a session, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. at the Center for CBT in New York City. We look forward to hearing from you soon.