An important part of psychological therapy is relapse prevention. For clients who have (or are) experiencing depression, here are several tips that you may find useful to help maintain your progress and prevent future depressed episodes.

1.Once you have begun feeling better, it is important to discuss a prevention/self-management plan with your clinician, which often involves:

  • Reviewing progress and strategies learnt
  • Discussing what your goals are and what to do to maintain your progress
  • Discussing potential triggers or possible events/situations that may be more stressful
  • Discussing how to prepare and cope with expected and unexpected stressful/triggering situations
  • Identify early warning signs
  • Discussing to when to return to or increase frequency of psychological therapy sessions

 

2. Expect that you may have ups & downs, or days where you feel unmotivated, however, this doesn’t mean your “back to square one”

  • Use your skills learnt in therapy such as thought challenging to situation occurs
  • If you do have a setback, that is okay, try to see if you can see this as a learning opportunity to help prepare you if a similar problem occurs in the future

 

3. Continue to practice and use the useful skills and insights that you may have gained from therapy, the more you practice the easier and more apart your day-to-day lifestyle they will become.

  • Thinking strategies – thought challenging; balance/realistic thoughts
  • Relaxation strategies – mindfulness; grounding techniques
  • Self-care – sleep; healthy and nutritional diet

 

4. Continue to engage in activities that you may began during therapy. These activities may include:

  • Pleasant, fun, or relaxing activities
  • Tasks/activities that provide you with a sense of achievement
  • Exercise
  • Social activities – to increase social support

 

5. Be aware and know your early warning signs. For example:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased anxiety
  • Increased irritability

 

6. Continue to access support to maintain well-being:

  • Continuing with ongoing therapy, while you may not need sessions frequently, but having a session every month (or few months) can be useful for maintaining progress, to discuss any issues or difficulties, and manage symptoms of low mood should that arise
  • Continue to engage and reach to your friends and family for social support

 

If you or a loved one is struggling from symptoms of depression it is recommended that professional support is considered. If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at the practice on 6381 0071.