Anxiety and depression therapy v. medication: Empower Counseling, Birmingham, Alabama

First of all, let me start out by saying, if you need therapy, that does not mean there is something wrong with you. It simply means that you are smart and brave enough to know when you might need a little help. Let me also say, that if you need medication, it also does not mean that there is something wrong with you. It just means you are smart and brave enough to know you need a little help.

With that being said, let’s talk candidly about the pros and cons of therapy and medication.

For many people, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, which is a higher level cognitive behavioral therapy,  and CBT, have been proven to have longer lasting results than psychotropic medications.

Why is this?

Anxiety and Depression counseling v. Medication

Acceptance Commitment Therapy, practiced by all therapists at Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama, helps you get to the root of the problem. To really treat anxiety and depression, we must get to the bottom of the root cause- unhelpful or inaccurate thoughts, often about yourself.

Because ACT is a higher level or more advanced form of cognitive behavioral therapy, with ACT we uncover the thoughts leading to your anxiety or depression. We teach mindfulness to let go of the thoughts causing your problems because thoughts lead to your emotions and your actions. If you are so scared and anxious that you can’t go out in public alone, the feelings or emotions you have and the action of not going out into public all begin with your thought. So we will give you the tools to not only challenge these unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, but also, to replace them.

Acceptance Commitment Therapy is not only cognitive-addressing your thoughts-. It is also behavioral. During anxiety therapy or depression counseling with Empower Counseling, we will teach you coping skills. We will find clarity about what is most important to you so that you can begin taking action, in small manageable steps, toward it. This will increase your confidence in yourself while lowing anxiety or depression, so that you no longer need to avoid.

the benefits of Acceptance Commitment Therapy with Empower Counseling are:

You get to the root of your issues

You learn how to let go of the thoughts causing the issues and teach your brain a more helpful way of thinking.

Step by small step we lead you to the actions that move you away from anxiety and depression and toward a more satisfying and fulfilling life.

At first, therapy costs more than medication. However, studies show that over a 5 year period, therapy and psychotropic medications cost the same. The different is, that those who chose therapy had tools and benefits that last a lifetime. Those who only took medication and saw improvement, had to keep taking medication to see the improvement.

Once again, I am not saying medication is bad or that no one needs it. Medication has its place and a very important one at that.

If you are spiraling down and are having having suicidal thoughts, you need to not only seek counseling, but also seek out a reputable psychiatrist to be evaluated for medication.

Medication is necessary if you are at in a place in which you are so distraught, that therapy is not helpful. For therapy to be effective, you must first be in a place in which you can do the work. Sometimes medication is necessary to help get you to that place.

Medications have side effects, and often you must try several to find the medication and the dosage that is best for you. For this reason, the therapists at Empower Counseling recommend seeing a psychiatrist, rather than a general practitioner or a pediatrician, for medication for anxiety or depression. Many general practitioners and pediatricians are able and willing to prescribe anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications, but usually they are not as well versed as psychiatrists who are experts in the areas of these drugs.

If you can not get in with a psychiatrist, and you need medication, by all means go to your Dr. and explain what you are experiencing.

Taking medication is like triaging a broken arm before having surgery to fix it. Just like stabilizing the arm is necessary before surgery, sometimes medication is necessary to stabilize your mood and thinking enough for the most permanent solution of therapy can be most beneficial.

If you are unsure exactly what you need, we can help. At Empower Counseling, Kathryn, Adam, and Kristine can evaluate your situation and most current needs. If after several sessions, we see that you are not making the progress we expect, based on out knowledge and experience, we will make suggestions regarding further help you might need.

Reach out to Empower Counseling for anxiety counseling and depression counseling for teens, college students, young adults and professionals. We offer in-person and online therapy for individuals in Birmingham, and the entire state of Alabama. Call today 205-730-6570

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