There are several protocols to work with depressed clients, however when developing a treatment plan, most therapists I know take an eclectic viewpoint of view, using techniques that are individually tailored to meet the presenting needs of each client. However, when using an eclectic approach, you will still want choose techniques in a systematic way, making sure that you are treating a disorder comprehensively. I recommend an ABC’S approach, selecting tools and techniques from Affective, Behavioral, Cognitive, and Social perspectives. To illustrate, I’ve chosen four tools which you can download from BetweenSessions.com that can be useful in treating depressive disorders.
Affect: Increasing Positive Feelings
This worksheet is designed to evoke positive feelings and simultaneously demonstrate to clients they have the power to change their moods.
Behavior: 10 Things That Give You Pleasure
When depressed clients are going through a difficult time, they often forget they have the power to make themselves feel better. This worksheet asks people to list 10 things that give them pleasure and to do at least one every day.
This worksheet is designed to help clients tolerate distress and avoid being overwhelmed by their emotions. It can also be used to teach clients emotional regulation skills.
This worksheet is designed to help clients expand their social system by finding people with common interests for social interaction.
These tools are just examples of the many tools you might use to treat depressed clients. To find many more tools, you might want to check out BetweenSessions.com.