One-day workshop reduces depression

By Sheryl Kay • Published: March 25th, 2014
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

There’s something to be said about feeling confident and secure in yourself. Studies have shown that even in just typical day-to-day interactions, feeling self-assured helps people achieve success at work and in social dealings. And now research indicates that learning how to be self-confident can also lessen feelings of depression.

Appearing in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the investigation involved researchers conducting eight workshops for adults who had been diagnosed with depression. Given the high costs of psychological treatment, the investigators were looking for a more efficient way to treat patients with depression, so they made the workshop a one-day seminar. About 450 individuals over the age of 18 participated in the study, with half being assigned to the workshop. The others were told they would eventually be scheduled for the program, and were then evaluated as a control group for the experiment. The workshops were based on cognitive behavioral therapy, a technique that aims to change thought patterns and behaviors that may be unhealthy or detrimental to the patient. Twelve weeks later, all participants underwent a follow-up evaluation of their depression to determine the effectiveness of the workshop.

After analyzing the depression scores for all participants, investigators found significantly lower numbers for those people who completed the workshop when compared to those individuals in the control group. Among the participants who participated in the one-day workshop, women had lower levels of anxiety and higher self-esteem compared to the men in the same group.

The researchers concluded that mental health professionals should offer more one-day workshops to help their clients to jump-start their path to healing. That said, patients should not automatically expect symptoms of depression to be fixed in one day.