Sadness, disappointment and grief are natural emotional responses to difficult life circumstances.  These emotions differ from clinical depression which may include tremendous feelings of sadness, emptiness, depression, hopelessness, guilt and worthlessness, loss of interest in formerly pleasurable activities, fatigue, trouble concentrating, changes in sleeping and eating patterns and recurrent thoughts of death.

Counseling provides individuals the opportunity to ventilate their feelings of sadness and depression to an empathic therapist who works with them to identify and implement ways to reduce these feelings.  Multiple techniques are utilized in treating depression.  One of the most common approaches to treating depression is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which focuses on changing negative thought patterns into positive ones, which in turn positively affects behaviors and feelings.

Some examples of depressive disorders addressed in treatment include mild, moderate and severe depression and dysthymia (feeling depressed more days than not for two years or more).