For many individuals, depression is more than just sadness. It can often include feeling empty, overwhelmed, lacking motivation, changes in weight and sleep, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, and even thoughts of suicide. Unfortunately, depressed feelings are not necessarily something that we can just “snap out of” on our own and can often require counseling to help us get through this difficult time. Though not something we often openly talk about, depression is an experience commonly shared by many at some point in their lives. Depression can seem crippling and feelings of hopelessness from escaping its grips are all too common.

Our clinicians often take an approach that is tailored to each person’s individual needs. For some, a combination of medication management and talk therapy is most appropriate. In these cases we can refer to some amazing specialists that provide excellent medication management care. For others, they take an approach to best understand how the depression started and what tools they will need to once again feel grounded, worthy and whole.

Our team of depression therapists help people overcome their feelings of depression and gain the motivation, perspective, and joy they once had. If you are struggling with depression, please call us at (480) 999-7070 to make an appointment today. Life does not have to remain hopeless, and can again be fulfilling.

Teletherapy & Video Counseling Sessions Available

Biltmore Psychology and Counseling offers teletherapy sessions as a way to participate in counseling without needing to be physically present at our office.

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Depression Counseling FAQs

What is Depression Counseling?

While times of feeling down and dysphoric are a very normal part of the human experience, feelings of depression can deepen to the point that individuals can feel helpless or hopeless. While this hopelessness is very common, depression is very treatable and the treatment journey can lead to feelings of hope and inspiration. The focus of depression counseling it to help increase insight into depression triggers, develop adaptive coping strategies to help decrease depressive symptoms, and find ways to make life changes to avoid unhealthy circumstances. Our psychologist and counselors use a variety of techniques to treat depression including cognitive behavioral therapy, relationship counseling, and life coaching.

How Does Depression Counseling Work?

In depression counseling, our counselors help the individual identify the triggers for their depression and help them begin to see the steps they can take to find healing and hope. Together, we seek to determine the source of the depression and then create a personalized treatment plan for each individual. For example, if the source of the depression is due to a medical condition, we coordinate care with a medical provider, or if the source of the depression is due to a history of trauma or distressing life events, we process through these events to decrease feelings of shame and self-doubt.

What Does It Feel Like to Have Depression?

In society, depression is often viewed as a state of mind in which a person makes choices to see themselves or their world in a negative way. And while we do have some degree of ability to choose an optimistic mindset, depression is not simply a choice. It is not something that a person can “snap out of” or learn to “shrug off.” Due to chemical changes or hard environmental changes or environments in which we grew up, depression becomes a dark cyclical trap. While depressed, people often view themselves and their “problems” as burdens to others. They may even been convinced that suicide would be the only way to provide relief to their families. Hopelessness can feel overwhelming and all consuming, leaving little room for tasks and responsibilities that were once viewed as simple.

Where Does Depression Come From?

Depression can start in our family. Negative family dynamics that were abusive, neglectful or unsupportive can create shame and self doubt in the individual. If we don’t grow up knowing what we need and what we are worthy of, we may never ask or advocate for things that would make us happy or keep us from being depressed.

Depression can start in our thoughts. Self-critical views, hopeless outlooks on life, and fear can create a cycle of negative thoughts that can make us feel depressed. In therapy, we may look at how our thoughts influence our experiences and how our experiences influence our thoughts. From a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach, we can learn to identify these negative cycles of thinking and re-frame to a more healthy and accurate view.

Depression can start in our emotions. Many bright, thoughtful, and insightful people can know how they are “supposed” to think, and yet they still feel sad, disappointed, and upset. Through an emotion focused therapy approach we can best understand how to changes our emotions even when they defy all rational thought.

Depression can start in our relationships. So often our mood is influenced by the quality of our intimate relationships. When our marriages, relationships, and friendships are on the rocks, it becomes increasingly more difficult to view ourselves, our future, and our world in a positive light. When appropriate, our therapists can do both individual and couples therapy to help treat symptoms of depression.

What Are the Different Forms of Depression?

Depression can develop for many different sources. Some depression can present from chemical changes that occur after a pregnancy (see: postpartum depression) or due to a neurological condition such as Parkinson’s disease. Other forms of depression can start from a history of trauma or negative relationships.

While others can begin from a negative view of the self and hopelessness for the future. While there are many different etiologies for depression, our counselors create individualized treatment plans for each person they are seeing.

What Are the Symptoms of Depression?

Depression usually includes at least 5 of the following symptoms:

  • Depressed mood most of the day and nearly every day
  • Decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Physically feeling agitated, slowed down, difficulty “getting going”
  • Intense feelings of worthlessness and inappropriate guilt
  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide or death
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or hypersomnia (sleeping a great deal)
  • Fatigue and loss of energy

Common Issues / Problems With Depression

Depression can often come after major life difficulties such as a loss of job or end of a relationship. Yet, depression can also put great strain on our relationships and responsibilities. While many are able to maintain their job, relationships and daily functioning, they do so with great snuggle and effort. Depression can often cause relationship difficulties as people tend to be more apathetic, frustrated, agitated, less empathetic and less flexible when depressed. Depression can also cause physical difficulties leaving people feeling sick, tired, and more prone to infection. Lastly, it can impact life satisfaction leading to feelings of worthlessness and lack of hope.

What Are Treatments for Depression?

The treatments for depression include talk therapy and medication management. Talk therapy will focus on the specific type of depression and will help the individual deepen their insight into their distress, identify the triggers for their depression, develop adaptive coping skills for these circumstances and look at overall life circumstances and how these may be adjusted to avoid feelings of depression in the future.

When Should You Go to a Depression Therapist?

Many people choose to seek treatment for depression when they feel that their efforts to control their depression are no longer working. Yet, treatment for depression can also be very helpful when done before the depression becomes severe. When people are in a hopeful place, they may be in the best position to proactively make life choices to avoid thought patterns, relationships, and life choices that can lead to depressive symptoms. So either during increasing depression or before increasing depression, treatment can be very helpful.

How Our Phoenix Depression Counselors Can Help

Our psychologists and counselors are passionate about finding a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to each individual’s needs and circumstances. While in depression therapy, counseling will focus on helping the individual deepen insight into depression triggers, develop adaptive coping strategies to help decrease depressive symptoms, and find ways to make life changes to help avoid unhealthy circumstances.

Should medication management be desired, our psychologists and counselors will coordinate care with treating physicians to provide the best continuity of care.

Meet our Team

Dr. Melissa Estavillo, PsyD


Doctorate and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Arizona School of Professional Psychology
Practice Areas: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Relationship / Marriage Counseling, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD / Trauma, Grief, Spiritual Integration, Medical Counseling

Audrey Sessions PsyD at Biltmore Psychology & Counseling in Phoenix, AZ


Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, Arizona School of Professional Psychology
M.A. Clinical Psychology, Arizona School of Professional Psychology
M.S. Mental Health Counseling, Walden University
Practice Areas: Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Emotional Regulation, LGBTQ+, Race-Based Stress, Military and Veteran-Related Issues, General Mental Health, Couples Counseling, Multicultural Diversity and Inclusion, Mindfulness

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Susan Self


M.S. Counseling and Human Services, University of Toledo
B.S. Psychology, Bowling Green State University

Practice Areas: Relationship / Marriage Counseling, Pre-marital Counseling, Parenting, General Counseling, Anxiety and Depression, Individual Therapy, Career Decisions, Caring for Aging Relatives, Life Changes, Work/Life Stressors


M.C. Counseling, Arizona State University
B.A. English (Literature), Arizona State University

Practice Areas: Adjustment Disorders, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Cbt), Depression, Disability Counseling, Existential Therapy, Faith-Based Counseling, General Mental Health Counseling, Gerontological Counseling, Grief Counseling, Individual Counseling, Mindful Self-Compassion (Msc)


M.A. Human Resources and Substance Abuse, Ottawa University
M.A. Professional Counseling, Ottawa University
B.A. Psychology, Ottawa University

Practice Areas: Trauma, Anxiety, PTSD, Grief, Life Transitions, Women’s Focused Issues, LGBTQ+, Parenting, Depression, Couples Counseling, Family Counseling, Faith-based Counseling, General Mental Health Counseling

Heather Wheeler LCSW at Biltmore Psychology & Counseling in Phoenix, AZ


Masters in Social Work, Arizona State University
B.A. Psychology, Arizona State University

Specialties: Anxiety, CBT, Depression, Grief Counseling, Couples Counseling, LGBTQ+, Mindfulness, Family Counseling, General Mental Health Counseling, Women-Focused Issues/New Mothers Counseling, and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)

Our Location in Phoenix, AZ

We’re here for you.

Our depression counselors apply professional expertise and understanding to provide the best holistic counseling services in Phoenix, AZ.

A 10-min consultation can help you determine whether our services would be the right fit for you. Call us today for a free phone consultation.

(480) 999-7070