Phone: +1 (209) 262-4387

Hours: Mon-Sat: 9 am to 7 pm

Clinical depression is more than just feeling sad

It’s a serious mental health condition that affects more than 17 million adults in the US each year. This is one of the most common mental health issues facing us today. Women are more prone to be affected by depression than men, and depression among adolescents is on the rise. Recent research has shown that people in the LGBT community are up to 4 times more likely to experience depression than their heterosexual counterparts.

If left untreated, depression can be devastating for those who have it and for their families. Some will only experience one depressive episode in a lifetime, but for most, depressive symptoms will relapse. Without treatment, episodes may last a few months to several years which can lead to an inability to have healthy relationships and productive work lives.

Facts You Should Know About Depression

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 16.2 million U.S. adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2016. This represents 6.7 percent of the U.S. adult population. Depression is most common in ages 18 to 25 (10.9 percent) and in individuals belonging to two or more races (10.5 percent).

Sometimes people become depressed for what seems like a “good” reason—maybe they lost their job or a close friend passed away—but with clinical depression, there doesn’t necessarily have to be a reason for how you feel. The chemicals in the brain that are responsible for mood control may be out of balance causing you to feel bad even though everything in your life is going well.

The causes of depression aren’t completely understood, but it is believed that the best explanation for it is that it is probably caused by a combination of factors, such as an underlying genetic tendency towards the condition and certain environmental factors that can act as triggers.

Depression is a real illness that researchers believe is caused mainly by imbalances in certain chemicals within your brain called neurotransmitters. Some experts are even starting to frame depression as a systemic disease. There are several very effective treatment options available for depression, including medications and psychotherapy. In addition, there are new treatments being developed all the time that are proving to be effective in cases where other treatments have failed.

Recognizing Depression

Depression can present different symptoms, depending on the person. But for most people, depression is feeling sad and not being able to snap out of it and having it last for weeks. People also often report feeling unmotivated, fatigued, irritable and having a lack of interest in things that they used to find enjoyable. Many people experiencing depression report changes in sleep patterns and eating behaviors. For some people, it can include having negative intrusive thoughts about self-worth and even thoughts of suicide.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Common signs and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers are similar to those of adults, but there can be some differences. In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.


In teens, symptoms may include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor performance or poor attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, using recreational drugs or alcohol, eating or sleeping too much, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction.


There is no one cause for depression, as it depends on a unique combination of an individual’s genetic makeup and environmental conditions.

There are many potential factors involved:


Biological Differences – People with depression appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain but may eventually help pinpoint causes.

Brain Chemistry – Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring brain chemicals that likely play a role in depression. Recent research indicates that changes in the function and effect of these neurotransmitters and how they interact with neural circuits involved in maintaining mood stability may play a significant role in depression and its treatment.

Hormones – Changes in the body’s balance of hormones may be involved in causing or triggering depression. Hormone changes can result with pregnancy and during the weeks or months after delivery (postpartum) and from thyroid problems, menopause or a number of other conditions.

Inherited Traits – Depression is more common in people whose blood relatives also have this condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing depression.

LGBT Issues – Stigmatization, discrimination, family rejection are factors that can contribute to an increase in depression and suicidal thoughts.

Professional Therapy with a Client Focus

There are times in life when we can feel off balance and can’t seem to snap out of it. When our own natural support system just isn’t enough, it may be time to reach out to a professional counselor to start the process of therapy. We have created a safe, comfortable and professional environment to discuss the issues in your life. We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport. We treat each client with respect and dignity.


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Depression Treatment Is Available

Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.


It is usually advisable to get a general check-up by your medical doctor to rule out any health issues, like thyroid problems, that may be contributing to a depressive episode. For some people, medication may be prescribed by their physician or by a psychiatrist. The most frequently recommended form of treatment is medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two. Increasingly, research suggests these treatments may normalize brain changes associated with depression.


Psychotherapy or “talk therapy,” is sometimes used alone for treatment of mild depression; for moderate to severe depression, psychotherapy is often used in along with antidepressant medications. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) have been found to be effective in treating depression. CBT is a form of therapy focused on the present and problem solving. CBT helps a person to recognize distorted thinking and then change behaviors and thinking. DBT has components of mindfulness and validation of a person’s strengths during treatment. Skills are learned during sessions and rehearsed during the week to strengthen the new behaviors.


When treating teens and children forms of integrated CBT and DBT Play Therapy can be most effective. Through non-verbal expression, many of the areas of therapy can be addressed in a way that is more developmentally appropriate and effective for younger people. The use of play and art is often a means to communicate feelings and issues. The parent is still considered the support person for the child and is also engaged in the therapy process, to assist in supporting and reinforcing the objectives of therapy at home.
Depending on the severity of the depression, treatment can take a few weeks or much longer. In many cases, significant improvement can be made in 10 to 20 sessions.


There are a number of things people can do to help reduce the symptoms of depression. For many people, regular exercise helps create positive feelings and improve mood. Getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol can also help reduce symptoms of depression. Engaging in a positive self-care routine is very important and can include engaging in sports, hobbies, art, being out in nature and having a pet.


A Real Illness With Real Treatment Available

Depression is a real illness and help is available. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the majority of people with depression will overcome it. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression it may be time to seek professional care.


If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.


If you have a loved one who is in danger of suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you think you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.


Also consider these options if you’re having suicidal thoughts:

  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
  • Call your doctor or mental health professional.
  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
  • Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.

Our Team

Our mission is to improve the quality of lives for individuals with behavioral and emotional challenges by providing exceptional mental health services using the most up-to-date, evidence-based practices helping our clients to become more active and productive members of the community.

About us

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Why choose a therapist at Abalance Client-Centered Counseling?

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

We have a team of professionals that are continually sharpening their skills as mental health providers and attend regular training from the Clinical Director. Having a competent and knowledgeable therapist is only part of it.

We are also a group of caring and compassionate people that strive to make your time with us a safe, comfortable and rewarding experience.

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression Disorders
  • Grief And Loss Issues
  • Child Disruptive Behavior
  • Childhood Trauma

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. ABALANCE CLIENT-CENTERED COUNSELING is accepting new clients age 12 and older. We are only offering Teletherapy Sessions to people in the Central Valley.

No. You can contact us directly and we will get your insurance eligibility established and schedule your first appointment. Your Health Plan may require an additional call to get a registration number after you have already established as a client in our office. We have a team here to help guide you through these things if you need assistance.

Yes, we currently accept HPSJ and CCAH MediCal Insurances only. For other insurances, we provide an out-of-network option for you to bill your insurance and get reimbursed for up to 80% of your therapy costs in our offices.

No, we treat mild/moderate symptoms for a variety of issues, but not alcohol and drug issues. If you have an addiction or are seeking sobriety, we refer out to a professional that treats substance abuse.

Weekly sessions are the best care option for mental health outcomes, but we also provide an every other week option, or Teletherapy if you have a hectic schedule.

We treat children ages 12 and older. We are only providing Teletherapy at this time, using Zoom. We have great results with older kids using interactive screen formats online with Zoom. However, we recommend in-person play therapy for children younger than 12, and we do not have that service at Abalance Counseling.

The Best Thing In Play Therapy

We have advanced training in play therapy and utilize several treatment options to best fit the needs of our youngest clients. We have specially designed Play Therapy Rooms at each office, dedicated to enriching the therapy experience and reaching our goals.

why choose us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is dedicated to providing effective mental health counseling to our community in the Central Valley.


We have over 15 years of clinical experience to provide the most effective treatment options. Our team of therapists have specialized training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

About Us


We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport with each client. And we treat each client with respect and dignity.

Well Counseling

You will learn skills of mindfulness and how to balance thoughts and feelings; and begin to build insight into your issues and have a plan to reinforce your goals.


Teletherapy is provided by using long-distance technologies so that clients and therapists do not have to be in the same place at the same time.

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Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling
Provides Convenient and Effective Teletherapy in The Central Valley California

Phone: (209) 262-4387


SATURDAY: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

SUNDAY: Closed

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