Depression Recovery Programme

The Depression Recovery Service is a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment, treatment and aftercare service for those with depression. In line with international best practice guidelines for depression, the Depression Recovery Service aims to deliver treatment in an accessible and flexible way.

It also aims to provide follow-up care and support for those who require it. The Depression Recovery Service offers a group-based stepped care approach using an ABC model.

There are currently three programmes offered within the service:

  • Level A: Activating recovery - An initial three-week educational programme open to service users currently in hospital or attending from home on a day basis.
  • Level B: Building recovery - A 10-week cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) skills-based programme open to day-patients only.
  • Level C: Maintaining recovery - A step-down group for those who have completed Level B Building Recovery. This group runs for four half days over a six month period.


Treatment approaches

  • Activating Recovery Programme

    Activating Recovery is a three-week educational programme that is based in St Patrick’s University Hospital. It consists of two half-day group programmes each week for three weeks. You can attend this programme while you are in hospital or as a day-patient. If you are referred to the Activating Recovery Programme you will learn about depression and various recovery principles and treatment approaches. You will be encouraged to develop skills through behavioural activation, goal-setting and taking part in group-based discussion.

    Behavioural activation involves increasing your daily activity and engagement to promote rewarding experiences in your life. Groups are led by different professionals who have an expertise in depression recovery and group therapy including:

    • Clinical nurse manager and systemic psychotherapist
    • Psychiatric nurse and cognitive psychotherapist
    • Occupational therapist
    • Consultant psychiatrists.
  • Building Recovery Programme

    Building Recovery is a 10-week psychotherapy group programme, generally for those whom have completed Level A Activating Recovery. If you are referred to the Building Recovery Programme, you will attend a full-day workshop between 10am and 5pm each week as a ‘day patient’. The workshop is held in St Patrick's University Hospital.

    The workshops on weeks one to five incorporate cognitive behavioural therapy, compassion-focused therapy and mindfulness. You will work with the facilitators to develop an understanding of how specific situations may trigger negative thinking styles, distressing emotions, physical states and behavioural reactions that maintain depression. You will learn to apply various psychotherapeutic models to personal experiences and to develop therapeutic change.

    The workshops on weeks six to ten introduce the concepts of compassion focused therapy and focus on compassionate resilience, building on concepts introduced in week one to five. It assists you to develop a deeper psychotherapeutic understanding of the impact of depression on your life or factors that may have increased your vulnerability to depression.

    Each person is encouraged to develop a personal understanding and develop skills in compassionate resilience. The workshops are led by cognitive psychotherapists who have expertise in depression, group therapy, compassion-focused therapy and mindfulness.

  • Maintaining Recovery

    Maintaining Recovery is an aftercare group that consists of one half-day a month from 9.30am-1pm, for those who have completed the Building Recovery programme.

    The group is based in St Patrick's University Hospital and runs once per month for three months with a final group at the end of six months. As a team, we believe aftercare to be an integral part of the Depression Recovery Service.

    Maintaining Recovery is the final part of our stepped care approach. If you are attending this programme, you will be supported to progress from the more intense nature of being in hospital and then weekly attendance to a lower intensity monthly attendance. It allows you to continue to engage with our services. This can be particularly helpful if you are experiencing any difficulties with your recovery. It also gives you the opportunity to receive further intervention if required.

    The group focuses on relapse prevention. Maintaining Recovery promotes the development of further self-awareness and self-management, which are key to identifying risk of relapse and maintaining recovery. In this programme, we continue to explore compassion-focused therapy and mindfulness as ways to progress with your ongoing recovery. The workshops are led by cognitive psychotherapists who have expertise in these approaches to depression recovery.

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How to access

In this section



Depression Recovery leaflet

Support and Information

Take your first step by making a call: speak to a mental health professional today.

01 249 3333

Referral and Assessment Service

Contact us for queries regarding referrals to our service.

01 249 3635 Referrals & Admissions