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Depression Center

Louisville Depression Treatment

More than 1 in 5 Americans experience depression or bipolar disorder during their lifetime. These common illnesses can have a devastating impact on people’s lives. Depression and other mood disorders can cause intense personal suffering, strained relationships, decreased productivity and an increased risk for suicide. However, we know a great deal about how to treat these problems successfully. If you have depression or bipolar disorder, there are many reasons for hope.

The providers at the UofL Depression Center, with its home clinic located within UofL Physicians - Psychiatry, are working to bring the highest quality treatments for mood disorders to people in Kentucky and the surrounding region. And, through our involvement with the National Network of Depression Centers, we are part of a comprehensive and far-reaching effort to develop newer and more effective therapies. Together, we are building the knowledge to improve the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder and to help people recover from these conditions.

To learn more about the UofL Depression Center, visit louisville.edu/depression.


We have expertise in:

  • Depression as an illness
  • Families and depression
  • Women and depression
  • Men and depression
  • Depression in older adults
  • Depression in conjunction with other medical conditions
  • Depression in the workplace

Depressive disorders we treat include:

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Dysthymic Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Comprehensive Evaluation and Treatment

Treatment at the UofL Depression Center begins with a comprehensive evaluation by a specialist in mood disorders. The assessment can be conducted as a consultation to another health care provider, or can be a referral from a health care professional to provide ongoing care. Self-referrals are also accepted. After an initial evaluation, a treatment plan is developed to provide services that are designed to meet the unique needs of each patient with the complete array of all forms of psychotherapy, medications, and other recognized treatments available.

Psychopharmacology Consultations

Medications are prescribed widely for treatment of depression and related problems. For some people, the first medication leads to complete relief of symptoms. However, a full remission of depression happens in less than 50% of people treated with a single antidepressant. When symptoms linger or become more severe, a consultation with an expert in psychopharmacology (use of psychiatric medications) may be very helpful in charting a successful course toward recovery. Specialists at the Depression Center can perform detailed assessments that result in rational plans for effectively using medications or other interventions to resolve symptoms or to maximize the results of treatment.

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy

The Depression Center offers a variety of effective and commonly prescribed psychotherapy treatments including psychodynamic, supportive, and cognitive behavior therapies. A number of the faculty have special expertise in Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), which teaches people practical skills that can be powerful problem-oriented tools in fighting symptoms of depression, anxiety disorders and other psychiatric problems. CBT works to interrupt and modify both depressive thinking and behavior. Our therapists will help you identify and change negative or dysfunctional thoughts. You will also learn ways to break out of the downward spiral of depressive behavior that is so common in depression.

Help for Treatment-resistant Depression

Because about 20% of persons with major depressive disorder develop chronic symptoms that do not respond to standard courses of antidepressants, a specialized treatment plan may be needed to work toward full recovery. Clinicians at the UofL Depression Center use detailed treatment guidelines to chart a course  to systematically address treatment-resistant depression. Use of multiple medications, augmenting strategies (combining antidepressants with other medications that can boost their effectiveness), psychotherapies which have been shown to be helpful in chronic depression, and advanced biological approaches may be recommended.

TMS Therapy

UofL Depression Center performs a new treatment for depression, the first center in Kentucky to do so, called Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy. This outpatient treatment, performed in our offices, has proven to help patients whose depression has not been effectively managed with traditional treatments.
This non-invasive treatment does not require any anesthesia or sedation, and the typical treatment course consists of 5 treatments per week over a 4-6 week period, for an average of 20-30 total treatments.  Each treatment session lasts approximately 40 minutes during which the patient is awake and able to speak, with almost no side effects from the treatment.

Bipolar Disorder Program

People who are afflicted with bipolar disorder have episodes of mania or hypomania and depression, as well as periods of no psychiatric symptoms.  Bipolar illness frequently goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed. The Bipolar Disorder Program at the UofL Depression Center offers a wide range of services including consultations with primary care physicians and psychiatrists, evidence-based treatment with medications and psychotherapy, educational presentations on mood disorders, and research geared toward developing effective interventions.

Women's Program

Our women’s mental health program offers sensitive and knowledgeable consultations and provides expert help in managing problems such as depression during or after pregnancy ( over 10% of women experience depression symptoms over the first months following birth), medication use during pregnancy, and emotional problems related to menopause.

Chemical Dependency Program

The chemical dependency program gives special assistance to those who are struggling with alcohol or other dependencies – problems that often co-exist with mood disorders.

Computer-assisted Therapy

Our computer-assisted therapy program brings some of the newest and most engaging treatment options to this region. Innovative multimedia and virtual reality computer applications are available to help build coping skills to manage depression and anxiety.

Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders

Our partner, The Bingham Clinic, provides comprehensive services to children and adolescents. Visit UofL Physicians-Bingham Clinic.

Student Mental Health

An important part of the community served by the Depression Center is the student population of the University of Louisville. Over half of the students and trainees who seek services suffer from depression and/or bipolar disorder. In addition, many of the other conditions treated, such as panic disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder, have high rates of co-morbid depression. Student psychiatric services are provided by two psychiatrists and a full time psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Geriatric Psychiatry Program

The UofL Physicians geriatric psychiatry program provides clinical services to older patients with depression and other mood disorders, as well as dementia and other psychiatric conditions. Psychiatrists in this program have extensive experience in dealing with elders who may be sensitive to medication side-effects.

Physicians in this practice may not see patients at all locations listed below. For details, please call the appointment line for the location you are interested in visiting.

To learn more about the UofL Depression Center, visit louisville.edu/depression.

Offices and Clinics

  • Depression Center at UofL Physicians Outpatient Center
    401 E. Chestnut St.
    Suite 610
    Louisville, Kentucky 40202
    View Google Map

Hospital Affiliations

  • University of Louisville Hospital
  • Norton Hospitals
  • Robley Rex VA Medical Center
  • Central State Hospital
  • Seven Counties Services
  • The Brook Hospitals

The Director of the UofL Depression Center is Dr. Jesse Wright, who was the founding president of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He has written a number of books on this topic, and teaches and lectures widely on use of CBT for depression and other illnesses. The UofL Depression Center clinicians are leaders in providing education to patients and their families, other health care and mental health professionals, the public, and corporate and government decision makers to help overcome the stigma about depression and better ensure support for broader availability and better access to needed treatment. We are a leader in research to discover the underlying cause of depression, and will use the knowledge we gain to help develop new and more effective treatments.

As a charter member of the National Network of Depression Centers, we utilize cutting edge knowledge gained from colleagues around the country regarding the causes of depression, effective treatments, and innovative approaches to education. And, we contribute our own advances to our national colleagues, to ensure that the treatment of depression is improved.

Next Steps

For more information or to make an appointment,
call 502-588-6000