There is a useful website called BluePages by the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University. The site isn’t pretty, but the content is very helpful.
The Centre for Mental Health Research has ranked the best treatments for depression according to the depth and quality of evidence supporting them. It is updated regularly as new research is published.
Here is a summary:
Antidepressants and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) are both ranked highly with strong scientific evidence for their effectiveness. A relatively new treatment called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation has so far only shown small benefits that disappear after a couple of weeks.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ranks highest with strong evidence for being very effective. CBT focuses on helping the individual learn and use new thinking skills to modify negative emotions, beliefs and behaviors.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Bibliotherapy are all on the next tier. They are supported by scientific evidence as being effective, but the evidence is not as strong.
Studies have found that supportive counselling, in which problems are discussed and the counsellor provides emotional support, is not effective.
Lifestyle & Alternative
Exercise, Light Therapy and St John’s Wort are ranked on the second tier as useful treatments, with good evidence but not as strong as for, say, CBT.
On the third tier there is a large group of other promising treatments with less evidence in support. It includes Acupuncture, Alcohol Avoidance, Massage Therapy, Relaxation Therapy, Vitamins and Yoga.
Many different things are touted as the best treatments for depression, but that doesn’t mean they’re effective. The BluePages is a good place for a quick check on such claims.