Light Therapy Gaining Traction for SAD

Feeling down during the winter may be a fairly common experience, yet for many people, the experience is especially pronounced, seemingly uncontrollable, and potentially debilitating. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a major concern among much of the world’s population that lives in areas receiving low levels of sunlight during the winter, and clients facing this challenge have traditionally had to choose between psychotherapy and medications, both of which may be effective yet may also be difficult to access. The easy access and simple format of light therapy for the treatment of SADhas been celebrated, and has also recently been gaining support and popularity among professionals and clients alike.

Consisting of a portable unit, light therapy can help some people affected by SAD avoid the impact of low sunlight levels on neurochemistry, and may also receive a boost from the positive aspects of the light itself, even in as little as three days. Of course, some clients report that simply spending time outside during the day –whether to take a walk or engage in another activity– can have the same benefits. But in areas where sunlight may be especially low, or for those on extremely busy schedules, personal light units may prove invaluable.

Further research into the capabilities of light therapy, especially in combination with psychotherapy or medications, is bound to help reveal still more effective ways in which clients can treat and ultimately overcome the symptoms of SAD. As professionals continue to help clients work through feelings of depression, lethargy, and hopelessness during the grayer months, winter may find itself more often appreciated for its beauty and wonder –and its potential to bring happiness and comfort to those previously plagued by winter doldrums.

© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Kylie


    March 17th, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    A lot of us feel depressed when the weather is gloomy and there is not much of sunshine…but just as in anything else, this has a more pronounced effect in a few people than the rest…such people need to be made to concentrate on things other than the weather and to devote their thinking to other things so as to take their mind off the gloomy weather and the depression that it may cause them.

  • Gavin Hamilton

    Gavin Hamilton

    March 18th, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    I didn’t even know there was a cure for this problem! I had a room-mate in college who used to be all depressed in such weather and not be able to concentrate on his academics…this is good news for such people…and I’m pretty sure this technique has shown good results so far…

  • Eliza


    March 18th, 2010 at 4:47 AM

    My mom used one of the portable light devices this winter with amazing success. She was relatively SAD free and that was a huge step for her.

Leave a Comment

By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of's Terms and Conditions of Use.



* Indicates required field.

Therapist   Treatment Center

Advanced Search

Search Our Blog

Title   Content   Author is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on