Some professionals approach treating depression as an illness to which its victims helplessly fall prey. But I, along with many others, do not approach it in that way. My aim when providing counselling and psychotherapy to a depressed person is to help them understand depression, and to see that each of us has the ability to control it.
Counselling for Depression.
Some professionals treat depression as an illness to which its victims helplessly fall prey. It can certainly feel like that to the person experiencing it. But I, along with many others, do not approach it in that way.
It is particularly difficult for depressed people with low self-esteem to summon up enough energy and enthusiasm to seek help, but when they do my aim is to help them understand depression, and to see that each of us has the ability to control it.
We gain an understanding of depression through examining the assumptions that lead us into a depressed state (I am worthless/stupid/unloved/I feel rejected/life is unfair); and also through examining the negative and positive consequences of depression. (Yes, there are positive consequences. When we are in depressed mode people tend to take care of us, and do not expect too much from us). By understanding the route we take towards depression we realise that there were other routes we could have taken. We come to see that we have a choice whether or not ‘to depress’.
Sometimes clients ask me for a combination of anti-depressants and therapy. When they do, I refer them either to Dr Kamal Gupta, who is a consultant psychotherapist, with whom I can work in close collaboration. Most people choose not to take any form of medication. I respect either decision.
In summary, when clients come to see me because they are depressed, my intention is to offer support and help in moving away from negative and self-defeating assumptions and toward a self-empowered hopeful future; one in which they feel able to take responsibility for themselves and feel able to take control of their lives.
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