Therapy for Depression
What is Depression?
Depression is a feeling of sadness (feeling “blue”, down, low) and/or a loss of enjoyment in activities, people and pursuits you typically enjoy. People going through depression experience disturbances in: their emotional state (e.g., feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness); their ability to think, concentrate and make decisions; and physical patterns (e.g., trouble sleeping or sleeping too much; eating a lot more or a lot less; feeling tired). Depression is a quite common experience, with about 1 in 20 people experiencing depression each year. Many poets and philosophers have written at length about their experiences with depression (e.g., depression as the “black dog”).
You might have heard about different ‘types’ of depression. Some common labels are:
A major depressive episode (being depressed for at least 2 weeks)
Major depressive disorder (having at least one major depressive episode)
Persistent depressive disorder (feeling depressed at least 50% of the time over the past two years)
As all of this suggests…depression is part of the human condition. Especially so if you think about how the past few years have gone - the COVID-19 pandemic with the resulting fear and social isolation; financial and climate instability; political polarization; and so on. Depression is often a quite reasonable response to difficult circumstances, and it provides a useful warning signal that something in your life needs to shift. The problem is that when you’re depressed, that’s precisely when it all seems hopeless and incapable of shifting. That’s where therapy comes in.
If we work together, we will use your depression as a ‘signal’ to help you discover what you value and how to move closer to what you want. We will explore your depression to learn more about your experience - what you hope for, what you value, what seems out of reach, and what seems possible. We will ponder how your patterns (e.g., intense self-criticism) may be standing in the way of living the meaningful life you want to live. As we explore and disentangle your patterns, your depression will lift and you will find new ways of being in the world. We will also validate your sadness and your experience of being in the world, as many situations are sad and demotivating.
People who are interested in therapy for depression are likely interested in individual therapy.
You can also learn more about what to expect from therapy for depression by exploring the types of therapy we offer:
Who Can Benefit From Therapy for Depression?
Anyone who is depressed or feeling down can benefit from therapy for depression. Therapy for depression is an excellent way to learn more about yourself and how to change your patterns to move closer to what you desire. Therapy for depression is of most benefit to people who notice that they spend a great deal of their time feeling low, have the time and space available to explore this experience, and are willing to experiment with new ways of being in the world that will seem hard at first as we move ‘against the current’ of your depression.
What are the Benefits of Therapy for Depression?
Therapy for depression will help you change how you relate to yourself and others so that you can identify and pursue what is meaningful for you. After therapy for depression, clients typically report increased mood and motivation, a hope for the future, and being better able to handle the uncertainty and sadness inherent in everyday living.
Therapeutic Approach for Therapy for Depression
If we work together, I will develop a customized treatment plan for you based on your needs and preferences. I draw mostly from Emotion Focused Therapy, which involves working together to access your painful feelings so that we can explore and resolve them. (A common EFT saying is “you have to go to a place in order to leave it.”) In EFT, depression is most often seen as a label that we will explore further to uncover and process the specific emotions you are experiencing. Often people who report being depressed are experiencing hopelessness (a secondary emotion that covers up more primary emotions that we will need to explore), and a deep primary fear and/or sadness that we will need to explore and resolve. I also draw heavily on Narrative Therapy, which privileges the client’s knowledge and expertise, and supports clients to rewrite the stories that larger entities and systems may have authored.
You can also learn more about what to expect from therapy for depression from exploring the types of therapy we offer:
Book A Free Therapy for Depression Consultation
Please use the contact form below to get in touch if you would like to book a free initial 20 minute conversation about therapy for depression or to ask any questions. I welcome questions and comments from folks at all stages of their journey, whether you’re researching options, curious about therapy, or ready to book an appointment.