Are you frustrated and disappointed with your lack of willpower? Do you feel like you can never achieve your goals and wonder if something is wrong with you? Are you often frustrated with the people you love the most? Do you feel sad, empty or fatigued? Perhaps you have lost the ability to enjoy life the way you once did? Do you have trouble concentrating throughout the day? Have you experienced thoughts of suicide? Are you experiencing digestive problems or body aches that have no apparent cause? Do you wish you could feel happier and establish stronger connections with your loved ones?
Experiencing negative emotions every now and then is a normal part of life. However, you may be constantly focused on getting through overwhelming, frustrating and ineffective feelings that impact your life throughout each day. You may have trouble getting out of the bed in the morning, struggle to concentrate on tasks at home or work and isolate yourself from friends and family. You may also become irritated or short-tempered with people around you, frequently experience road rage and react with more intensity to ordinary frustrations.
No matter how you struggle with negative feelings, depression treatment can offer you hope and healing. Although the types and severities vary, depression is often caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors. While feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are typical in depression, those feelings are just that – feelings. With education and support, most individuals can learn new skills and attitudes that decrease depression symptoms and increase vitality. For many people, psychotherapy is an important part of their depression treatment plan.
Depression is very common in the United States. In 2014, nearly six million adults had at least one major depressive episode within the previous year. In addition, another one million adults experienced dysthymia, a chronic, less severe type of depression that can last several years. And many more people experience sadness and distress that doesn’t meet the criteria for a depressive disorder, but live with emotional pain that interferes with the ability to experience joy.
The good news is that with the help of an experienced psychotherapist, you may acknowledge the anger and pain and move towards a full, satisfying and creative life when you include therapy in your depression treatment plan.
Someone once said, “The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality.” As we sit together during our safe and nonjudgmental sessions, you will have the opportunity to learn more about yourself, honor who you are, pay attention to your unique perspective and create a positive space to foster your own vitality. We will explore your overwhelming and frustrating emotions, gain insight into the roots of those emotions and identify what triggers these feelings.
Getting to know and love yourself is part of our effort. As you become more curious about yourself and less judgmental, your vitality returns. The challenges you may face overcoming your depression often present opportunities for you to become a wiser, more compassionate person. Believe it or not, with some effort and commitment on your part, your struggles can be portals into new worlds of greater wisdom, understanding and aliveness.
Since 1998, I’ve helped numerous people climb out of the depths of depression. I’ve noticed that when individuals are committed to making their lives better through psychotherapy, change happens. People learn to speak up when they would have remained silent, volunteer when they would have stood on the sidelines and tune in to their moment-to-moment needs and feelings.
With a background in pastoral counseling, I look at the whole person—the physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual aspects of all of my clients. I consider the work we do together sacred and confidential.
The most common treatments for depression are psychotherapy and anti-depressant medications. Sometimes psychotherapy is enough. Many of the people I’ve worked with begin to feel better by having weekly sessions, during which they are heard, seen and understood. However, sometimes depression is deeply rooted and individuals are not able to find relief. In other words, the sessions don’t stick. In these cases, I may refer my clients to a psychiatrist for a medication evaluation, while continuing talk therapy.
Because each person has different values, goals, desires and aspirations, I customize each session to meet your personal goals. I offer a range of techniques and strategies to create a personalized depression treatment plan so you can effectively work toward a fulfilling and joyful life.
If I attend therapy sessions, does that mean there’s something really wrong with me?
Society still attaches a stigma to depression treatment. In the media, we often hear about terrible atrocities committed by those who are “mentally ill.” While severe mental illness is an issue, most of the people I work with are highly functional people who hold meaningful jobs, work at home caring for children or are making the most of retirement. Getting help when you need extra support is not a weakness. It’s actually a strength!
Shouldn’t I be able to solve my problems on my own?
One of the values American society holds is that of the strong individual. But truly, who is totally self-sufficient? Do you grow your own food, make your own movies or work alone at your job? Probably not. We are actually interdependent with each other in nearly every aspect of our lives. So it makes sense that when you are feeling low, seeking depression treatment connects you with what you need – just like when you want the light to turn on, you flip the switch connecting you to the power grid. Psychotherapy is a connection to your personal power grid.
What if therapy doesn’t work? I don’t know what I will do then.
Even though therapy doesn’t always help everyone, you will never know unless you try it! And if you try therapy and it doesn’t seem to be working for you, you are always welcome to talk to me about it. Perhaps you could benefit from a different therapist, medication or adjunct treatment. There are so many avenues of support, such as nutrition therapy, bodywork, acupuncture and much more. I will work with you to find the right treatments for your depression to support your healing needs.
Choosing to attend therapy sessions is a courageous step! It is normal to feel unsure and ambivalent – just as you would when embarking on anything new and important. If you are still undecided, check out my blogs on this website, and sign up for “Vitality Weekly.” As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
If you are ready to learn more about yourself, feel happier and strengthen your connections with your loved ones, I invite you to call me for a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your needs and how my depression treatment sessions can help you.
You can learn more about me and my approach by signing up for my weekly e-newsletter, “Vitality Weekly.” This short email series offers ideas, skills and thoughts that can help you start living a fulfilling life. When you sign up online, you will also receive a free meditation download.