What is Depression?
Depression is a commonly experienced mental health issue that can go for quite some time before action is taken. It is not simply “feeling down”, but it is a group of symptoms over a prolonged period (typically over 2 weeks) that can include: low energy, high self-criticism, feelings of hopelessness/helplessness, suicidal thoughts, lack of excitement or interest in areas of life that were once positive, feeling emotionally numb, and more. For more information about depression, please check out this link: WedMD
If you suspect you have depression, there are several empirically treatment routes one can take: medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both. Whereas medication works to alleviate some of the symptoms (which is sometimes a necessary first step due to severity of symptoms), psychotherapy can often help people get at the root cause or the underlying issues that are causing depression and make longer-term changes in their lives. For some people, a combination of medication and psychotherapy may be most effective.
If you feel you need medication, you can talk to your medical doctor to get a prescription. Alternatively, if you wish to get a more thorough psychiatric assessment, you can either get a referral to a psychiatrist, or you can go through the PMVC (Psychotherapy Matters Virtual Clinic) and be able to see a psychiatrist via secure videoconferencing right from my office. For more information about that process, please click here.
In terms of my work with depression, initial treatment can involve elements of shorter-term symptom management using ideas from approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and/or Solution Focused approaches in situations where coping skills are the focus, during which thoughts and behaviours are the focus of change. For some, this may be enough. For others, they may desire further exploration to understand the origin of their emotional pain and begin to address such issues directly and effectively.
Some related issues that people may identify could include: grief, major life transition (such as divorce or job loss), relational conflict (such as in marriage, etc), family of origin issues, trauma, negative self-talk, anxiety, and others.
For clients who wish to seek resolution and longer-term healing for such issues, I typically work with them using experiential approaches, with the focus being Emotion Focused Therapy. In this process, clients can gain greater awareness and understanding of their emotions as it helps them identify unmet core needs, and incorporate strategies to get those needs met. This can usually help clients gain freedom from old pain that has held them hostage for a prolonged period of time. Often times, these issues adversely affect relationships with people they care deeply about. This is the area of my work that I am most passionate about.
The primary benefits of therapy can include:
• Adopting new strategies to manage depression symptoms to stop downward spirals
• Healing from unresolved emotional pain and suffering, resulting in more freedom
• Improved relationships with people they care deeply about
If you wish to make contact with me to discuss further or you wish to book an appointment, please feel free to contact me via my contact page and we can get the ball rolling. I look forward to hearing from you soon.