I was on a sailing race recently where there was so little wind that it took 20 minutes just to get across the start line. And then it got worse! After two hours, we had gone only a few miles. All the boats were slowly turning around in place - we were literally in the doldrums. The race became a contest of patience - mind over circumstance. We couldn't change the wind but we could choose to stay in the race and make the best of it. Depression is like this. Our lives are sometimes not working for us. We cannot change our situation. We can only somehow deal with our difficulties until our circumstances improve.
In last week's Quick Boost poll we asked about what a therapist has done for you that you found most helpful. It was interesting to note that they results were about equally divided as you can see below. The one noteable exception was that no one chose "helped me make better key life decisions".
In my experience with therapists this result shouldn’t surprise us. Very few seem to specialize in a particular problem (like depression or bipolar disorder) or a specific approach. Just take a look at online listings for therapists - they almost all seem to cast a broad net.
So how do therapists approach helping us with depression issues? They are often very eclectic and psychodynamic. They use what seems appropriate in the moment and they have a strong tendency to want you to have insight about your issues. They also understand that for you to work with them on a sustained basis you need to feel supported by them.
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Choose your participation level - it's
okay to just listen
* 2011 University of Michigan Peer Support
Effectiveness Study - Read More »
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