Depression is actually a clinical term for a constellation of thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and action urges. Depression can be situational or more chronic and reoccurring. At CriticalPath we help clients understand the science and mechanics of depression- what contributes to it, what makes it worse, and how to intervene to reduce symptoms of depression before they start.
We begin by working on a client’s behaviors in response to depression to help them begin functioning along side of strong urges to avoid or isolate. This results in new learning for the mind of depressed clients who gradually feel less powerless over strong sensations. We then help clients “tease apart” the symptoms and paradoxically increase awareness of those symptoms in a behaviorally specific way in order for them to become less frightened and immobilized.
Many people have lived with depression so long they don’t realize that what causes and maintains depression has been heavily researched and best practices now exist for treating debilitating symptoms. One very significant research finding has been that people who have depression feel sad in ways that are not different from the non-depressed population.
However, people with a history of depression do have a harder time bouncing back and have specific mental habits that keep them stuck. Specific mindfulness techniques strategically used in processing events and situations can interrupt what feels like a negative “loop” that reoccurs. In addition, there are a variety of mental strategies and tools that help clients become aware and prevent the “spiraling down” they often experience. Depression is treatable if clients are willing to fully engage in examining what they experience and work with an experienced Behavior Therapist trained in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy which we use at CriticalPath Counseling.