Is There a Way Out?
Have you been crushed by depression? Have you been in and out of it all of your life? Or has there been some situation or event that has triggered the depression? In any of these cases you may not know what to do to get out of it and lead a normal, happy life. In some cases you may have a vague feeling, or not a clue as to what has caused the depression.
Often there is unfinished business with someone from the past, or repressed feelings that are so painful and unable to bear unless you hid them away. How do we hide things from ourselves? It is by relegating them to the unconscious. Just because you block them out does not mean that they go away. Just the opposite! The unconscious is a part of your mind. It is where you place things that you do not want to look at, which is all too human. But just because you don’t think about these things consciously does not mean they are not there inside of you. In fact, when you are unconscious of something, it becomes bigger, growing in the dark.
In psychotherapy I help the patient to bring whatever is causing the depression out in to the light to be looked at; then it can be dispelled.
If you come for counseling with some specific current issues, I will help you to learn, and to use, better coping mechanisms and to change any behaviors that are counter-productive. The issues surrounding certain situations in your life, such as a problem with your relationship with a significant other, a child who has gone astray, or issues with family or work, may tie into unfinished business from the past. We will work on sorting out these issues so that you may change behaviors and deal with situations differently, but to also change the inner turmoil into a more peaceful one, and to obtain a different perspective.
Making Change In Your Life
You may be carrying around a false belief from the past, and you are unaware of how it got there, or even unaware that you actually belief one or many false beliefs about yourself that were programmed into you from a dysfunctional family pattern. Through various techniques, such as, dialoguing in a Gestalt manner to discover which roles you were “assigned” in the dysfunctional pattern of your family of origin. Often a child’s innate disposition may have an effect as to where you fit into the dysfunctional family system. And it is a system. The system must be looked at in therapy in order to change behaviors and beliefs about yourself. You might have been silently designated “the “savior;” or the “bad one;” or the “unbalanced one. And for a while you may act-out the role that was placed upon you out of a fear of a loss of love and alienation, in therapy it is possible to separate that false belief that was “put onto you” and therefore change your perspective about who you really are.
You may feel that it is uncanny that you end up in the same type of relationship (albeit a dysfunctional one with you in the same role), not matter if this time you feel it will be different. This is called “undoing” and once this insight is fully realized in therapy you will see that you cannot change anyone or undo the past via a present relationship, you will start to heal. You will also change the kinds of people you are attracted to.
In therapy, separating yourself from the habit patterns that were formed when you were young, may also constitute a situation in which your parents, or others, caused you to develop a low self-esteem due to the fact that you were expected to live up to impossible ideals, called “ego ideals”. This is always a self-defeating situation which can be worked with replacing impossible ideals with more realistic ones.
These super-perfectionistic ideals that were taught to you at an early age must be looked at in a gentler way. When you began to feel a false belief (like I am not good enough, and others) or you are relentlessly made to live up to ultra-perfectionistic ideals, it must be seen as a “projection” on the part of your parents and teachers, etc. The term “projection” means that people have caused you to believe and live out some part of themselves. Thus, the circle is repeated: you pick people to project these images and ideals onto in order to relieve yourself of the burden. But it simply makes it worse. In therapy you can learn to “withdraw the projections” thus saving a relationship, or to change the perspective you have had on yourself and attract different types of people into your life.
Depression can be healed in therapy when you are willing to look at some of your hidden beliefs, projections and habit patterns. Depression is the result of keeping these feelings and thoughts hidden in you unconscious mind without knowing it. In therapy, bringing these hidden beliefs, etc., from the darkness into the light, is a process that is bound for success.