Depression Counseling

Do you feel like you are slogging through quicksand to get through daily life?  Is it hard to get up in the morning to face the day? Do you feel hopeless, helpless, overwhelmed? Are you constantly criticizing yourself, and feel ashamed that you’re not perfect?  Are you sleeping or eating too much as a way to escape?  Are you isolating yourself or don’t see the point in doing anything?  Do you find it difficult to find pleasure in anything in life? If these experiences sound familiar you may be suffering from depression.  Living with depression is difficult and lonely. It is also unhealthy and can be treated.

There is hope!

Psychotherapy has proven to be highly effective in alleviating depression.  As a humanistic, existential, body-centered and Buddhist psychotherapist, my primary goal is to help my clients uncover the truth about the cause of their suffering so that they can live full and satisfying lives. I offer a compassionate and safe environment for you to express your feelings and fears. I also offer guidance, tools and coping skills to help you move forward and live the vibrant and joyous life you deserve.  My clients tell me that my skillful use of a combination of interpersonal therapy, cognitive therapy, EMDR and mindfulness practices has been helpful to them in transforming their depression into a life full of aliveness.

Yeah, but….

People who have been suffering with depression might read this and think “yeah, but, my problems can’t be solved.”  I am adept at listening for the “yeah, buts,” “”that won’t work for me” and other self-defeating and negative beliefs hat are so common in depression and that can limit you in life.  In an atmosphere of safety and non-judgment, I will help you see that those “yeah, buts” and other negative thoughts and beliefs are not solid or real.  In fact, the negative thoughts that have had such a hold on your life can actually be dismissed and disempowered so they no longer run you. I will patiently and empathetically challenge your self-defeating thoughts. As a result of my well-honed therapeutic approaches, you will become skilled in noticing and dismissing those thoughts yourself. Your thoughts will no longer have a hold on you, and you can then actually choose a life filled with vibrancy and vitality.

…But isn’t depression normal?

The answer to that question is emphatically NO!  There is a huge difference between sadness or healthy grief and depression.  Of course, there are events in all of our lives that are challenging, difficult and even tragic or traumatic.  Reacting to those events with sadness or grief is normal.  However, reacting to those events by beating ourselves up, blaming ourselves, feeling undue guilt or shame, staying in bed with the covers over our head, or becoming overwhelmed, hopeless or helpless is NOT normal or healthy. You don’t have to live your life with depression, and I can help.

Won’t medication be enough to “cure” my depression?

If a chemical or hormonal imbalance or a genetic predisposition are components of your depression, then the proper antidepressant can be very useful. However, it has been well proven that the combination of medication in those instances PLUS psychotherapy is the best way to treat depression. Medication can alleviate the physical aspects of depression, but it will not treat the underlying cognitive and behavioral components of depression. I may even suggest that you see a doctor for medication to treat your depression, if I feel that medication might be beneficial for our work together. Of course, I will not insist on that, and I honor your choice. For example, quite a number of my clients do not want to be on an antidepressant for various reasons, or they want to wean themselves off their current medications. Working with me in a psychotherapy setting will help — with or without medication.

So, how can you help?

I too have dealt with depression in my own life.  I would often berate myself for my imperfections or human mistakes, and shame was often my companion.  Through a combination of depression counseling and mindfulness meditation practice, I no longer beat myself up or fill my head with negative self-talk, and am able to nip those impulses in the bud.  My experiences as a therapist, and as a former client in therapy, have taught me how unbearable and all-consuming the experience of depression can be.  We will do almost anything to avoid it, such as engaging in risky behaviors, blaming others or ourselves, living with shame or doubt, abusing drugs or alcohol, acting out in any number of ways or other self-defeating behavioral patterns. I use my skills as a certified mindfulness meditation instructor, cognitive, EMDR and body-centered therapist, together with my life experiences, to help my clients help themselves through their depression.  I provide a place for you to safely feel and express your pain and go through your own personal journey from depression and despair to hope, healing and growth.  With my guidance, we will walk that path together. You are worth it!

The bottom line is that you do not have to live with depression. There is no such thing as normal depression, or being just a little depressed. Depression is not a life sentence, and with my skill and guidance, I will help you to alleviate your depression and live a life that is enjoyable, satisfying and vibrant. You deserve it!