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Depression Treatment with Psychotherapy

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"Depression exhausts me. Depression blinds me. Depression strangles me."

Sri Chinmoy

Depression is the most common reason people consider seeking help from a counsellor. Definitions of depression vary dependent upon the health professionals that you ask. To a physician it is a mental disease, something you can treat with medication. To the pharmacy industry, it is an opportunity to make lots of money and some psychiatrists will define it as a physical brain disorder.

Depression is a term for a complex set of processes but is not necessarily a ‘thing’. It is a useful label, but telling someone that they are depressed could be seen as permission to adopt a certain way of thinking and reacting. This is not to deny that to experience depression is a real and debilitating event and should always be taken seriously by any therapist, but it may be more useful for the person suffering, to acknowledge that people can be involved in the process of depressing themselves. That is, it is not an outside force that attacks them, but a process in which they can develop the power to turn around and change. A therapist can help their patients or clients to realize that they have control over their own fate and do not have to be passive victims of a disease.

People describe their ‘depression’ in many ways and the words used are symbolic representations of complex facts and feelings. Expressions such ‘falling endlessly into a black hole’, ‘locked inside a cage’, ‘silently screaming and knowing that no one will hear’ are only some of the phrase used. Everybody ‘does’ depression in different ways but the pain is the same. In some people, depression is denied and unrecognized because they control it by acting out in self harmful ways, such as eating disorders, alcohol or drug abuse or aggressive behaviour.

As a psychotherapist I have a duty of care when a client presents to me with depressive ideation, to ensure that they do not have suicidal thoughts and plans. In such cases, I will always recommend that they see a GP to discuss anti depressant medication as well as continuing therapy. In most other situations I do not suggest pharmaceutical medication because I do not see depression as an illness but as a way of coping with overwhelming circumstances. What may have evolved as a coping mechanism to help numb the overburdened person from life’s pain should not be seen as a sign of weakness but as a survival skill that is no longer useful, and that can be changed through trauma counselling.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, has advised that “ALL allied health businesses nationally can continue working and are encouraged to do”. He has encouraged providers to continue vital face-to-face services where possible.

These are challenging times for everyone, but your personal and relationship issues continue to need assistance. My practice is still open for hypnotherapy and individual or relationship counselling, including Rekindle the Love workshops.

However, face-to-face sessions are available only for local residents, at this time.

If you are sick or have come into contact with the Coronavirus at any point, and/or if you have recently been overseas, please stay at home and contact me on 0407 009 050 to reschedule your appointment.

The safety of my clients and wider community is of utmost importance to me, and my home-based clinic is fully compliant with the new social distancing rules and hygiene practices. I have ensured that appointments are staggered so that you and your partner, where appropriate, are the only clients visiting my practice, at any one time.

Video sessions are available for both individuals and couples, I am currently preparing a program for couples to complete a Rekindle the Love workshop, online.

Please contact me for more information.

Coronavirus and social isolation will add to existing pressure points on relationships, so don’t let your marriage become a coronavirus casualty.

Read the article by Hayley Gleeson of the ABC “How to stay married through Coronavirus“.

I thank you for your continued support in these uncertain times and know that together we will get through this.