Depression: Through the Pain

You CAN make it through the pain.

Counseling

on May 29, 2013

Good morning!

Today is the day that I going to tackle an important, but tricky, subject: counseling.  Let me preface it by reminding you that I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor, so you can take what I say with a grain of salt.  I am, however, a person who suffered from major depression for a long time and made it to the other side.  What I write reflects my own experience.  I acknowledge that everyone is unique, and what worked for me in terms of counseling may not be what works for you. That being said, I’ll proceed.

When you’re depressed, there is an excellent chance that you’ve denied a lot of thoughts and emotions, often because you don’t feel heard at home for whatever reason.  If not confronted, these issues can keep popping up all your life. Counseling should help you release the pain and anger that you’ve repressed and then help YOU figure out a healthier way to live. That requires a therapist who is a gifted listener. Therefore, it behooves you to find a counselor who doesn’t spend the majority of his or her time talking.  Listening to monologues is not why you’re there.

(By the way, do NOT confuse my use of the words “denial” and “repression” as an endorsement of dredging up abuse issues from childhood that you don’t even remember.  If it hasn’t come up in your memory, you’re probably not ready to deal with it anyway.)

I was blessed to find a therapist who spent the vast majority of our time listening. He would periodically interject a question as I was working through my issues if I forgot to look at a particular angle.  He led me, not in terms of solutions, but in terms of thinking through all aspects of a problem before coming to my own solutions.  In my case, the best counselor was a psychiatrist.  That is not always true.  Many psychiatrists focus strictly on medication.  You might find a psychologist or counselor who is equally good for your needs. 

Counseling also requires your time and, usually, your money.  Possibly missed work or school, as well.  I have visited counselors who I considered a waste of both my time and money.  They were doing their best, but we were not a good match.  Find a counselor whose style corresponds with what you need.  

The right therapist can be invaluable to you, but find someone who truly LISTENS and has the wisdom NOT TO GIVE YOU SOLUTIONS.  You’ve got to do the work to make permanent changes.  I have absolute confidence that you can do this.

I’ll be back tomorrow!

Blessings, Elizabeth

*** If you are new to this blog, it is best to start by reading “About” and the first entry that was posted on May 13, 2013.  Then read each consecutive entry, one per day.  Welcome!

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