Do you have a hard time forming and maintaining deep, satisfying relationships with others?
Are feelings of worthlessness and despair keeping you from meaningfully engaging with your partner, family, friends, or coworkers?
Instead of being invigorated by social gatherings or other activities, do you feel entirely zapped of your energy?
You may have lost your motivation to connect and have new experiences. Instead, isolation, anxiety, and hopelessness have taken over, causing you to withdraw further. Every aspect of life has started to feel like a chore, making you exhausted and unable to experience joy.
Your Symptoms Probably Have Relational Consequences
Low self-esteem, when combined with a lack of social engagements, takes a heavy toll on our relationships. Though certain physical symptoms of depression—like tearfulness, insomnia, and a lack of sex drive—may seem like a surface-level issue, there is probably something deeper going on when we pull back the layers. At its core, depression might very well be a desperate desire to be loved unconditionally.
But relationships are complicated. You may feel lonely because you are alienated by those around you. In addition to easily being disappointed or finding flaws in others, you may be quick to hold yourself to exceedingly high expectations, further perpetuating a sense of perfectionism in your life.
Depression is a complex issue that involves many aspects of your history, self-beliefs, and relationships. Fortunately, a therapist can help you untangle heavy, painful experiences and find the energy to overcome your depression. Working together, you can achieve a sense of reconnection in your life.
Experiences Involving Rejection And Abandonment Often Spiral Into Depression
Grief and sadness are normal parts of life—we all experience loss and injuries within our most influential attachments, including those with caregivers, partners, and friends. When these injuries happen, we develop certain beliefs about ourselves and others that continue to impact our mindset long after the initial injury took place.
Over time, our self-perception becomes skewed, exacerbating our fears of being unlovable, unworthy, and rejected. Any time feelings of sadness or negative self-beliefs are reinforced, we can develop a depressive mindset obscuring the true nature of our lives and relationships.
And how does a negative self-perception get reinforced? Through a culture that insists on perfection and “having it all.” Everywhere we look are depictions of what the “perfect” job, lifestyle, and relationship look like, driving unrealistic expectations about ourselves and others. When we don’t achieve the image of perfection, we develop the idea that we have, once again, failed and are unworthy of love.
A psychodynamic and psychoanalytic approach to therapy peels back the layers of early experiences and trauma to identify the source of depression. Instead of leaning toward the feeling of hopelessness that has been conditioned after many failed attempts to connect, you can explore and discover your deepest longings to foster more connection and satisfaction in your life.
My Approach To Treatment For Depression
When living with ongoing symptoms of depression, it’s hard to imagine how thinking about your feelings and behaviors can lead to positive change—but it will. Our early sessions together will help you understand how surface-level behaviors derive from negative self-talk. As you gain more awareness, we can begin the deeper work of transforming your inner critic into an empowering friend.
The Therapeutic Process
Behavioral methods like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be highly effective in treatment for depression due to their ability to target disruptive symptoms. And while I do use elements of CBT in therapy, I believe that a psychodynamic-psychoanalytic approach is essential to understanding where depression originates and how to overcome it. Our relationships—especially early attachments—are integral in the way we see ourselves and the world around us, so ongoing depression treatment revolves around challenging the beliefs we developed about ourselves through interpersonal dynamics.
Nevertheless, therapy is client-led. I welcome whatever you bring to the counseling space and will use your treatment goals and unique experience with depression to guide us. Eventually, we are likely to find our way to the core trauma driving your symptoms, giving you an opportunity to look at a painful situation differently. In real time, you will be able to see how certain relationship patterns have played out throughout your life, thereby fostering a deeper understanding of how others have impacted you—and the ways that you have impacted them.
The therapeutic relationship itself is a vital element of the healing process, as it is my commitment as a therapist to point out when harmful or unhealthy patterns are playing out in your current relationships. By working together in treatment to create new neural pathways in the brain, you can let go of the feelings of alienation, loneliness, and self-doubt characterizing your depression.
There are other ways of relating to yourself and the world around you. Though you’re currently stuck in the agonizing fog of depression, therapy is a chance to develop a new outlook. Our work together will help you stay connected in every aspect of your life so that you can feel closer and more satisfied in your relationships—including the one you have with yourself.
Perhaps You Have Questions About Whether Or Not Depression Treatment Is Right For You…
How will talking to a therapist help me overcome depression? I don’t feel like being social.
Counseling invites you to have honest, intense—yet safe—emotional experiences inside the session so that you can better understand your depression. As your therapist, I will help you see the cycle of depression playing out in real time, making you aware of the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors driving feelings of hopelessness and despair.
As you practice being vulnerable and connected in the therapeutic relationship, you’ll develop the tools you need to maintain other relationships in your life, ultimately enhancing your desire to be social and pursue the experiences you enjoy.
I don’t need to see a counselor about my depression; I can just talk to my friends for free.
While it’s important to reach out to friends and maintain your connections amidst depression, talking to friends is not the same as counseling with a trained, unbiased therapist. As an experienced psychotherapist, I can safely and gently challenge your thinking patterns while empowering you toward healthier, more affirming ways of thinking. I will help you see how certain behaviors contribute to symptoms and impact your relationships, providing meaningful insights about how to resolve depression at its core.
Doesn’t psychodynamic psychoanalysis take years? I don’t have that kind of time for depression treatment, and I want to feel better right now.
I understand that depression can be painful to live with, which is why certain behavioral methods will be introduced in early therapy sessions. The skills you develop will help you achieve a more manageable emotional baseline, allowing you to cope with disruptive physical and cognitive symptoms.
That said, the deeper work of psychodynamic therapy is what will get to the heart of your depression. This approach takes a little longer because we dig into the early experiences and relationship templates that have affected your self-perception. Other counseling techniques might offer a quick fix for surface-level symptoms, but psychodynamic therapy is going to be the best approach for long-term relief from depression and other relational issues.
Reclaim Your Energy Through Healing Connection
Depression has caused you to withdraw from your relationships, but counseling through a relational lens can help you reconnect and find joy again. To learn more about my approach to depression treatment, please contact me or call (949) 237-2372.
Because depression makes us behave in ways normally out of character, it’s often closely correlated with shame. Whether it’s because we’ve turned to drugs or alcohol, gained weight, or fallen behind at work, the result is the same: a deep sense of shame and self-loathing makes us feel unworthy and broken. The sense of feeling unworthy or broken enhances the feelings of hopelessness and uncertainty that depression feeds on.
Strange to think of an empty nest as a cause for grief. On top of that, most of us are taught to view the empty nest as an achievement. It’s a sign that all your birds have learned to fly, and you’ve done your job as a parent to help them become independent adults. Still, the grief is there all the same—and that’s natural. Grief isn’t always a response to loss. Just as often, it’s a response to change.
Being a stay-at-home mom comes with all kinds of expectations. Whether you’re home with the kids or getting them to school every day, there’s a constant influx of work that needs to get done. A tide of never-ending laundry, the churn of dirty dishes; meal prep, planning, and coordinating schedules. On top of that, stay-at-home mom’s are expected to put on a happy face even when they aren’t feeling it.