Many people go through periods of depression in their lives. Sometimes this can be genetic or a family pattern and other times it can be due to losses, self-disconnection or negative self talk. Often these clients report feelings of hopeless, lacking pleasure in activities and not having energy or a sense of meaning in their lives. This often leads to lack of sleep or excessive sleep, bouts of crying, isolation from friends and decreased ability to concentrate or enjoy things.
This is very difficult and often clients suffering from depression need a combination of validation, empathy, a safe place to feel their feelings and a behavioral plan to keep functioning, even though they don’t feel like it. Many times people who have depression want to wait to feel better to get to the gym, walk or see a friend, when often these activities would result in them feeling a bit better. So sometimes a therapist acts as a guide to help them build up baby steps including pleasurable meaningful activities that will benefit them and help them reconnect to life.
If there have been losses they need to be grieved and the therapist can help guide the client (as they are ready) to reconnect in small ways and to find meaning again.
This is a process. Although some clients may choose to consult a psychiatrist for a low dose of medication in the beginning (if they are not functioning), this is also a sign that there is a place the client can grow to understand him or herself better, learn self-soothing and kind self-talk and to reconnect to life and them self in new ways.