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upset person

For a couple of weeks I’ve been talking about sadness and depression. I.e. how you know if you’re sad or depressed, and imagining what your life will be like when sadness or depression are no longer a part of it. As you read last week’s post, you may have asked yourself, is this woman off her rocker? What’s the point of dreaming of a good life? This week, I’m going to tell you why, and I’m going to ask you to think about times when you may have been feeling really good and invite you to begin–or continue–to build a foundation that will get you where you want to go.

Traditional counselling about depression

Far too often in traditional counselling, therapists and the people they work with spend an awful lot of time looking at what’s wrong, carefully looking for signs and symptoms of disorder, and trying to uncover the origins of the problem or the patterns of dysfunction that have, or are contributing to depression. Then the all-knowing therapist may point out cognitive distortions and teach the person they’re working with the correct way to think, act, and live.

New ways to work with people who are sad

There are a growing number of therapists like myself who approach working with people differently. We believe that it’s really important to develop a vision of where you want to be when the troubles that contributed to sadness are no longer around.

Without knowing where you’re headed, how will you tell when you’ve gotten there? How will you know that you’re on your way?

 

There are some who may say, “I’ll know when I’m not…”

Is happiness just the absence of something…like sadness…or it is something more?

I believe it’s much more and I’ve invited you to see, hear, and feel what you want to be doing when you’ve moved past sadness or depression.

Exceptions…

Review what you know your life will be likewhen sadness or depression are no longer a part of it.

Are there any times now when bits of this vision are happening, even in the smallest of ways? What ’s helping you feel even a tiny bit better? What have you been doing that’s helped that to happen?

Have there been any times in the past when life was going the way you wanted it to go? What was happening? What were you doing that helped it to go that way?

What difference does it make knowing that either you’re doing some things now that are making you feel a bit better, or that you know you’ve done things in the past that have helped?

Think of someone who knows you well from the present or past. What would s/he/they say they’ve noticed you doing in the present or past to feel better? Be as specific and detailed as you can.

A next step…

Suppose you did one of those things again. What’s one small thing you can imagine doing in the next week or so that would move things up a notch so that you felt a bit better? What do you think the person or people above would say they could see you doing?

Pay attention

In the days ahead, as an experiment, pay attention to what you’re doing that’s helping you feel even a little bit better– especially anything you’re doing that you might not have noticed before. Keep track what difference this makes in how your day goes.

A final word

You deserve to live a good life. What can you do to help make that happen?

About the author:

Renée Meggs is a Registered Psychologist who works with adults and children to help them do what works, both in counselling and coaching. If you’d like to book an appointment or inquire about my services, please e-mail me at reneemeggs@focusedsolutionscounselling.com and/or go to my website at http://reneemeggs.com. I can meet with you in person, on the phone, or on-line.

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