What you believe about the possibility of depression recovery? What other steps have you tried…
I’m assuming that you feel pretty low and that you may have felt pretty low for some time now.
You may be suffering from Persistent Depressive Disorder. Read more that here.
BUT DESPITE ALL THAT…
All I request from you is that you are willing to give depression recovery coaching a try. We will do the rest together.
I follow a life coaching model to depression recovery.
This model says that each person who is suffering from depression knows within them what they need to recover and might just need a hand uncovering what that might be. I also believe in equipping you with the coping skills by developing resilience you can prevent a relapse into depression. I also believe that a community of supporters is essential to depression recovery.
Depression Recovery School does not offer therapy or psychological counselling.
If you believe you need therapy (for example, if your emotions are overwhelmingly harmful and destructive, based on years of trauma and abuse) or anti-psychotic medication for mood stabilisation please seek the relevant medical advice and treatment.
How is life coaching different to talk therapy?
It is true that life coaching is based in the psychological therapies, however there are several main differences which I believe makes depression recovery coaching particularly powerful and effective for you in the long-term:
Life coaching is focussed forward.
In depression recovery coaching, we think about what we want, and not what we have but don’t want.
How will we be different? How will our life be different? What will we be doing? What will we be thinking and experiencing without depression?
To me, the coaching model is perfect for depression recovery because it is focussed forward, on positive action from now to the future.
As mentioned above, I am assuming that you are ready for a future-focussed way of thinking. You may not know how to do that, or even if it’s possible.
That’s OK! All you need is to be open-minded enough to consider the possibility that you can be depression-free and depression recovery coaching will do the rest.
You do need to be very honest with yourself here. Do you think you can have a better future?
Depression likes nothing more than a good old chat about how terrible everything is.
In counselling or therapy, there tends to be a focus on your feelings, which are bad, what’s going wrong now, why things are bad, bad relationships, unpleasant events and so on.
Our depressed brain causes us to focus on what’s wrong in life and we do this in the hope that we will find a solution. If only we think about that painful conversation, that nasty comment, that embarrassing moment again and again, perhaps we will find a solution to all that pain.
It’s a coping mechanism.
But unfortunately, it’s not very effective. It’s called rumination and it’s a particularly nasty symptom of depression which actually maintains the experience of depression.
In depression recovery coaching, we acknowledge the pain, but rather than dwelling on our feelings, we act to change our thinking and action, to learn how we can respond differently next time.
Depression recovery coaching will show you how to release the habit of ruminating and get you moving towards reducing your symptoms.
Counselling or therapy is undertaken with tertiary educated professionals who themselves may or may not have experiences of depression (or other mental illnesses) and who have been trained in models or treatments to help people out of their challenging situations.
The counsellor or psychologist is the expert and they are working from a model which says they have the knowledge and education to fix you.
Without doubt they care about you and want you to have a positive outcome, but they lead you through a series of exercises or ways of thinking that they have been taught are the right ones for that situation or illness.
Coaching starts from the position that each individual knows, somewhere in their being, what they need to do to get themselves out of their situation.
There is no ‘one size fits all’.
People have the answers to their individual problems within them and the job of the coach or the course is to guide them towards a different way of thinking so that those solutions reveal themselves.
Finding your own solutions gives you ownership of those solutions. They are your solutions and therefore will work for you because you identified them.
Now, as a depressed person, it can be very hard to find those solutions because depression mixes up and messes up your thinking.
Depression recovery coaching is designed to help you straighten out your thinking about not being depressed, and to offer you effective strategies to reduce and eliminate depressive symptoms, but only you can find ways which work for you into the future.
Don’t throw your hands up in frustration!
You can do this. I’m not leaving you to work from scratch and sort your depression yourself.
If that was possible you’d have done it by now.
No, please stay with me.
Depression recovery coaching will give you the tools you need so you can apply them to your own situation and uncover the right path forward for you.
The point of difference between coaching and therapy is that therapy gives you generic one-size-fits-all strategies to apply to your problems (it’s a trial and error process), while coaching guides you to find your own strategies which is more empowering and easier for you to maintain long-term.
Have you heard the old phrase, ‘Give a man a fish and he will eat for the weekend, give him a fishing rod and he will eat forever’? Something like that anyway.
The purpose of the depression recovery coaching is to equip you with the skills and tools you need to address some of the issues that arise in depression.
Do you ever find that on leaving a counselling session, most or all of what the counsellor said has evaporated? That you don’t do the tasks he or she has set for you?
Sometimes when you’re in the comfort of the counselling room it’s easy to agree to try new ideas (new ways of thinking about things, exercises for ‘homework’) and if you have a good relationship with your counsellor, you may find yourself agreeing to try new strategies because it will please them.
But when you get home to the stark reality of life with depression, it can be more difficult to keep those strategies going.
Even if you fully intend to do the exercises and you may even make a start, it’s understandable that in the ‘real world’ with the ‘real world’ challenges of depression, it’s difficult to change.
With the Depression Recovery School programs, we ask the questions to start you thinking differently about yourself and the world and you choose the solutions that work for you in your personal situation.
When you discover what works for you, you can choose to apply those strategies whenever the need comes up in your life.
In fact, the point of coaching is that you get to a stage when you don’t need the coach any more because you are able to coach yourself!
Some people attend counselling or therapy in the hope that the trained professional sitting opposite them will fix them.
I find that quite disempowering.
Of course, there are many skilled therapists and effective counselling techniques which can offer new ways of thinking that have proven very successful in diminishing the symptoms of depression.
In either counselling/therapy or coaching, the effectiveness of any technique is limited by the commitment of the person seeking change.
However in coaching, the coach believes in the wholeness and ability of the person they are guiding.
In counselling and therapy, the work they do with the person may be based on the idea that the person is broken and needs fixing.
This is the ‘medical’ model of a person with depression.
The person, you, are diagnosed with a disorder caused by negative thinking, poor self-esteem and so on, and the counselling is based around ‘fixing’ those causes.
In coaching, the person is assumed to have the answers within them, but needs guidance, reassurance and perhaps just an ally, an equal, to help them find those answers.
With a therapist, you are in a relationship of ‘power over’; that is, the therapist is the expert and you are asking them to help ‘make you better’.
They hold the power over your recovery.
In coaching, you are in a relationship of ‘power to’; that is, the coach is your peer, your equal and is helping you to find the ways you can make yourself better.
You have the power to make yourself well.
This might be quite a different way of thinking about depression and your relationship to it, but please stay with me.
You’ll see how empowering it is as you go through depression recovery coaching.
So where to start?
I highly recommend the Make Your Mind UP: Decide to be Depression-Free! pre-depression recovery kickstarter course to get you thinking about who you’ll be and what your future will be like without depression.
The ideas you come up with will motivate you through the following depression recovery programs.
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If you'd asked her 15 years ago if she believed life could be a wonderful as it is today, Vickie would have answered, 'I just don't know, but it doesn't seem likely.' Now she knows that if she can turn her life around, it's possible for you too. Ask Vickie how she can help you design the life you'd really love to live and say goodbye to depression forever.