” What I learned from my own depression and recovery and try to practice when working with clients is that people have the seeds of their own revival within them. I want to ask the right questions so that people can hear what they say, recognize what changes they want to make, and how they can choose to make them. Specific time limits are set, and I prefer to focus initially on people making changes in their behavior, rather than mood. I explain that although the depressed mood colors the whole world, it has not been shown to be causally related to improvement, where as behavior has.
When clients know that there are specific and tangible things they can do, they often begin to experience an immediate uprising. A specific time limit is often motivating. People begin to see themselves making positive changes in their behavior, and can begin to change attitudes about themselves. They begin to see themselves controlling aspects of their environment, and as this happens, helplessness and hopelessness begin to dissipate and self-esteem levels rise proportionally. People see themselves to be improving as a result of their own efforts. Nothing can be more rewarding to a depressed person.
SOURCE: Wounded Healers. Pgs. 86-87.
I think what the author states here is so true. Once a person depressed begins to see themselves making some positive changes in themselves, their own sense of helplessness and hopelessness is diminished. I see this all the time when those persons who continue to return to the mutual aid group Depressed Anonymous week after week. They are given a “toolbox” by which they choose various areas of their life to work on. They have a Depressed Anonymous Workbook, with a Step by Step format that can open up answers to questions that they have about their own sense of personhood and their depression experience. They also have a member of the fellowship to walk with them week after week between meetings, sometimes called a sponsor or coach. And with help from the program persons depressed now have courage to begin this journey of hope. Our program of recovery can and does increase one’s sense of empowerment.