Depressed? In despair? Be assured: psychotherapy for depression could be the answer you and your child have been looking for
Depression, the thief of joy, can be beaten and exiled from your son or daughters life.
I’m truly sorry if you’re here because your child is experiencing the misery of depression. I can think of few things worse than seeing your own son or daughter mired in a pit of despair. You can see their strengths, their beauty, their positive future stretching out before them and yet all they can focus upon is a self-defeating and self-perpetuating cycle of self-loathing and unhappiness.
I’ve worked with children and teenagers experiencing depression before. I understand how awful it can be for them and for the family as a whole. I have used skills from my initial training combined with child and adolescent psychotherapeutic approaches to good effect. There are young people in Oxford, Wallingford, Reading and Thame whom I have worked with and whom have beaten this problem. Perhaps I could help your child too.
I also offer counselling and psychotherapy for depression online, using vsee, whatsapp, zoom. Please get in touch for details.
Is your child depressed?
‘Depression’ can be a much over-used term and only GPs, psychologists and Psychiatrists are sufficiently trained to diagnose the condition. However, it probably isn’t difficult to know if your child is suffering from two or more of the following diagnostic criteria:
- Depressed mood for most of the day, almost every day*
- Anhedonia: a loss of pleasure and interest in activities and interests which they used to enjoy*
- A significant change in eating habits: either eating a lot more than they used to eat or a significant loss of appetite.
- Sluggishness in a cognitive and physical sense. A marked reduction in physical activity and in their ability to think straight.
- A more or less constant loss of energy, leading to constant tiredness.
- Feelings of worthlessness and / or feelings of guilt, most days.
- A diminished ability to think and concentrate. Greater indecisiveness. Nearly every day.
- Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
*These two have to be present for a formal diagnosis to be given and the symptoms must have a significant impact upon their ability to function at school, within the family or with friends. These symptoms also have to be independent of any other medical condition, alcohol or drug use.
Perhaps a diagnostic label doesn’t matter very much anyway
Your child or teenager may or may not be able to satisfy a clinician that he or she merits a label. In any case, professional help may be required if you and they, working together, can’t reverse the slide into unhappiness and despair.
What causes depression?
There are many reasons a person can develop this problem. Medical professionals will tend to focus upon medical facets such as serotonin, the hereditary possibility and suchlike. Whilst these may play a part, the role of genetics is still relatively poorly understood and may only explain the consequence of those other factors upon which psychotherapists concentrate their attentions.
For example, there may be a history of depression within a certain family but this fact does not explain whether it is handed down from generation to generation by genes or through learned behaviour. Perhaps there’s an element of both.
What I find, in my depressed clients, is a tendency to excessive self-criticism, negative thinking and rumination. There is commonly a cause such as parental divorce, bullying, high self-expectations, a depressed, angry or critical parent or social problems at school. Bereavement, disability and neuro-diverse conditions such as ASD or ADHD can also play a part.
Whatever the causes of your child’s depression may be, psychotherapy and counselling could help them to find a way out of their problems. Your child really could learn to let go of depression and to embrace life once again.
How can psychotherapy and counselling for depression help?
a) Accept their feelings, rather than dismissing and attempting to block them.
b) Express themselves more healthily, rather than communicating with others in a self-destructive fashion.
c) Focus upon their strengths rather than only seeing flaws and failure.
d) Build upon these strengths.
e) Take back control of their lives, instead of feeling as if events and others are in control of them.
f) Develop a sense of purpose, a sense of power and agency in the pursuit of their own goals.
g) Resist the temptation to wallow in negative thoughts, feelings and despair.
Counselling and psychotherapy, combined with elements of mindfulness and hypnotherapy from my initial training, could prove to be the means by which your child escapes from the quicksand of depression and despair. If you’d like to learn more f how I work then please feel free to get in touch. You could call me on 07786 123736 or email me at email@example.com. Alternatively you could use the contact form below.
I look forward to hearing from you.