Depression Mindscape

Counselling for Depression

“… we should see what we call depression as a set of symptoms that derive from complex and always different human stories. …..These stories will involve the experiences of separation and loss, even if sometimes we are unaware of them. We are often affected by events in our lives without realising their importance or how they have changed us.”

Depression affects millions of people worldwide with around 5% of adults in the UK suffering with moderate or severe depression.  Affecting more women than men depression is often triggered by difficult life events. Depression can stop a person in their tracks leaving them in a world that feels hard, empty and cold.  There is help for depression and working through the emotional pain can lead to a better life.

What is depression?

Depression is more than just feeling down.  If you are feeling fatigued, unmotivated, low in mood, thinking negatively about yourself or the world, loss of appetite or overeating, loss of pleasure, pointlessness and having thoughts about ending your life.  If these symptoms persist for two weeks or more you would be deemed to be suffering from depression.

You can assess yourself for depression here .

Depression can be understood in many different ways.  I believe that we are complex beings that are shaped by our genes and the bodies we inhabit but also by life events, relationships and how we adapt to these in terms of what meaning we make from what happens and how effectively we repair from trauma, loss and other adversities.


A medical perspective often explains depression as an illness in a similar way to other physical illnesses.  This view highlights the biological aspects of depression suggesting that the primary cause is a change in levels of chemicals in the brain or hormones.  Although this theory is disputed by many a primary treatment in depression is the prescribing of anti-depressants.  According to the NHS Business Authority over 8 million patients a year are prescribed antidepressants and the number has been rising each year for the last 6 years. Depression can arise for those suffering with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and brain injury.  Depression can be a side effect of some medications.

Depression is not your fault.

No one chooses to be depressed.  Millions and millions of people suffer from depression. Recognising the physical nature of depression can take away stigma and self-blame.  It can temper expectations and foster self-compassion.  No one would expect a person with a broken leg to run a marathon or even walk across the room.  Similarly, for many, depression makes life extra-ordinarily difficult to manage and being compassionate, caring and realistic about a programme of recovery is super important before assuming that “the show will go on”.


I love the video below that presents such a heartfelt account of depression.

We are far more than our biology.  We are shaped by our experiences, what sense we made of them and the beliefs that have evolved as a result. 


Naturally feelings tell us what is wrong and prime us to act in helpful ways.  However, in our present day culture we are taught differently, that feelings are bad or a sign of weakness or unhelpful.  Parents and role models can teach us to discount or disconnect from feelings.  Feelings are like the warning lights on the car dashboard.  As inconvenient as it can be it is better to be informed of an empty tank or an overheated engine than take out the warning light fuse. Suppressing feelings is taking away an important navigating tool in our complex world. Depression could be an indicator that your coping strategies are no longer serving you and forcing you to revisit what is important in your life for health and wholeness.


The mind can be our greatest strength and our worst enemy.  Depression can be felt in the intensity of intrusive and negative thoughts that clouds reality and renders life joyless and tortuous.  Negative thoughts are often accompanied by shame which is a deep rejection of self.

Treatments for depression

Usual treatments suggested through more medical services are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy either in groups or one-to-one and/or antidepressants. 

I believe this is mostly due to the services that are available through the NHS which in turn is down to the way in which service outcomes and cost effectiveness are measured.  However, there is substantial evidence that different types of talking therapies have the same outcomes and that what is most indicative of positive outcomes is your trust in the process and your relationship with your therapist.

Counselling offers a confidential and safe space to have important conversations that allow you to tell your story and discover your hopes and strengths.  Being able to bring yourself without judgement enables you to face fears, gain insight into learnt coping strategies from your history and cultivate responsive ways to create the life you value.

I believe relationships are at the heart of life.  Relationships are the source of our deepest wounds and our deepest joy and fulfilment.  Your relationship with the counsellor is one with clear boundaries to help you feel safe and where everything that happens is information to learn and grow.


If you would like to explore how counselling can help you with your depression please feel free to give me a call or drop me an email.


More materials about depression

If you would like to explore further resources to find out more about depression I have included a list below:


MIND — website; provides patient information on Depression.

Depression UK — website; has patient information About depression.

Mental Health Foundation — website; has patient information about Depression and Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

NHS information on depression

The Samaritans — website; telephone helpline: 116 123 (freephone) available 24 hours a day.

SANEline — website; telephone helpline: 0300 304 7000 open from 4pm to 10pm every day of the year.

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