There may be an obvious cause which brought on this depression, or there might be more of an unreachable feeling of being ‘stuck’ or ‘blocked'.
Counselling can transform depression by encouraging you to describe what you are experiencing. An attempt to express what is going on `inside’ for you can be one of the first steps in making more sense of what you are going through. You are starting to take control and can feel empowered by taking that first step to reach out to a counsellor. By being specific about exactly how you are feeling and saying this out loud – if you feel comfortable enough to do that – you can also reveal how you are experiencing a complex mix of feelings which can be unraveled and made some sense of. The reaching for the words to express your feelings moves you out of the `feeling’ part of the brain and engages the ‘left’ side of the brain - which is the main base for language and attempting to give order and sense to what we are experiencing.
You can begin to cultivate increased awareness of yourself, which leads to you making more conscious choices and feeling empowered. This can counter the hopeless feelings of depression and build your self-esteem. You will start to clarify what led to this pit of despondency and how you can get out of it. You will no longer just be led by your feelings but become aware of the thoughts that led to those feelings, learning which thoughts are helpful and healthy and which are not and need to be challenged.
By investigating your thoughts together, we can start to work out which ones are affecting your feelings adversely. You learn coping skills, which again is empowering – you can start to cope more on your own again.
This is all part of the therapy for depression - the processing of your feelings in a non-judgemental, reflective space and time, and transformation of despondency into renewed hope.