Are You Ready To Live With More Ease, Lightness And Joy?
Are you, your teenager or another loved one suffering from persistent sadness, lack of motivation and an ongoing sense of hopelessness? Do you feel stuck, helpless to affect change in your life and/or exhausted by unsuccessful attempts to mitigate sadness and other depression symptoms? Maybe you’ve lost interest in activities that you once enjoyed and/or are withdrawing from the people you love. Your struggle to be present and engage might be disrupting your relationships and causing you to feel even more isolated and alone. Perhaps every day feels like a struggle and even completing routine tasks takes a toll on you mentally, emotionally and physically. It might be that depression is manifesting through your body, causing changes to normal eating and sleeping patterns, ongoing fatigue and lethargy, aches and pains and digestive problems. Do you wish you knew how to feel better or help someone that you love find relief?
You Are Not Alone
Although it is extremely common to feel isolated when suffering from depression, depression is prevalent in our society and you are far from alone. More than 16 million American adults have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, and it’s estimated that 15 percent of the U.S. population will experience depression at some point in their lifetime. Depression in teens is also on the rise. Roughly 20 percent of teens experience depression before they reach adulthood, although only 30 percent of depressed teens receive treatment. Like many adults, countless teens are suffering in silence, feeling confused, helpless and alone.
Depression symptoms vary and can present on a wide spectrum of severity. Depression can begin at any age, and it affects people of all races, genders and socioeconomic statuses. And, although it is so prevalent, few people are talking openly about their experience and engaging in the type of therapy that can truly improve their lives.
Given that we live in a device-heavy, go-go-go society in which self-care and authentic connection with others often goes by the wayside, it’s no surprise that millions of Americans are depressed. And, although millions are struggling, society still tells us that we’re supposed to be happy and that if we’re not, something must be wrong with us. While we all innately want to feel joy, there is a place and space for all emotions, including sadness, grief, anger, etc., and it’s natural and normal for uncomfortable emotions, as well as uplifting ones, to come and go, which, for better or worse, adds to the emotional richness of our lives.
However, all humans have a built-in proclivity to focus on the negative. A focus on negative thinking helped keep our ancestors safe when the brain needed to remember what foods, places and situations were safe and which ones were dangerous. Today, while most survival threats of the past have passed, our proclivity toward negative thinking has remained, and perhaps even intensified. With our brains constantly at work, ruminating over what happened in the past and obsessing over what’s to come, many people consistently engage in negative thinking, dwelling on the bad rather than looking for the good.
The good news is that our brains are highly receptive to change. Your own habits of thought trained your mind to think the way it thinks, and you can retrain it to think differently. Your body also holds inherent wisdom, and you have an amazing and intrinsic capacity to heal. As a skilled psychotherapist with a focus on whole-body healing and integration, I can help you gently and effectively get to the root of your depression. You can learn to train your brain to engage with supportive patterns of thought and develop the self-compassion, coping skills and self-care strategies that can promote long-term ease and flow within your life.
Holistic Depression Treatment Fosters Relief, Healing, Personal Discoveries And Authentic Growth
I take a holistic, integrated approach to treating depression that focuses on mind, body and spirit. Rather than look at symptoms and/or problems as separate, I tend to look at everything through the lens of the whole, helping you mindfully pay attention to and reframe thoughts, tap into the inherent wisdom of your body and approach your experience with compassion, kindness and curiosity.
In our initial depression treatment session, I’ll take a biopsychosocial assessment, which looks at all aspects of your life, including diet, relationships, work life, personal history, sleep and lifestyle and review any lab work if necessary. Everyone is different and experiences depression in different ways, which is why I’ll tailor a depression treatment strategy that honors and supports your unique personality, history with depression and specific needs and goals. Together, we’ll work in the present moment, addressing what arises as you tap into you body and bring your mind into balance.
In the context of a safe, trusting relationship, we’ll work both mindfully and somatically (through the body) as you learn about the nature of your mind and the essential wisdom and healing capacity of your body. Taking a mindfulness approach, I can help you nonjudgmentally notice the unique thought patterns of your mind and any ingrained mental habits that focus on the negative, which is common in people suffering from depression. Thought patterns are often learned in childhood, and many were unconsciously designed to help keep you safe then. However, over time, some—if not most—of these thought patterns cease to be useful or necessary, and many even begin to create and perpetuate harm.
Thought habits, however, are formed through repetition and can be changed. As you begin to notice your thoughts with kindness and nonjudgmental curiosity, you can learn to train your brain to let the old, ineffective patterns of thinking go and, instead, engage with supportive thoughts. Throughout this process, you can also increase self-awareness and self-compassion, build distress tolerance and become more responsive and less reactive in how you think and act.
Depression slows everything way down, which is why it’s also important to get moving physically—as well as mentally and emotionally—and take deliberate action toward goals, even if it’s just baby steps at first. In depression treatment sessions, I’ll encourage you to move your body, paying attention to what it’s trying to tell you. We can also discuss values, needs and goals, and I can offer you strategies, such as yoga, meditation, regular exercise, a mood-improving nutrition plan, coping skills and actionable steps to move toward your goals. Integrating some or all of these into your lifestyle can not only bring relief, but also gradually move your toward where you want to go and help you feel how you want to feel. I’ll be there to support you and celebrate successes along the way, helping you build on momentum as you begin to feel increasingly connected and alive.
Regardless of how you feel today, it is possible to restore yourself to wholeness. You are ultimately the architect of your life, and I’ll be there to support you as you feel better and improve the overall quality of your life. Although depression treatment can be a gradual and careful process, as a highly trained and skilled depression therapist, I’ll hold a safe space for you as you increase self-awareness, foster self-compassion and engage your life with increased curiosity, vitality and ease.
You still might wonder if working with a holistic depression specialist is right for you…
Does a depression diagnosis mean that I’ll need to go on medication?
For some people, especially those suffering from chronic and/or severe depression, taking an antidepressant medication while engaging in depression therapy can be effective. However, while there can be benefits, there are also risks and side-effects associated with psychotropic medications, and, like with any medication, it’s important that you’re monitored closely by the physician or psychiatrist that prescribes the antidepressant. Medication is also oftentimes prescribed as the first line of treatment in our country. And, while some people truly do benefit from it, it is normal to experience the ups and downs of life and occasionally struggle with sadness and other difficult emotions.
Alternatively, there are many approaches to treating depression that do not include medication. My integrated approach, which addresses mind, body and spirit as well as diet, feelings, movement and strengthening the habits of your mind, helps you increase self-awareness and tap into your inner resources and innate capacity to heal. Whether your depression treatment plan includes medication or not, we can work together to identify and build upon your strengths, resources and values and figure out what works specifically for you.
Compared to some others, my depression isn’t that bad. Shouldn’t I be able to pull myself out of this on my own?
There is a tendency in this country to downplay, minimize and/or deny our pain, which often keeps us from seeking the help we need to improve our lives. And, regardless of when or why, it’s my belief that we all need help at times, especially when we’re feeling down. As humans, we are meant to live in community and heal in relationship with another trusted person, and if you were able to pull yourself out of this on your own, you likely would have already. Regardless of the severity of your depression, there is a lighter and brighter way of feeling, and depression counseling can help. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. Rather, I see it as a sign of strength and intelligence. There is personal power and agency at work when we recognize that what we’ve been doing is no longer worker and seek a new avenue toward personal growth and healing.
I’ve been struggling with depression for as long as I can remember. I feel like I’ve tried everything, nothing has helped and I’m feeling helpless and hopeless. Maybe I’m destined to be miserable.
No one is destined to be miserable, or happy for that matter. The attainment of both are inside jobs, and you have more agency over your life than you likely believe right now. I know from more than a decade of experience helping people effectively regulate mood that it is possible for you to feel better, and it’s important that you don’t give up. I firmly believe that there is a path to healing for all of us; it’s just a matter of working holistically to figure out what works specifically for you. Together we can identify your values and devise ways for you to integrate them into your life. While it might sound simple, designing your life around your values can go a long way in creating meaning, purpose and direction, which gives you the personal agency needed to create the change that is possible in your life.
Foster Your Path To Healing
If you’re in Scottsdale, AZ or the surrounding area and interested in depression treatment for yourself, your teen or another loved one, I can help. I invite you to contact me through the website or at 480-675-4568 to schedule a no-obligation call or meeting to discuss your needs and goals and determine if we’re a good fit. Due to the mind-heart-body-spirit centered quality of this work, I’m not the right fit for everyone; however, I truly love working with clients who seek practical, holistic healing and are ready to increase self-awareness, cultivate self-compassion and make the changes needed to enjoy long-term relief.