Thursday, 19 January 2017

Targeting the seven basic patterns associated with depression: 6. Guilty or not guilty?

This is the sixth in a series of seven blog posts published over several weeks in which I explain briefly how the symptoms of depression are dealt with using hypnotic suggestion and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). I will post links to the other articles as they become available. The session structures are based on the work of the American psychologist Dr Michael Yapko and the co-founder of the "Human Givens" psychological system, Dr Joe Griffin. This approach provides a gradual lifting of depression symptoms over the seven week programme. It works by targeting the unconscious thought processes that the depressed state is built upon.

1. Dealing with sleep disturbance

2. Looking forward to the future optimistically

3. It's time to do something different

4. The complex issue of control

5. Drawing the line  (follow the links to my earlier posts)

6. Guilty or not guilty?
In the fourth blog post in this series I discussed the issue of control, and particularly the way in which the typical depression sufferer does not have a clear idea of what is and what is not within his or her control. A similar confusion often exists around the sense of responsibility. What is my responsibility and what is someone else's, and as a consequence what is and is not my fault or someone else's fault are often causes for great concern and worry. Guilty feelings are the inevitable result. This can sometimes include guilt about the bad choices other people make. The depressed person's self perception is often that they are somehow responsible for not preventing those people from making those choices.

The work in session six is centred around recognising the limits of what one can actually control, and learning how not to take responsibility for things that fall outside those limits. After all, there are many people who habitually use the "guilt trip" as a means to avoid taking responsibility for their own action or decision making - passing that responsibility on to another. The person with a depressed mindset is often a willing volunteer to take on another's shortcomings as his or her own, but by doing so, he or she is not actually doing themselves or that other person any favours. By taking responsibility for what they cannot control, and is not even theirs to control, they are actually preventing that other person from growing and learning to be more resourceful, while at the same time causing additional and unnecessary burdens for themselves.

It is also important for the client to learn to deal with the self critical internal dialogue that often accompanies this cycle of guilt, and this is an recurring theme throughout therapy. As in previous sessions, the trance part of the session is recorded for the client to use at home. By this point in therapy, clients have a library of six different recorded hypnotic sessions available to them and most are noticing a significant change in their mood and thought patterns as a result. Quite frequently the sixth is the last session, but some are concerned about the possibility of a future relapse, which is why the next therapy session is focused on the matter of prevention.

Links to the seven stages will be posted here as they become available:
  1. Dealing with sleep disturbance
  2. Looking to the future optimistically
  3. It’s time to do something different
  4. The complex issue of control
  5. Drawing the line
  6. Guilty or not guilty?
  7. Prevention
If you are a depression sufferer and would like a more detailed and specific explanation of how this approach could work for you, please feel free to contact me to organise a free introductory consultation.

021 487 6072