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Depression/Post Natal Depression

How does human givens therapy relieve depression?

Human Givens therapists work with the fundamental truth that people do not develop mental illness when their innate emotional needs are being met in balance. Working with this organising idea they employ techniques from various therapies that have proven effective (interpersonal, cognitive behavioural, solution focused) plus they add the new knowledge you have just read above that shows the importance of vividly creating new expectations in the mind of the patient to 'kick-start' them again.


Because depression, like any strong emotion, fogs our thinking, emotional arousal is reduced to start with. The therapist has a range of ways to do this so that the patient can begin to think more clearly about the situation that is causing them to worry. When the patient has calmed down the therapist will usually explain what depression is and how it is caused. This in itself is hugely therapeutic for most people since no one else is likely to have explained how and why the feelings arose and they were probably imagining that there was something wrong with them. Simultaneously the therapist will do an informal emotional needs audit to find what needs are not being met so they can begin to tackle the worrying that is causing the problems.


Whilst doing this the patient's past achievements, skills and good qualities are also looked for and given as much attention by the therapist as the troublesome history. If it emerges that there is trauma behind the depression, this will be resolved using the HG version of the rewind technique.


The therapist will almost certainly use guided imagery to help the depressed person change their negative expectations into more positive, realistic and concrete ones to help them re-connect with previously enjoyed activities and rehearse in their imagination doing the things they need to be doing. This helps them become more confident about using their own resources to pick up their life and get on with taking the actions that will help them start meeting their emotional needs once more. Learning how to fulfil these innate needs resolves depression and prevents relapses.


Usually much progress is made on the first session but the therapist will always want to see a person who has been deeply depressed a number of times to make sure that progress is maintained and that the patient is taking steps to change their expectations. Postnatal depression is treated very effectively in exactly the same way.


Human givens (HG) therapy is effective on its own but can also be done alongside drug treatment. Read a case-study which shows how a human givens therapist dealt with depression.


Depression: some distortions of fact

To be deeply depressed is just about the most awful feeling we can experience, apart from sheer terror. It can disable anyone. But the topic is surrounded by false ideas: Depression, as experienced by the vast majority of sufferers for example, is not a biological illness; neither is it 'anger turned inward'; it is not a 'chemical imbalance in the brain' and it is not usefully divided into 'clinical depression', 'post-natal depression' and ordinary 'depression'; and is not, in most cases, hard to come out of.


The term 'endogenous depression' is used to describe a low mood that is purely the result of biological factors, such as a brain disorder or neurological dysfunction affecting serotonin, dopamine or other neurotransmitter. Such specific brain damage is very rare.


Note: Depressed or anxious people should not have forms of counselling or psychotherapy that concentrates on the past and encourages introspection or emotional arousal. Research shows this is often unintentionally harmful.


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