When you see the ugliness in yourself, that is just a preconception. You see it as ugliness which is still connected with the ideas of 'good' and 'bad.' But you have to transcend… and just get into what you are, deeper and deeper. The first glimpse is not quite enough; you have… to examine the details without judging.” – Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

Depression Treatment — Are You Feeling Down, Depleted And Discouraged?

Do you feel void of motivation, confidence, purpose or direction? Have you lost interest in activities that you once enjoyed? Perhaps you feel helpless or hopeless and often wonder what the point of doing anything is. Or maybe you feel lethargic, heavy and struggle to get through each day. Have you turned to drugs, alcohol, food or TV as a way to numb out, feel something different or feel anything at all? Do you feel isolated or disconnected from others and carry a sense of shame about how bad you feel? Do you wish you could feel okay within yourself, motivated to engage in the world and connected to those around you?

Coping with depression can be a lonely, heavy and hopeless experience. You might struggle to get out of bed each morning, feeling overwhelmed at even the thought of having to engage with others or get through the tasks ahead. You may trudge through the motions of your day, carrying a heavy shame and sadness, just wanting to be alone. Your productivity at work may be down and your relationships with others may be strained, especially if they don’t understand the depression experience. And, regardless of how hard you try, you may be struggling to connect with any feelings of focus, motivation or joy.

You Are Not Alone

If you are struggling with depression, you are not alone. Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S., with roughly 14.8 million Americans being diagnosed with clinical depression each year. And, that statistic doesn’t account for the countless more Americans who struggle silently with bouts of depression and/or depression symptoms. Because there is so much isolation and shame in depression, it is not talked openly about in our culture. Most people try to hide it and suffer quietly.

Depression can be caused by a variety of factors and symptoms present on a wide spectrum. Some people are predisposed to depression while others develop depression following a trauma, loss or difficult life transition. Many people suffer from a low-level depression and carry around uncomfortable feelings of heaviness, dread or discomfort for most of their lives. For other people, depression can become so severe that they struggle to get out of bed, engage in self-harming behavior and entertain suicidal thoughts.

While it’s common for everyone to go through periods of time when they feel down and discouraged, if you’ve been struggling with feelings of sadness, hopelessness or a lack of energy and motivation for a while, it’s best to be proactive and seek help. An experienced and compassionate depression therapist can help you reclaim your vitality and engage in life with greater comfort, joy and ease.

Depression Therapy Can Provide You With Hope, Healing And Relief

When we are depressed, our systems are down—they are literally de-pressed. In treating depression, my goal is to help you to awaken and aliven your system so that you have the energy and desire to engage in the world and connect with the people in your life.

The key to any successful therapeutic process is developing a trusting and safe relationship with your therapist, and that is especially true in depression treatment. I am warm, compassionate and carry no judgment at all. As a practicing Buddhist of 35 years, I understand and appreciate what it means to be human and the suffering that so many of us experience along our paths. I will work with you in a safe and contained way and at a pace that feels comfortable for you. Together, we’ll develop a curiosity about your depression and explore what is going on within you and in your life. Oftentimes, simply developing a better understanding of yourself and your depression and sharing that experience with another can lead to a sense of immediate relief.

In depression counseling sessions, I can help you learn how to track the sensations in your body. We can work together to find and explore the places within your body that do not feel good. Through exploring these sensations, you can gradually begin to awaken your body. I can help you stay engaged and present and provide you with simple tips, such as meditation and mindfulness exercises, which you can draw from when you find yourself slipping into sadness again.

In sessions, I will also hold space as you allow the negative thoughts and feelings you’ve been holding on to arise. We can explore ways to let go of these thoughts and replace them with more positive and realistic ways of thinking. By shifting negative thoughts and awakening the body, depression symptoms can begin to decrease and eventually fall away.

With help, support and a depression therapy approach that is tailored to address your specific needs, there is hope and an immense capacity for healing. You can feel more open and alive. It is possible to wake up your system and feel interested in and connected to the world around you again. While it may take some time, it truly is possible to see and feel the joy in life again.

Although you may be seeking relief, you still may have questions or concerns about treatment for depression…

Does a depression diagnosis mean that I’ll have to take medication?

There are many effective ways to treat depression that do not include medication and that can provide the long-term, sustainable results that no medication can. That said, in situations of severe depression, some studies show that a combination of therapy and medication is the most effective form of depression treatment. For many people, medication helps mitigate symptoms enough so that they can attend therapy and engage in other important aspects of their lives. I am here to serve as a guide and to explore all options with you. Ultimately, the decision to use medication or not is up to you.

I’ve been depressed for so long. I’m not sure that anything – even depression counseling – can help.

You can heal. It just may take time and a commitment. And, if you have been depressed for a very long time, it’s possible that your depression could stem from developmental trauma you experienced in the past. As an experienced trauma therapist, I know that trauma literally gets stuck in the nervous system, and if that’s the case for you, it could be making your body shut down. As we begin to awaken the body, trauma can be released, allowing you to feel more alive and engaged with what’s around you.

I’ve seen other therapists in the past and it hasn’t helped.

Regardless of your past experiences, do not give up. I truly believe in the innate capacity to heal, and there are so many effective forms of depression treatment. The key to successful treatment is a trusting relationship with your therapist as well as the right approach for you, which is why I tailor-create an individual therapy plan for each of my clients. I’m also happy to discuss what didn’t work in past therapy experiences so we do not repeat any mistakes.

You Can Feel Energized And Engaged

You don’t have to navigate this challenging time on your own. If you are in Boulder, CO or the surrounding area, please call me at 303-489-8432 for a free 30-minute initial phone consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific needs and situation and answer any questions you have about depression treatment and my practice.

I customize a therapeutic approach that best supports and addresses each of my client’s specific history, personality, needs and therapy goals. With this support and guidance, the right approach for you and a willingness to engage with curiosity and a commitment to the therapy process, I can help you develop capacity to enjoy your life rather than endure it.

— Shanly Weber