What Helps Depression: Individual Therapy & Soul Work
Individual therapy and careful, gradual soul work are often key elements in what helps depression. “OK,” you’re saying, “other than a fancy buzzword or slogan, what is ‘soul work'”?
Saying anything about soul may seem strange in 2012. “Isn’t it just an irrelevant step back into the Middle Ages?” you may ask. Well, here’s why /a-midlife-transitions consider it important.
Doing Soul Work?
As I’ve stated in earlier posts, soul as used here has nothing to do with organized religion, astral projection or seances, but with connection with the deep images and experiences of inner life. It concerns the deepest and most intimate levels of what is going on inside a person.
How Does It Occur in Individual Therapy?
In a recent “Facts and Arguments” piece in the Globe and Mail newspaper, entitled “A psychiatrist’s double bind“, psychiatrist Gili Adler Nevo wrote of her experience of soul work in individual therapy:
I entered the world of case studies not knowing what to expect. How the hell could it help, just talking?
I’ve talked before…. Yet, gradually, in the privacy of this shrine for the individual soul that was the therapist’s office, in this sacred place free of malice, motives or moral judgment, I could set my soul loose.
It had been cooped up for so long, it didn’t even know it. And my soul, like anyone else’s, seemed complicated. Different layers protruded every time….
Letting it out into that attuned and understanding comfort enabled my soul to live in peace with all its parts.
Nevo contrasts her own experience of therapy with a patient in a psychiatric setting, whom she efficiently diagnoses and prescribes Prozac. She clearly finds this modern psychiatic care to be incomplete:
I could not afford to create that sacred place for the soul in which she could untangle her layers, understand the source of her depression and climb out of it. I did not have the time: It was no longer in the culture of my profession.
Does Soul Work Truly Help Depression?
I’m not suggesting that antidepressants are not necessary sometimes. But they are often not sufficient. Often people need to get in contact with their depths, and to experience acceptance and understanding.
What Helps Depression
“Just talking” is sometimes disparaged. Yet the journey of talking about the fundamental matters in personal life, and contacting the many aspects of the self is a key element of what helps depression. It can free the life locked up in the individual.
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