A Mental Toolkit for Navigating Depression

This can be powerful—if you remember to use it.

Key points:

  • Human givens therapy helps people make sense of their predicaments and manage them effectively.
  • These skills can be applied throughout life, yet many people forget to use them.
  • Because people can forget their coping skills when blindsided by a new situation, a simple reminder may be needed.

I received an email recently from a former client, asking for another session. She said she had been coping well with the difficult situation that brought her to therapy but was now feeling low again, swamped by a strong feeling of not being “good enough” in any area of her life. Her doctor wanted to start her on an antidepressant, which she was resisting. She was going away on a fortnight’s holiday, which she hoped would lift her spirits, but would feel better if we could get a date in the diary for her return.

I offered a date and said, “In the meantime, perhaps you need to remind yourself of the importance of choosing to let go of negative thoughts. Your thoughts have only the power that you give them and you are making them dead weights right now. I’d suggest that you remind yourself that you certainly are good enough in many areas of your life—your business could not possibly be so successful if you were inadequate, for instance. Maybe there is something specific you are concerned about and you are allowing it to spiral out into ‘everything,’ which will make the problem seem so much bigger than it really is. Perhaps try to identify what is actually bothering you and what you need to think about doing differently. It could all be so much more manageable than you think.”

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