Psychotherapy works to help those who feel stuck or anxious, or who are experiencing an underlying sense of sadness about their lives.
Some of the common issues psychotherapy and counselling can help with are:
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Depression, the clinical name for unhappiness, can be described as the individual’s emotional response to the set of problems that have befallen him or her. This implies that depression is not a specific psychological illness as such, but rather a collective term for the set of symptoms that someone can suffer from.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy and counselling, in its treatment of depression, aims to uncover the very specificity of the problem or problems that the client is bringing. This means that therapy treats depression by analysing the complex and detailed narratives or life stories that lie behind it. These narratives, albeit different in every case, will have in common an experience, or experiences, of loss or separation. Indeed we can say that the loss of love, at one level or another, is ultimately what brings a person into therapy. Whether standing alone as the key moment in a person’s life, or repeated as an unhappy theme, it is loss and the sufferer’s failed attempts to recover from it that lurks behind the depression and will form a cornerstone of the work of therapy.
Common symptoms of depression are: apathy, listlessness, emotional fragility, social difficulties, problems with sleeping, loss of motivation, pessimism or despair, irritability, suicidal thoughts, loss of appetite or diminishment of the sexual functions.
Counselling and analytic therapy works to explore the underlying causes of the depression and examining the thought and behaviour patterns that are accompanying the depressive feelings. This will often involve critically reflecting on the ideals and imperatives that may not seem at first glance to be connected to the depression but in fact may be indirectly contributing to the unhappiness.