Sometimes depression creeps up unnoticed and then just hangs around, like stale cigarette smoke. It is only when you stop to notice or something changes in your life that pulls you up, that you are reminded of how unsatisfactory life is and how chronically rotten you have been feeling. This was the case for Donald (not his real name), who booked to see me three months ago.
Donald was Scot in his mid forties who had been living down south for most of his adult life. He was happily married with two daughters. He worked for himself as an IT consultant on mainly public sector projects – where his expertise and contacts were. His elder daughter had suffered from chronic health problems that were a persistent source of worry. Donald himself was also not in the best of health as he suffered from allergies. Finally business was tougher now, as the cuts were biting.
Donald found it hard to relax, was always worrying about something, was sleeping badly and according to the CORE measure, was moderately distressed. He told me that he had been that way for years. He talked of a happy childhood on the east coast of Scotland and there was nothing in his background that was obviously causing him difficulties. No it was his life now.
In helping Donald, I began my reviewing much of the main Human Givens insights – of being able to take action to get needs met for emotional wellbeing and the importance of getting emotional arousal levels down. This made a lot of sense to Donald as he could begin to see his situation in a more empowering way. We practised 7/11 breathing and on two successive sessions of therapy, I used deep trance to remind Donald of his strength and capacities and the gifts of his life. Finally, it was necessary to help Donald rebalance his life a little and moderate his emotional attachment to his work – again trance was helpful here.
By the end of our work together, Donald was much more relaxed, sleeping better and self evidently dreaming less.