Depression is a word that is used to describe a variety of valid issues, so I usually begin by assisting someone in identifying what exactly they are experiencing in order to best treat it with an informed and appropriate intervention. Some of the issues that one who may feel “depressed” may be experiencing are grief or normal sadness, overwhelm, lack of motivation, addiction, unidentified anger turned “outside in” or a biologically based episode of major depressive disorder which may need collaboration with an MD for medication. Once the primary origin of this experience is identified the work to treat it can begin. Often a CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is very effective in treating most forms of depression. In CBT the faulty thoughts and behaviors that are reinforcing the depressive experience are identified, such as negative self talk or catastrophic thinking. This automatic pattern is often unnoticed in the individual because it is such an old and familiar pattern. At this point we may look at where that pattern originated (often in childhood) in order to give some compassion for its origins as well as for the incredible and admirable effort it takes to shift that neurologically based pattern. Consider how long it took to learn to walk as a child, how much practice and repetition and effort and concentration it took. Now you probably don’t think about it at all, it just happens. This is due to the phenomenon of “fire together wire together”. As neurons fire together they shoot into the unknown looking for one another to preform new tasks. As this is repeated the neurons will actually move as they begin to form set pathways and then major highways of regular thoughts and behaviors. This takes some doing...and some undoing. Just like a physical therapist, I am here to identify the faulty pathways and then offer more functional and serving alternatives. So the process is identify, pause, identify alternative, engage in alternative and repeat until the new pathway itself becomes easy and automatic. I feel honored as a therapist to have front row seats to what I consider to be the true use of the human will, what Carl Jung called the “hero’s journey”. So many people spend their entire lives on auto pilot and yet I get to watch the inspiring feat of true intent and powerful change on a regular basis. I hope I get to witness your moments of inspiration as well.