Having enjoyed a few warm and sunny days recently the British weather is again living up to its reputation becoming wet and grey again. This can make us feel low and lacking in energy, so mailing out the second article by Caroline Khambatta, we promised you in Spring, on the treatment of Depression using Reverse therapy, seems quite apt.

As Occupational Therapists we often work with individuals who are experiencing depression, usually related to their medical condition and the losses in function and quality of life related to it. These individuals are frequently on anti depressant medications. However often we find that exploring and treating the underlying cause of the depression can be more successful and longer lasting then some of the medications prescribed if the depression is of a reactive nature. Understanding the principles of Reverse Therapy, we as Occupational Therapists can work closely with Reverse Therapy Practitioners and by applying the key principles, can help the individual to identify the underlying cause of their depression and thereby facilitate engagement in purposeful, fulfilling activities.

Caroline writes:

Rehabilitation from Depression

We are hearing more and more about depression on the news and how drugs are being given out too liberally. There are many types of depression and many cases where medication is a key element in the patient's stabilising and being able to take steps towards recovery. Reverse Therapy offer a talking therapy that addresses the route cause. It can be done alongside medication.

Depression can be caused by many different factors including dealing with challenging, life-changing circumstances. For example patients with long term illnesses or who have experienced trauma are very likely to suffer with secondary depression. In Reverse Therapy we consider depression to be a blocking and squashing down (de-pression) of emotions. When we find ourselves in highly stressful situations our bodies send us an abundance of emotions to encourage us to take action and move our lives in the right direction. Unfortunately, when the chemical messengers 'emotions' are ignored, more are sent... Headmind (cognitive thinking) notices this and tries to protect us from an over abundance of ignored emotions, by pushing them down. This leaves the person feeling detached and numb.

By accessing and acting on the emotions, such as sadness, anger and frustration, depression is released and the individual reconnects with the experience of their lives, feeling it rather than being separate from it. The client learns the purpose of each emotion and is then supported in creating a plan of action. For example, anger is usually associated with being treated unfairly and encourages action designed to regain a balance, resolve a situation with mutual respect for those involved or replace boundaries.

Frances had been suffering from M.E. for some years and when she was exposed to food poisoning, got told by her specialist that is was another M.E. symptom. At first she felt very angry, knowing this to not be the case. She also did not get the right treatment. She gave up on listening to herself and sunk into a depression that lasted more than a year. With no access to her emotions she had little motivation and literally, went to bed for a year.

Reverse Therapy works by first educating clients on the causes of Depression and ensuring they understand that the symptoms of depression are warning signals that emotions and their associated needs have not yet been resolved.

A thorough investigation of the circumstances in which the symptoms first appeared is undertaken – as well as more recent occasions when the symptoms worsened. Once the underlying emotions, which are being 'de-pressed' have been uncovered, the client is encouraged to take action to resolve the needs indicated by those emotions. At this stage the Reverse Therapist will be actively collaborating with the client in order to plan, rehearse and activate solutions to resolve life challenges. This could include: resolving conflict; recreating a work-life balance; moving on from grief, writing a constructive letter of complaint, etc.

Finally, the client is also shown how to recondition Headmind thinking: interrupting negative mind-states and associating, instead, to positive emotional states that lead to action.

"I love treating depression" says Caroline. "Clients usually describe the treatment as having a weight lifted and becoming motivated again, and often after only a couple of sessions. The change in their energy is noticeable straight away".

For more information on Reverse Therapy and other conditions they treat, Caroline is available on 01280 822422, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.reverse-therapy.com

Declan McNichol

Bill Young

Angela Gordon

Birgit Rathje-Vale

Helen Smart