Counselling for depression

The aim of counselling for depression is to help patients access underlying feelings, make sense of them, and draw on the new meanings which emerge to make positive changes in their lives. It has a particular focus on ‘self-discrepancy’ – differences between how a person feels they actually are and how they feel they should be – which has been shown to be associated with depression.

Self-discrepancy can emerge from, and lead to, a variety of difficult and distressing emotional processes, such as internal self-conflict, excessive self-criticism, unresolved loss or trauma, and the distortion or interruption of emotional experiencing. The identification of such processes provides opportunities for focused work with clients, aimed at reducing the intensity of the focal processes and, in turn, the degree of self-discrepancy.The net result of this is a reduction in emotional distress and depressed mood.