Our society has become so obsessed with its ability to cluster symptoms and name them fancy things like “depression” or “bipolar disorder” that the small processes, the habits, and patterns that begin to shape symptoms that we call “depression” are missed. The way in which culture and media present these clusters of symptoms makes it feel like depression or anxiety just rain down from the sky and take over the minds of innocent people. The myth that human emotion and experience can be boiled down to chemicals in the brain for which we have no ability to test, keeps people feeling trapped.
In a healthy connection to another person or community of people, healing can occur. A therapist can be a great place to start. The therapist client relationship is kind of like making a new friend. You get to know one another, sometimes it seems awkward at first, both parties communicate what they are comfortable with, and you share about your experience of life. The difference is the relationship is being built for the client. The therapist is not there to benefit or make the client feel good. The therapist is sharing expertise, insight, and knowledge.
Recent research has looked in depth at why talk therapy works. Insurance companies, consumers, and great therapists alike want to know why exactly therapy works. And research concludes time after time, therapy is most successful when clients like their therapists. There is no one model, theory, background, or education. Literally, people just need to like their therapist.
I see it in my office all the time. When people feel disconnected from loved ones or important relationships, their minds frequently jump to worst case scenarios. When people don’t feel they have at least one safe person in their life, they experience symptoms like depression or anxiety. It is a primitive need that bonds us all. We all need connection.
I love this video below. These things may be true about millennials, but I see them in my office regularly for people of all ages who have experienced disconnection due to technology. It may feel more devastating to a teen to loose a Facebook friend but I see adults loose real relationships or loose the ability to maintain and make new relationships due to technology all the time. The fact is, everyone is getting out of practice in making new friends and achieving goals one small step at a time.