Linda Gary, MFT
(818) 917-7600
Linda Gary, MFT Marriage and Family Therapist Learn about my approach to therapy I specialize in a variety of problems Contact me today

The word depression describes a wide range of feelings and sensations that can include anything from a passing sad moment to a condition of intense grief that might include suicidal thoughts, delusions, and serious physical symptoms. When a depressed state of mind and related physical symptoms start to interfere with daily functioning or physical health, seeing a mental health professional can make a significant difference.

Depression, like anxiety disorders, tends to run in families and is related to the biological makeup of the individual combined with his or her unique life experiences. The stress that provokes long-term depression is often the result of early trauma, especially trauma that was lengthy and went on without treatment or relief.

Another form of depression is a reaction to an event such as a death in the family, the ending of a marriage or other significant relationships, the loss of a job or a serious health problem. This kind of depression is often of shorter duration even though it can be intense and disabling.

When someone is vulnerable to depression, whether temporarily or over the long term, every problem seems difficult to solve. Depressed individuals see most events in their lives as discouraging. Friends and family members start to move away resulting in isolation and decreased support.

My first step with a depressed client is to do a thorough assessment to check for thoughts of suicide and to evaluate the support system that is or is not in place. I am also looking for possible problems with anxiety, substance abuse, physical ailments, etc. that may require special attention and treatment.

Like anxiety, depression is another one of the body and the mind's way of letting us know that something is in need of attention. I ask questions and explore the meaning of various feelings and behaviors that are described to me. I clarify what the client is saying to make sure I understand and to mirror back the intense feelings that the words are conveying. Connections are observed between past experiences and present situations and together we start to sort out what is and is not working at this particular stage of life.

There is a grieving process involved in letting go of old, outdated feelings, behaviors, and even relationships that are no longer working. Other relationships now require adjustments that will better support the client's healthier functioning. Integrating these shifts and changes now becomes the work of the therapy as new feelings, behaviors, and ways of relating gradually become familiar, satisfying, and effective.

As the client gains deeper access to emotions, expression becomes animated and assertive. Ideas begin to take shape and become a part of a new plan for action that puts a high value on experiences that are particularly meaningful for this unique individual.


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