Depression Counseling in Boston, MA
Begin Depression Counseling Today at Thrive Boston
What if you woke up tomorrow morning and a miracle had occurred overnight? While you were sleeping, the problems that have been bothering you; your job, your money, your relationships, your worries, issues in your everyday life—everything was fixed. Take a minute and think about it.
- What would your life be like?
- Where would you be when you woke up?
- How would you feel?
- How long would that feeling last?
- What would be the first thing you would do?
It's an interesting question, isn't it? It's called "The Miracle Question" and it's often used to help counseling clients, like you,
- Determine what they want in their life to change, and
- Decide how they really want to live.
Does the “miracle question” and your answers to the questions above seem impossible? You're not alone. In fact, many people have felt this way. However, what we at Thrive Boston have found is that when you begin to identify the core of specific problems in your life, change can happen faster than you ever thought possible. Consider the experience of "Mike" (name changed, story 100% true), a previous client at Thrive Boston. Mike has given us permission to use his story.
Depression Counseling Case Study
Mike, a 30-year-old MIT graduate, had been depressed for most of his life. He began depression therapy at Thrive Boston not expecting it to make much of a difference, as he had seen counselors before. However, Mike was willing to give it one more shot. He explained, "I've been to counseling before, but I never saw it through."
I asked Mike if he would agree to "see it through" this time, and he said he would. He said, "I have no choice, I don't know if I want to live anymore. I think I should give counseling an honest shot."
Mike was borderline suicidal, and the first few sessions with Mike were difficult for both of us. Mike would arrive to sessions in anguish from the depression and social anxiety he experienced every day. He would often say that he believed he was permanently defective as a person, and he told me once that he had read somewhere that some people are genetically prone to being unhappy—something he was sure applied to him.
Here is an example of how down Mike was. One day Mike came into my office, and I asked him how his week had been. "It was okay," Mike told me, looking down, and looking very low.
"Any high points?" I asked him. "Not really?" he said. "Well, what did you do this week?" I asked. "Some friends and I went to Ireland," he said. This is how depressed Mike was. He and a few of his friends found some cheap airline tickets online and spent five days in Ireland! The trip went well, and Mike still reported that he experienced no high points.
The more Mike felt depressed or anxious, the more he told himself he was defective, which made him even more depressed and anxious. It was a bad downward spiral. I knew then that I needed to help Mike change the destructive things he was telling himself if I was going to help him change his mood.
During counseling, Mike learned a few really important things that helped him change his life. First, he learned that he doesn't need to be anything to be valuable. Whether he found a great job or lost his job, whether he became the most popular person in Boston or the most unliked person in Boston, whether he lost 10 pounds or gained 11 pounds, he was still a valuable and acceptable person.
Mike was harder on himself than he was on anyone else (something lots of our clients bring to therapy), so we practiced reframing his thoughts. Sometimes in session I would ask, "Would you be as hard on a good friend as you are on yourself?" the answer was always "No way. I would tell my friend he is fine the way he is, and I would mean it!" Soon, Mike began to realize the flaw in his double standard.
It took Mike about a month to begin to really own this new perspective, but once he did he was able to be nicer to himself. He stopped fearing that others would reject him. He stopped fearing failure. He starting to say things like, "I have realized that I am acceptable the way I am, and that if I want to try and improve something in my life I can do that-and whether it works out or not, things are always going to be ok!"
Once Mike had this perspective, his life started to improve dramatically. He was able to engage openly with others, without fear (his co-workers and friends), because he didn't worry that he would be rejected. He no longer became frustrated at work, or worried about losing his job (however, even though he didn't have fear of losing his job, his work improved and he received a promotion!). His mood went from extremely low (Major Depressive Disorder) to having no signs of depression whatsoever.
When Mike first came to counseling, I asked him to fill out David Burn's Depression Inventory (a popular depression test). Mike scored in the high double-digits, meaning he was severely depressed. About two months later, I handed the same depression test to him and he literally laughed out loud! He said, "I can tell you without even looking at this, all my scores are going to be zero—I'm not depressed at all."
Soon after, Mike and I ended counseling, and his improved mood was still there during a 6-month follow up session. Mike attributes his recovery to the work we did in session, the skills and tools he learned that have empowered him to change his thinking, which have helped him to live in peace and happiness with himself—and ultimately take charge of his life!
This is a true story, but it is not the exception. Every year, Thrive Boston helps hundreds of clients, just like Mike, experience a dramatic life change. Sometimes it is about depression or anxiety, sometimes it is about relationships, sometimes it is about career, money, sex, addiction, fear, or anger. Thrive Boston holds true to our philosophy that EVERYONE has the ability to live an exciting, fulfilling life. Everyone has the ability to thrive.
Thrive Boston’s Approach to Counseling and Life Coaching
No matter what your situation, no matter how dark things in your life might seem, no matter what has happened in your past--you can experience a better life. It might not seem that way right now, especially if you are in a place of hurt or pain. But know that you are not alone—In fact, we live in times when many people are hurting. People today are often struggling with Major Depression, and its sister problem Anxiety. Fortunately, they can find the help they need at Thrive Boston.
What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
One in 5 people experience depression every year. This isn't just "the blues," or feeling down. Depression is a medical condition that steals life away from both persons who struggle with it, and their loved ones. Here are some common symptoms of depression:
- Nearly Constant Sadness
- Loss of Interest in Daily Activities
- Weight Loss or Weight Gain (change of appetite)
- Insomnia or Sleeping More than Usual
- Feeling Slowed Down Physically
- Agitation and Irritability
- Decreased Energy or Fatigue
- Feelings of Worthlessness
- Excessive Guilt or Shame
- Inability to concentrate
In Boston, depression can be exacerbated by our busy and time-starved lives, and by the short summers and long-dark winters.
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
People with anxiety feel constant fear and dread. They cannot calm down and feel unrest and worry most of the day, more days than not. Anxiety can be made worse by many things in your day to day life. Anxiety symptoms can include:
- Inability to relax
- Tense feelings
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Increased blood pressure
- Jumpiness or feeling faint
- Excessive perspiring
- Feeling clammy
- Constant anticipation of trouble
- Constant feeling of uneasiness
If you are struggling with Depression, or Depression with Anxiety, it is possible you are also suffering with Self-Image or Relationship Problems, or both. We have provided some information for you below:
Do I Have a Poor Self-Image?
Self-esteem refers to an inner sense of value that gives you resilience to attacks or criticism. Every person has ideas about their self-worth. Having good self-esteem does NOT mean being proud or having an over-blown "ego".
Low self-esteem can cause: feelings of self-hate, believing that one is unworthy or incompetent, a refusal to get close to people, a belief that one doesn't deserve strong or supportive relationships, refusal to trust others, and an inability to accept oneself as special or unique.
Your self-esteem is in trouble when you allow others to convince you that you are not valuable or significant. Poor self-esteem is often the result of prolonged periods of negative feedback in a person's life. This results in deep wounds and emotional pain.
What Are Relationship Problems?
We feel more isolated today than ever before. Communication problems, anger, dependency, jealousy, painful pasts, adultery, and uncertainty about a relationship's future are just a few of the things that can cause serious relationship problems.
Also, today (more than ever) persons are finding that they feel completely alone, even in a large city, such as Boston, MA. The problem of isolation gets even worse when we work long hours, have moved several times, or when our social support system has left us.
Schedule Depression Counseling at Thrive Boston
The real tragedy is that many people suffer for years without getting help, when change is right there at their fingertips. They just don't know how to reach out and take it.
Thrive Boston Counselors, every year, help hundreds of individuals, couples, and families from Cambridge and Boston (We also help clients from around the country who seek out our expertise by telephone or online counseling). We serve clients who work at Harvard University, MIT, Boston University, Tufts, Mclean Hospital, Brigham and Women's--many of our clients are some of the top thinkers in the country who trust and rely on the care provided by Thrive Boston Counselors.
At Thrive Boston, we are focused on you, the client. Simply put, from the first time you make a phone call to our office (617) 395-5806, to the first time you arrive in our offices, you are always respected and treated with sensitive, professional care. We help our clients live better, more engaging, more successful lives (many of our clients are high-achieving, widely respected professionals). The Thrive Boston Counseling philosophy guides everything we do.
The way we see it is this: You worked up the motivation and courage to begin counseling, the least we can do is help you receive your first counseling session right away. That’s why we offer flexible appointment options including evenings and weekends. In case you missed it, our number is (617) 395-5806. Call us when you’re ready to schedule an appointment.