pocket therapist front cover small.jpgI have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.


This is a way of taking back control.

Of your thoughts.

Of your brain.

Of your life.

On a piece of paper, draw an oval–it’s an oval office–and in the oval, write “Me, the conscious self,” because you are the President of Yourself, a nation currently under siege. Now draw a bunch of hallways connected to that oval office. Other people and their opinions travel down those hallways. Most often they arrive at the door to the oval office and they enter. The locks on the doorways into these passages are on the outside, giving the people control over when and how often they visit with their opinions and beliefs.

You want to reverse those locks, so that only you have control over who (or what) visits you, how long, and how often.

If you are in a vulnerable place–feeling like your depression is all your fault, and you are a pathetic human being for not being able to pick yourself up by your bootstraps–you might want to lock the doorway to the librarian woman with the tight bun and high-collared blouse who asks you if you truly WANT to get better, implying, of course, that are willing yourself to stay sick because you’re getting so much attention and because fantasizing about death is so much fun. Yes, the witch who depletes your self-esteem by telling you that your suffering is all in your imagination can stay behind her locked door.

The guy with the long-stem roses? He can come in and visit you all he wants.

Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the lyrics of a country song: without a wife, […]

When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness and piety can disguise acute […]

One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we actually become […]

For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed foods, force her into social gatherings at […]