I have worked with numerous clients who had mild or severe clinical depression and they all – without exception– overcame these painful feelings within a short time by following the advice that I will outline in this article.
I begin by showing all my clients how to send love to themselves - just like a mother would love her only child. Doing this has an enormous healing effect on our troubled emotions and prepares the ground for completely eliminating depression. We also need to learn to talk to ourselves just like a loving mother would talk to her troubled child and give up all harsh and judgemental words toward ourselves.
Many people believe that traumatic experiences of abuse and loss are the reason that they suffer from depression. While I have the deepest empathy with the feelings of my clients (having being abused as child myself) I do not believe that it is the trauma or abuse in itself that causes depression. What I have found is that most depressed people harbor deep-seated resentments against the people from their past who have hurt them. Sometimes, they even resent God for allowing painful things to happen. It is those unresolved resentments about the trauma – not the trauma in itself – that have turned into depression.
So, healing depression needs the acknowledgement of our grudges towards others who have caused us to suffer. Feeling this anger is an important step to recovery because once we feel angry we are already less depressed. Then we need to let our anger go because we are only harming ourselves with our chronic resentments – they will turn into depression and even physical sickness. However, I am not an advocate of ‘simply forgiving’. If we have experienced serious harm, nobody is in a position to simply forgive this. The person who has traumatised someone else will have to live with their guilt for the rest of their lives.
Letting go of our old grudges involves only one thing: sending positive energy to the other person with the intention that they will be healed from their negative impulses and regret what they have done. In other words, we need to send love to the very people who have harmed us.
Many people find it hard to imagine that they could send love to the very people who have hurt them. However, in my experience with my clients, most people find it easier than they initially believe. In fact, for many it feels like a big burden falls from their heart and their depression improves dramatically in a matter of minutes.
Once we have learnt to love ourselves and we have liberated ourselves from our negative self-talk and chronic resentment, it will become much easier to focus on positive feelings and our depression will soon be a thing of the past.
To learn more about eliminating depression please refer to Tara Springett's book The Five-Minute Miracle. Tara holds an M.A. in Education and has post-graduate qualifications in gestalt therapy, body awareness therapy and transpersonal therapy. She is a fully qualified and licensed psychotherapist and counselor. Tara has worked as a drugs counselor, counselor for adolescents and general psychotherapist since 1988. Tara has been a dedicated Buddhist practitioner since 1986. In 1997 she received encouragement from her Buddhist teachers to teach meditation. Tara is the author of several self-help books. She has been featured in numerous publications and has appeared on various radio and television shows in Europe and the United States. Her website is: www.taraspringett.com.