Lisa—Depression Treatment using EFT Dr. Carol Ann Conrad, EdD
Lisa was single, in her early 30’s and had been depressed for many years. Though she was educated and had a promising career, she felt inadequate at work, inept socially and unable to form a lasting romantic relationship. She was taking anti-depressant medication, but struggled to even admit that she felt depressed, even though she felt miserable enough to seek out therapy.
As Lisa’s story unfolded, it was hard for her to even articulate much of about how she really felt. She spent so much time in her head thinking about all the things she did wrong, all the ways in which she disappointed herself and others, and all of her inadequacies that she didn’t even notice anything other than the typical symptoms of depression: lack of interest in things she once enjoyed, isolation from others, and feelings of helpless and hopelessness.
The medications seemed to help so she could work and her appetite and sleep were stable, but they did not help her feel better about herself. As we began to work together she started to look at how critical she was at herself and how miserable her negative self-talk made her feel that contributed to her internal pain. We worked to identify the coping mechanisms she built in childhood that were no longer working for her as an adult and how they were actually contributing to her negative self-attributions. She started to identify deeper feelings inside she hadn’t really come to terms with and to acknowledge the positive things she had come to do in her life. Through the therapeutic alliance we had forged, she began to hear herself, to find validation for her experiences and ways of coping and to feel compassion for herself instead of contempt. We identified her deeper views of self and others that kept her believing she wasn’t good enough. She began to heal the connection within herself and to be compassionate with herself. Little by little she found more connection internally. She was able to handle negative work and social situations better, and to stop the negative internal spiral that took her to depression. We built a new narrative of her life, of how she struggled and overcame against challenging odds. As she began to see herself differently, confidence emerged. She was more secure within herself. Feeling she could do hard things and be okay. As her depression lifted, she found herself looking for a better job, forming new friendships and starting a new romantic relationship. With my help and intervention, together we helped Lisa find her way out of depression and into a more satisfying life.