NICE guidelines on Depression
Interesting to see that NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, has fully endorsed counselling as an effective treatment for depression in its revised draft guideline, published for consultation in July. And about time too! Having worked with various people over the years who find themselves in this oppressive condition - I've often been struck just how much counselling can really help getting them back on their feet and a put a spring back in their step. A marked contrast to how they appeared at their first session. I heard only this morning on the radio a leading sportsman talk of his battle with depression and how he managed to tackle it by talking about it. Good for him - I just hope plenty of other men and women who might be similarly affected were listening.
Unblocking the system
Some time ago I read a fascinating article in the press about a massive 'fatberg' clogging up the sewer system in east London. Had it not been discovered and dealt with - it threatened to cause chaos in the streets by discharging live sewage onto the pavements.
The cause of the problem it seems, was people putting too much material into the disposal system that it was never designed to handle e.g. nappies, wet wipes, cooking oil etc. Apparently this had been building up for many years – without anyone being aware of the scale of the problem. The good news however was that Thames Water engineers were able to unblock the mess and ultimately convert it into useful bio-diesel, much to the relief of all concerned.
Perhaps there's something of a parallel here with what happens in therapy. People often come in ‘clogged up’ perhaps due to unhealthy habits or negative experiences - maybe long forgotten. They frequently feel like they can’t move forward, or find themselves stuck in some sort of cycle. By providing a safe, confidential space and working closely together, therapy can help in unblocking the system and freeing the individual to find new habits and new perceptions, able to move forward. While there are no guaranteed results, I'm often struck that irrespective of 'the mess' that people might experience in themselves, there is invariably something useful or valuable to emerge from the therapy encounter.