Depression and Me
I found this to be an enlightening and frustrating documentary on Alistair Campbell's exploration of alternative methods to help with depression.
It was enlightening because, of the methods he chose to 'try out', albeit in a superficial way, I could see huge parallels with MBCT, Rites of Passage and Resoucing & Resillience approaches.
The MRI Scan method that measures brain activity whilst bringing mindfulness to thought content and associated emotions (they didn't use that language) was one of the basic steps in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.
The Jar analogy, Alistair's favourite, was a lesson in resilience and resourcing yourself.
The psilocybin (magic mushroom) experiment, my favourite, was a form of a Rite of Passage, similar to a Nature or Vision Quest.
Frustratingly, at no point was Alistair shown how to move from his position of 'waging a war' against his depression and identifying with it (and therefore himself) as problematic - to a position of inclusivity and breadth.
Whether you choose to use the equally brilliant methods of somatic experiencing, focusing or Bill Plotkin's four directions model/wheel. Or for that matter, embodied Buddhism ie not spiritual bypassing...
All of these methods point to the same thing: when you over identify with one aspect of 'challenging' experience then you collapse/contract into it and 'it' becomes your world. You will find yourself stuck and overwhelmed within that experience.
It is only when you can learn to non-cerebrally ALLOW and embrace in a non-judgemental way, a 'challenging' experience. Whilst simultaneously EMBODYING 'the generative adult' to use Plotkins language. Or staying aware of breadth, the bigger picture, the rest of you that isn't that experience... will you find a different relationship to 'the challenging experience.
This will bring kind of freedom, and by the way, you cannot think your way to it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying depression is easy, or simple...
And having been born into a family with a fair dose of depression, I myself KNOW that if I hadn't chosen to practice somatic experiencing, buddhism, focusing, and ecotherapy or nature based practices or soul craft (I'm still stuck on how to neatly language that last one.
Then I'd be taking anti-depressants just like Alistair.
This year I'm training in Focusing and Generative Therapies. I'm bringing these approaches, alongside the rest of my tool box, to all that I do, including the Coaching and Mentoring aspect of my work.
Here are my details if you know anyone who might benefit from my help: