Therapy and Coaching for Lasting Change

Sometimes we need a little help...

Depression & Anxiety

According to World Health organisation (WHO) depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Australia, it's estimated that 45% of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety.

While depression and anxiety are often diagnosed separately, it's not uncommon for them to occur at the same time and more than 50% of people who experience depression also experience symptoms of anxiety. 

The above brief overview means that it is hardly surprising that the terms "depression" and "anxiety" have become such well-used words in our vocabulary

In most cases, regardless of whether medication has been prescribed or not, some kind of "talk therapy" (usually counselling and/or cognitive behavioural therapy) is recommended with the aim of helping you to understand and overcome your depressive and/or anxious feelings. 

Generally speaking, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses on how to help you make positive changes in your thoughts and behaviours with the aim of giving you tools to correct depressive or anxious thinking. 

Counselling tends to be broader-based and will often include CBT concepts as well as other methods such as:

  •  "interpersonal therapy", which helps you to examine your relationships and how the way in which you relate to others may be affecting how you feel about yourself and
  •  "mindfulness" which helps you to understand how the mind works and how you can use your mind to observe your thoughts and reframe them in ways that are helpful to you.

Belinda specialises in a solution focused approach developed in the UK which incorporates the best elements of some of many of the more "standard" therapies in a way that seems to address the core of depression and anxiety: the "Human Givens" approach focuses on human emotional needs and why they are so very important to our self-concept; our mental and physical well being and how we make sense of the world around us. 

The "Human Givens" Solution Focused Approach

The Human Givens approach is often described as the first truly "bio-psycho-social" approach to therapy and counselling as it acknowledges and encompasses the complexity of the human experience in terms of three sets of interwoven needs:

  1. "Biological" - at a fundamental level we are living organisms with physical needs & attributes
  2. "Psychological" - cognitively highly developed, we have needs that go way beyond our basic biology
  3. "Social" - from the time of our earliest ancestors, our survival has depended upon social bonds

These needs are innate and it is our perception of how those needs are being met (or not) that will determine how we feel at any point in time and those feelings act as a filter through which we see and interact with the world around us. 

The bio-psycho-social view of depression is that it is not an "illness" in the same way that diabetes is but that depression is a persistent low-mood state that can be lifted by identifying and addressing which needs are not being adequately met and by helping you to make use of your own innate resources to create a shift in your emotional state. Similarly, the excessive worrying or "rumination" which tends to characterise anxiety can be greatly lessened by working with our needs and resources.

This bio-psycho-social view of mental and emotional health underpins the Human Givens approach to depression and anxiety. It is a brief therapy (often only 4-6 sessions) and solution focused and does not require deep analysis of all your life experiences. 

To learn more about this solution-focused approach to therapy based on working with "needs" and "resources", please visit Human Givens Australia. You can also click here for a brief introduction and then also watch the short video clips in the side bar of this page. You may well find that watching these videos alone will go some way towards helping you to understand why you are feeling depressed and/or anxious even if you then still need professional help to "join some dots" to start to feel better and that's OK - we all need a little help sometimes...

If you or someone you know is feeling so depressed that you believe you/they may be at risk of self harm, please contact the 24 hour service at Lifeline on 13 11 14.