Where are all the therapists?
In the UK Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) have to try to offer comprehensive treatments for young people with understaffed teams. This will mean that many depressed teenagers awaiting therapy will be waiting for months to be seen for basic cognitive behaviour therapy for depression. Therefore one would think that there needs to be a development of good online resources that young people can access. It is a good practice to learn how to make links between how we are feeling, what we are doing and what we are thinking. I find it so interesting talking to young people who are making sense of their sadness, anxiety and fear. In these moments I learn from them them about what they are thinking and doing in relation to these feelings. We need to develop this basic skill in therapy. The next step is to challenge some of our thoughts and actions by setting up alternative strategies or experiments.
Hertfordshire NHS Foundation Trust have actually published a CBT workbook to help young people in starting therapy for themselves. I have attached the work book to the this blog for your use.
During a depressive experience and after recovery from depression the practice of mindfulness can be very useful in staying well. Part of this process is acceptance of the reality of our emotional experiences and the transient or temporary nature of our thoughts. I would also recommend 'The Mindful Way Through Depression' by Wiiliams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn. This book will teach you how to be mindful under pressure and to look at depression differently. Our recovery from depression will teach us how be be better people as we take on the challenges of the life ahead..
Where are all the therapists? Looks like we must take responsibility to help ourselves whenever we can to recover from depression. This is a better strategy. It will help us prepare for the therapist and challenge us to make lifestyle changes and to set meaningful goals for ourselves each day.