7 Tips to Understanding Depression and Developing Empathy

7 Tips to Understanding Depression and Developing Empathy
It is said, that you can be two things in a conversation; the light that shines or the mirror that reflects the light that shines.
 
Empathy polishes my mind's mirror, holding it in a therapeutic frame, so that person's light can shine with healing. 

Empathetic healing significantly improves our physical, emotional and psychological well being. Humans deprived of empathy are fear-fueling depressives. Empathy orientates towards enhancement. It can take just one empathetic encounter to start germinating the seeds of transformation. Empathy is the blues buster par-excellence. 
 
In terms of financial costs an empathetic presence is offered completely free to aid the battle against depression. Empathy does not profit from human pain, suffering and misery; it does not measure human feelings and emotions with a financial yard stick. Perhaps therefore empathy is so often marginalised in our profit measure obsessed society. Because it escapes any business model approach, some may even imply that empathy is worthless. But only for those who let their lives resemble a profit and loss account. 

In a landmark decade-long study of mental health treatment options … talk therapy and antidepressant medications are equally effective at monetizing clinical depression. Our data indicate that regular counseling sessions and prescription drugs have similarly high success rates in generating large sums of money from the clinically depressed. 

Empathy has never been and never will be implicated in such revenue-glut enterprises. 

Profits aside, talk therapy and antidepressant medications seek to degrade the fruit, empathy blossoms the entire tree. Empathy deepens insight, clarity and acceptance. Exploring the dulled senses with empathy energises the human spirit. Failure to capitalise on insight saps creativity. Empathy is creative. 
 
Perhaps, that is why there are not enough empathetic services. Empathetic therapists are not interested in digging for gold. They are digging for something far more valuable than gold - the shine that each being has within. Empathy is listening in action and addresses individual issues uniquely. The unfolding unknown is at the heart, mind and soul of empathetic practice. There is no escaping this tension. For the healing matrix resides in the unknown tension.  We can only ever truly develop our empathy for ourselves with an empathetic person. 
 
The quality of an interpersonal relationship will determine successful movement towards an interpersonal relationship. There is no getting away from the fact; empathetic growth occurs within the oasis of an intimate separation. 

Here are seven tips to help dissolve depression and enable empathetic expansion:   
 
1. Courageously maintain the empathetic stance
2. welcome with equal openness both negative and positive aspects of experiences
3. Encourage client's anger to emerge in all its honesty. 
4. Respect feelings and emotions
5. Let the therapeutic relationship supersede theories and advice
6. Actively acknowledge acceptance of difference, opinions and beliefs.   
7. Make my integrity the foundation for empathic interventions.

By Peter Ryan, Empathy Zone
For more information: http://empathyzone.com/

References: http://www.theonion.com/article/new-study-finds-therapy-antidepressants-equally-ef-38026

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