Depression is one of the mental illness that is most talked about on social media, internet, amongst doctors and in organisations with loads of campaigns coming up that are encouraging people to talk about their depression. People are sharing their stories of how they were depressed and how they battled against depression.
Medically, depression is defined as a mood disorder with sad feelings, low mood aversion to activity affecting a person’s thought, behaviour and a sense of well being.
Depression is a real epidemic of our new modern day lifestyles which is seen amongst early teenagers, pregnant females, postpartum females, geriatrics.
Symptoms of depression are as follows:
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Loss of interest in pleasurable or fun activities
- Sleep issues (too much or too little)
- No energy
- Craving unhealthy foods
While there are many treatment options and therapeutic options available for depression, NLP can be one of the tools which can help patients with depression.
NLP is a client centred therapeutic approach to psychotherapy where human behaviour and its relation , communication and feelings with the external environment is studied and understood. NLP is concerned with how a person maps his/her inner reality and what changes it needs to be done in their reality to change their external situation. NLP has been constructed on the basis of some finest therapist Like Virgina Satir, Milton Erickson and Fritz Perl.
Failure of the person to cope up or perceive or respond to his/her environment or series of events that has changed the whole belief system in the client that they can ever get up or cope up with the situation on their own results into depression. When people are depressed, the first step to help them is to change the style of their thinking that has already convinced them that their state cannot be or should not be changed. Intervention of NLP helps to reframe their mind maps and tell them there are things they could do differently.
Most of the psychotherapy and counselling model are keen on assisting the depressed with do’s and don’t or with their own opinion, whereas with NLP the basic remodel to change is that the patient is made to find resources in their own experiences to add to the present state so that they can reach their desirable state.
For patients of depression, NLP practitioners are active facilitators. The NLP therapist builds a great rapport with the client using techniques of NLP. This helps the client to:
Identify the place that will be the most desirable state for them, is this state appropriate or ecological for the client to feel complete and whole in themselves.
Identify and apply appropriate internal resources.
NLP therapist can used broad models and techniques of NLP which proves effective in reforming the present state. Some of the techniques simply help by working on the behavioural level the other works on changing the limiting beliefs a client would have and opening up more choices and options for the client.
Techniques or models of NLP used for depression:
NLP therapist challenges their clients own global thinking. The metamodel of asking questions to the client which will help them understand what is the change they are looking for, questions that help them identify what they want and how they can reach and get all the things they want. NLP therapist needs to ask the client the perfect picture of the outcome the client wants.
Questions might include:
“What has to be different as a result of you talking to me?”
“What do you want to achieve?”
“What would need to happen for you to feel that this problem was solved?”
“How will you know that this problem is solved?”
“When this problem is solved, what will you be doing and feeling instead of what you used to do and feel?”
Make the client ask themselves solution focused questions in their daily life. We set this as a standard task for all clients who are depressed. Before they get out of bed in the morning, they are to ask themselves “What are three things that I am looking forward to today?” When they go to bed at night they are to ask themselves “What are three things I valued in what happened today?” We have had two cases of depression fully resolved where the only intervention used was to set the person the task of identifying three things they were looking forward to each day. The potency of these questions is extraordinary.
How can NLP help in depression:
- The person needs to know that globalised beliefs continue to be a risk even after making changes. To believe “I have done some NLP now, so I’ll never feel bad again.” is setting the person up for failure. Use the metamodel to encourage more specific expectation patterns.
- Sub-modalilties of NLP dissociates the depressed client from the traumatic experiences and associate them into enjoyable experiences sorting their ongoing experience to be more happier.
- NLP therapists orients their clients temporally towards the future using ‘goal setting’ and ‘time line’ changes to let go of the past and move forward.
- NLP can help the depressed patients alter their internal voice, support them and meet its own higher positive intention by altering auditory digital strategies.
- NLP exercises and laughing on daily basis can create the physiology of happiness.
- NLP uses a collaborative, consultative relationship, indirect suggestions and consistent reframing to help the person experience themselves as “at cause” in their life.
- NLP therapists will check the need for a ‘Staying Alive Contract’, and arrange the specifics of what the person would do in a crisis situation.
NLP Therapists and the client suffering from depression make a journey together to identify and change the style and internal environment of the depressed client and not just rescue them like the knight but make them the knight who can fight for their own happily ever after again.