(Notwithstanding his M.D. Dr. Vereshack is not a licensed physician)
Mild or severe environmental stress may start in early childhood, from all the different kinds of abuse with which we are familiar. Depression may even come from influences during or before birth.
It is my belief that serious, ongoing childhood abuse eventually exhausts the brain's ability to produce the levels of chemicals necessary to support mood in a balanced way. Thus, there may indeed be a need for chemical correction, even if the depressions are due to environmental causes.
One must consider the complex balance of all these factors, including genetic predisposition, abuse, lack of supportive and overtly negative influences, both in childhood and adulthood.
The properly trained healer denies nothing, evaluates everything, and makes different kinds of interventions at different levels and in different ways.
Having said all this, let's look at regressive therapy as a treatment method.
In my online book, Help Me - I'm Tired of Feeling Bad, I talk about a balance of supportive nurture and dedicated feeling oriented re-experiencing. Please see Chapter Eight, "Necessities in Level Four Regressive Therapy." Please especially notice section "d", "Beyond Therapist Neutrality." In any case, no matter how severe a depression is, the chance to do deep regressive therapy is a great opportunity to find out just what can be accomplished, using psychological means.
Where there has been tremendous childhood deprivation, as a person re-experiences this terrible place of early neglect, I recommend fairly long periods of close holding, to provide, emotional support, nurture replacement, and the triggering of deep material.
It is very important not to just "cuddle away" someone's feelings. These early feelings need to be felt. It is also very important not to give a deeply working client yet another "therapy of deprivation." Therapists must tread very gently and with very careful client-centered response in this area. Lawsuits, are common, and regularly destroy the lives of ethical and courageous healers. These lawsuits are often instigated by relatives of the client, who weren't present and who dump their unworked-through pain on the therapist.
This combination of very deep nurture coupled with regressive therapy can work therapeutic wonders for many people.
If you read my book you will find that all this is discussed in considerable depth.
As time goes on, after months or even sometimes after years, if the therapy is working, then medication for depression can gradually and carefully be withdrawn. One must remain very alert, however, to the necessity for further medication in the future, and provide the balance of medicine and caring psychological work that is just right.
The attitude that medicine alone can do the job properly or, conversely that only psychological interventions have integrity, must be avoided. Both have their place. Any other attitude, as far as I'm concerned is the use of arrogance as a defense against the healer's fears.
It is a sad fact, however, that modern medicine, and psychiatry lag, far, far behind in their real appreciation of the depth and healing power of regression work and the necessity for ethical touch and holding.
One hundred years after Freud introduced humankind to the knowledge of the unconscious, we still have pompous frightened psychiatrists, in the mainstream of medicine, trying to argue that there are no such things as hidden memories.
Others equally deluded, "reassure" patients that depression is simply a medical illness, and all they need is the correct antidepressant. They are able to forget their death oriented life style, keep it unexamined, and simply take a pill.
Sometimes, I can scarcely believe that this kind of terror driven ignorance exists. And yet, it is all around us.
My suggestion: Give deep therapy a chance in any situation where it might work and use medication when appropriate
If deep feeling-oriented therapy doesn't alleviate the depression then nothing is lost. If it does work, then a lifelong bounty of amazing skills will be acquired and the client will be able to live life with psychological integrity!
Paul Vereshack M.D.
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