Asking for help can be tough. Knowing who to ask can be even harder. Doing these things when you are feeling desperate or totally stuck – almost impossible. Yet people do regularly ask for help, sometimes they manage to find effective help, and they do recover from the depths of despair to return to a life which works.
Stuck in a Hole
I know from personal experience just how hard this can be, because many years ago I found myself profoundly disabled by Depression. This followed a divorce and being burgled twice within a year. I was lucky to have some close friends who supported me through the bleak period and I did not spend too long in the black hole of depression. But it was a shocking, surprising and scary experience and one that I hope never to repeat.
How to choose?
Here at in8, many of our clients come because of a word-of-mouth recommendation. Someone who we have helped will pass our name on to another family member, work colleague or friend – and they then give us a call. But what happens if you don’t know anyone who has has been helped out of Depression? Your GP might do the best he or she can in a ten minute appointment and suggest medication – but there is a growing acceptance that this approach tends to mask the symptom rather than getting to the root of the problem. So you Google “Help for depression” and get a list of local counsellors and therapists – but how do you choose the right one for you?
Things to Consider
Here are some of the things we know that people often consider when asking for professional help:
- Where are you based?
- How much do you charge?
- What kind of approach do you use?
- Will we get on OK?
- Do I like the look of your photo?
- How long will it take?
- Are you professionally qualified?
- What do other people say about you?
These are all reasonable questions, but I suggest that there is one item which ought to be on this list – but which is missing. Can you guess what it is?
Will It Work For Me?
The item which is missing from the list above is: “Will it work for me?”. It may seem surprising (it still surprises me!) – but in my ten years of working with people who are depressed or anxious, addicted, angry or stuck in any way with their thinking, almost no-one has asked this question! Why? Is it because they don’t trust us and expect that we will just trot out some sales patter? Is it because they don’t think we will know? Or perhaps because they believe they are asking the impossible? And yet, just consider this: if you were really confident about the answer to that one question, how relevant would the others be? – Yet the question usually remains unasked!
The picture at the top of this article shows a chart of a recent client’s progress. By our normal standards, this was an unusually long treatment (a total of 12 sessions over a period of 8 months). At the start the client was feeling desperately low (he was profoundly depressed and had been off work for over a year). After four sessions he was starting to feel a little better. And by the end of his treatment he was feeling well again and was optimistic about his future.
The red and green lines represent how the client felt about their own well-being at the start of each session with me (NOTE: as rated by the client, not by me!). The blue line shows how useful the client thought each session had been (AGAIN: as rated at the end of each session by the client, not by me!). It is clear from this chart that the client benefitted from most of the sessions, and although suffering a couple of setbacks along the way, eventually reached a point where he was feeling healthy again. At the start or treatment he was deeply sceptical that anyone could help him, and at the end he wrote a lovely testimonial recommending our services to others.
The point I want to make is that we actively involve each client / customer in their own progress. (Who else does?) We want to know when things are improving for you but also when things are not improving. Sometimes, it is only by looking closely at what works as well as what doesn’t work (for you) that we can get to the bottom of what is really going on.
Of course, we cannot guarantee success for everyone – there are simply too many factors involved. But we can often give you a pretty good indication, and we will do our very best to ensure that you get to where you want to be, irrespective of the challenges that you face.
If you were only to ask one question: “Will It Work For Me?” you would choose in8. Find out more here: What Happens Next.