I have made no secret of the fact I have experienced episodes of depression over many years. I have found lots of strategies to assist me to deal with life on a day to day basis – most recently, Stoicism and other philosophical ideas. Alongside these strategies I have been taking prescribed medication (tricyclic antidepressants) for around three decades. I noticed over the last 12 months that they were having a negative impact on my memory and mental functioning. I decided it was time to get off them!
I sought medical advice and am pleased to say that I am no longer taking the tricyclics but it was really tough coming off them – it took about 4-5 months. As part of the transition I met a doctor who is studying to be a psychiatrist. I was asked if I would be willing to take part in psychodynamic psychotherapy with him over 40 weeks (once a week). He is required to do this work as part of his studies.
This was an interesting proposition as:
- I didn’t believe I needed therapy
- I wasn’t too keen on Freudian ideas but was more inclined toward Positive Psychology
- I was concerned it may unravel my relatively peaceful and happy life.
However, I agreed to go ahead and we have had 7 sessions so far. By the way, it is provided free due to it being part of his study requirements. So far it has raised some significant issues from the past but I feel I have the strength, wisdom and experience of a longish life to be able to handle it.
So, what would you do if you were in my situation? I am interested to hear what people’s thoughts are on psychotherapy today.
I promised I won’t go into the nitty gritty of the sessions as they are very personal but hopefully I can share a little about the overall experience.