Effective Ways of Treating Depression


Step I: The person identifies the content of his or her negative thought process. He or she is taught to articulate any self-attacks in the second person (i.e. “You are so stupid. No one respects you.”) The person is encouraged to say the attack as he or she hears it or experiences it. If the person is holding back feelings, he or she is encouraged to express them.

Step II: The person discusses insights and reactions to verbalizing the voice. He or she attempts to understand the relationship between voice attacks and early life experiences. The objective here is to help the person to develop compassion for themselves.

Step III: The person answers back to the voice attacks. This is often a cathartic experience. Afterwards, it is important for the person to make a rational statement about how he or she really is, how other people really are, what is true about his or her social world from his or her own point of view (i.e. I am not stupid. I have a lot of good qualities that people respect me for.”)

Step IV: The person is encouraged to explore how the voice attacks are influencing his or her present-day behaviors.

Step V: The person then collaborates with the therapist to plan changes in these behaviors. The person is encouraged to resist engaging in self-destructive behavior dictated by his or her negative thoughts and to also increase the positive behaviors these negative thoughts discourage.

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