Undoing “Learned Helplessness” In Depression

Elisha Goldstein on the Importance of Setting Aside What You Know as a Therapist to Ask Clients What They Need.

What do you need?

It’s a simple question, but not for someone who’s depressed. That’s why asking, with genuine curiosity, can be the beginning of a healing process for clients whose depression is fed by the sense that everything happens to them and that they have absolutely no control.In this video clip, mindfulness specialist, Elisha Goldstein, explains how asking this simple question begins a nurturing, strengthening process, that leads eventually to the client’s sense of having control—”I know what I need. I can take care of myself.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist specializing in mindfulness-based therapies for stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, and trauma. He’s the coauthor of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, and the author of The Now Effect: How This Moment Can Change the Rest of Your Life. This clip is taken from his session in our depression video course:

New Hope for the Depressed Client
Learn how to integrate a variety of new perspectives and methods into your current clinical approach. You’ll get:

  • The latest research about what works when treating depression and what doesn’t
  • The do’s and don’ts of combining antidepressant medication with talk therapy
  • Concrete guidance on the most important factors in starting therapy on the right note
  • Practical tips on the crucial role of homework and behavioral activation with depressed clients
  • New mind-body and mindfulness approaches, and how to use them with depressed clients
  • Everything you need to know about relapse prevention

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One Response to Undoing “Learned Helplessness” In Depression

  1. Elliot Fisch says:

    I’ve never before heard someone take one minute and 41 seconds to suggest asking a client what they think they need to solve their problem. Extremely verbose for a reasonable suggestion. Paid by the minute?

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