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Depression Is Not A Disease; It’s A Wake-Up Call

James Gordon M.D. on the 7 Stages of Healing Depression without Antidepressants

Depression is not like diabetes and the promise of antidepressants as a cure just doesn’t hold water.

That’s the assessment of James Gordon, M.D. and he should know. Jim is the author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey out of Depression and professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

So what really works?

A customized combination of complementary approaches like acupuncture, meditation and relaxation practices, sound nutrition, creative imagery, movement, and physical exercise are effective. And the key factor, according to Jim, is a constant—the client must take an active role in the process. Here’s one quick example of a technique that makes Jim’s approach so effective.

This clip is taken from our Making the Mind-Body Connection in Therapy Webcast series with Rubin Naiman, Amy Weintraub, Elisha Goldstein, Joan Klagsbrun, James Gordon, Richard Brown, and Patricia Gerbarg. For 2 weeks only, we’re making this 6-session Webcast series available for only $99. It’s part of our Mind-Body-Soul Webcast Special.

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12 Responses to Depression Is Not A Disease; It’s A Wake-Up Call

  1. Just wanted to note that the field of Art Therapy has been around for a long time. There are rigorous standards, education (Master’s level from a program approved by the American Art Therapy Association) and training/supervision requirements. While the doctor’s example of the use of drawing with his patient sounds as though it had a good outcome, the use of art therapy is much more complicated and involved than he portrays. — I do fully support his stance that integrating mind and body can help the client effectively move forward in health. Art and the other creative therapies deserve more attention and respect than they often get.

    • Dear Marian,

      Thanks for your comment. I agree completely. Although I am quite delighted that Psychotherapy Networker is hosting this Mind-Body series, I am deeply concerned that there has been no mention or honoring of the 100 or so years of mind-body therapies that have paved the way for the emergence of these so-called “new” approaches. The truth is that these are not new approaches at all. Art therapists, dance-movement therapists, music therapists, and somatic psychotherapists have been working with mind-body approaches in psychotherapy for more than half a century–backed, as you said, by a highly developed theoretical framework. It seems to me that after multiple decades of working to carry the torch for mind-body and creative arts approaches to healing–in spite of professional marginalization and ridicule–creative arts therapists and somatic psychotherapists ought to be given a place of honor and acknowledged as elders in the OLD field of mind-body healing in psychotherapy. Instead, many mainstream physicians and psychotherapists are taking up their methodology piecemeal–often without learning the theory, protocol, or crediting the tree from which it came. In ancient times, healing lineage was respected and honored. In academia, one’s sources are credited. It seems that this ought to be the case with these “new” mind-body approaches to psychotherapy. These “new” techniques are integral to bodies of work that have been discounted and marginalized by mainstream psychotherapy. Now, these treatments are being touted, but no credit given? It doesn’t seen right.

      Psychotherapy Networker: how about a follow-up webinar on the origin, history, lineage, and current practices of the professions that have been actively engaged in mind-body healing for many, many decades? I’d love to see dance-movement therapists, art therapists, music therapists, somatic psychotherapists as part of Round Two of this Mind-Body series.

      with deepest respect,

      Lisa Fladager, MCAT, LMHC, R-DMT, CMA

      • From a western medical perspective, psychotherapy has been marginalized. It’s interesting to me that the “new integrated approaches” seem to be discovering paradigms that therapists internalized a long time ago. I guess we should be glad that what we know is becoming more valued but I agree that it does sting to have established perspectives and strategies touted as tthis amazing new thing called Mind-Body Medecine.

      • Hmmmm. While I understand and appreciate all the responses. I have to say, that as a general practitioner, I found the video clip an enticing reminder of all I have yet to learn about creative arts and therapy. Most therapists would understand the difference between a general tool for augmenting exploration with appropriate client,s and the vast amount of schooling and intricate realities of Art or other creative therapies. In sum, I appreciate the reminder of the power of a new approach to augment my strengths as a therapist, and the reminder of a wonderful new direction to go in obtaining CEU’s to further my appreciation of creative therapies so I may refer clients as is appropriate to a more skilled therapist. Thank you everyone for providing these valuable clips.

        Mary Logan, MPA, MA, LMHC

  2. Karen Sonnenberg says:

    I used to always get a notification from Psychotherapy Networker when I could listen from Friday to Tuesday to certain workshops/lectures. I wonder if we could still get that?

    • Psychotherapy Networker says:

      The free rebroadcasts are now only available for 24 hours after each session’s initial broadcast. Registration for the free rebroadcasts closes once the webcast series has begun, so they are no longer available for the Mind-Body series. When we begin advertising a new series, you’ll find instructions for free rebroadcast registration on the series landing page.

  3. What a great clip. It’s oftentimes critical to get people out of their left brain, which is the reason equine somatic psychotherapy work is so powerful.

  4. Theodore A Hoppe says:

    Let’s begin by asking whether the term “depression” is still useful. It has become the catch all phrase of MI.
    Next, notice that most treatments, that are not pharma related, involve a new relationship(s); therapists, companion dogs, instructors.
    Finally, have a look at Robert Whitaker’s research. His claim is that depression has gone from being an episodic illness in the 60′s, to a chronic illness that requires a lifetime on medication and or therapy.
    There is no secret to treating “depression”; if it fires together, it wirings together.
    Depression would be well served if it provided a model of wellness ( in addiction-speak “recovery”) and a “sponsor.”

    • Theresa Sherrod says:

      I would like to add that “pharma” treatments also “require”, or at least are optimized, by a relationship; without it, their effectiveness suffers. Doctors of all kinds through centuries and cultures have relied on this. A placebo effect is in truth a wonderful demonstration of the strength of mind-body interdependency. Non-biologicl approaches may also be tried in the absence of a relationship. Self-help (bibiliotherapy, exercise and other movement therapies, journaling and many art forms, meditation) can be very effective – only a relationship with the self, perhaps, is required.

  5. Andrea Hutter says:

    I also found this clip interesting and am sorry that I no longer receive notifications about “free” listening to the series advertised. I found the free broadcasts extremely useful and as a volunteer counsellor in the UK cannot afford to pay for the series.

  6. How can I get a record (video preferably) of James Gordon’s presentation ? Can I purchase such a video ?
    Thanks a lot in advance !

    • Psychotherapy Networker says:

      Unfortunately, we do not sell individual sessions from our webcast series, and the videos are only available online when you purchase the series.

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