Q: Since the pandemic began, many of my clients are experiencing more symptoms of depression. What interventions work well in a teletherapy session?
A: Nearly everyone’s life has been turned upside down by the pandemic, and it’s not surprising that clients are feeling more depressed lately. I’ve noticed this especially with those who have a history of depressive disorders. Fortunately, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy offers several interventions that are easily transferred to video sessions. They can even help us therapists, who may be feeling the weight of our own challenges, in addition to those of our clients.
Lengthen the Spine
One of my favorite interventions for depression is deceptively simple—lengthening the spine. With the heaviness of depression, even with just the words I’m depressed, the spine tends to collapse. Try it yourself, and notice that when you say “I’m depressed,” your body reacts, even if you don’t currently feel that way. Because depression is such a physical experience, somatic techniques can be very helpful.
If you hear clients say the word hopeless, or if you see the collapse in their chests on screen, you can invite them to “notice what happens if you just lengthen your spine a little bit from the lower back…