The basic premise of insight-oriented psychotherapy is that you are experiencing depression because of unconscious psychological conflicts. Increasing your understanding of the underlying themes, thoughts, and behavioral patterns can result in improved mood both in the short and in the long term.
These psychodynamic themes fall into three categories.
Depression is often triggered by the loss of an important relationship (death, separation, abandonment, etc.). The therapy helps by encouraging appropriate grieving and promoting a fuller understanding of the psychological significance of the loss.
Depression is triggered by a loss of self-esteem. This often comes as a result of the failure to be appreciated by others. Sometimes you are disappointed at yourself because you haven't measured up to your standards or self-expectations. Therapy can provide an empathic setting for dealing with the disappointment and developing more realistic expectations.
Depression is from an overly punishing "superego" or conscience. It brings about depression by projecting it inwards, outwards or onto others.
When it is directed inward it leads to inappropriate guilt
When it is directed outward it results in your being overly critical of others
When it is projected outward onto others, you experience them as being overly critical of you.
Therapy can help by uncovering the unconscious conflicts, exposing them to the light of day, and bringing them under your conscious control.
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