Monthly Archives: December 2005

change therapy?

hi everyone …

why is this blog called change therapy? i can’t give you the exact historical reasons for it – i dimly remember that it was past 1 am when i first started this blog, so who knows what exactly prompted me to come up with that term.

however. i’m a big fan of the “talking cure” gang – scott miller, barry duncan, and a bunch of other interesting people at the institute for therapeutic change. and i know i had been reading some very interesting stuff in scott miller’s “escape from babel” when i first started this blog. here are a few quotes from that book that i really like:

the aim of counselling/therapy is to start the solution process rather than to stop the complaint … therapists are more likely to facilitate hope and expectation in their clients when they stop trying to figure out what’s wrong with them and how to fix it and focus instead of what is possible and how their clients can obtain it
if we focus on stopping the problem, then a) we still focus on the problem and b) there’s a danger of getting stuck (once the problem is solved, then what?)

whatever methods we use, it should remind the client of a previously successful experience
change happens much easier when we recognize its possibility, at least at some level. there is a story about some ships around the time of columbus approaching an island but the people on the shore could not see the ships because they had no concept of “ship” at all. they were just meaningless blips on the horizon.

questions that can be asked about previous change experiences:
– how does change usually happen in your life?
– what do you do to change
anything? (e.g. how you dress, when you start a new job, etc.)
– how do others in your life help you make changes?


research convincingly shows that people come to therapy not because they have problems but because they have become demoralized about their chances of resolving particular challenges.
we all have problems, all day long. many seem completely insignificant to us – but they may be huge for others. i have always been fascinated by how one client may be totally desolate about her money problems and brush even the most difficult relationship problems aside (“oh well, it’s not so great but i’ll deal with it”) while the very next person may face completely opposite dilemmas. so again, what we want to work on is that there is a solution (yes, this is really a ship out there on the horizon) and, even more importantly, that creating solutions is possible, just as it is possible to solve the myriads of “small” problems that we encounter at every turn of our lives.

hmmmm … this all reminds me of something they say in 12 step programs:

“live in the solution!”

getting serious – keywords & “depression treatment”

well, i’m going to get serious about blogging now. there’s lots of things i want to talk about – and hopefully, you’ll have something to say about it, too!recently, i have been working on my web site. i decided to have it hosted by site-build-it (SBI), a hosting company that offers tremendous support to its users but also makes them sweat bullets as they build their sites.

one of the things that this site is very keen on is to use the right keywords – those keywords that we think our users will use to search for our web site. this poses an interesting dilemma for me. on the one hand, i want to attract as many visitors as possible to my site, and on the other, i’d like to follow the other advice given by SBI, which is to be as natural as possible. those two seem to conflict (the story of my life!). (does that remind you of the advice “just be yourself!” when you go to an interview, all dolled up, with that “natural” smile pasted on your face?)

for example – i’m interested in talking about how people deal with depression. ok, in november 2005, 729 people searched for “deal with depression” in yahoo. that’s not really very much, considering that 599686 people searched for “angelina jolie”. now unfortunately i have nothing to add to the body of knowledge about angelina jolie. so let’s see how people search for the word “depression”. and it turns out that 748219 looked for “depression treatment” (more than for angelina – that’s interesting …) here’s my problem. the term “depression treatment” isn’t really something i use a lot.

(((((( sidebar: the idea of “treating” people doesn’t sit well with me. they origin of the word “psychotherapist” is interesting. originally, there is the ancient greek word “theraps”, which is an attendant. from that derived the word “therapeuein”, which is that which an attendant does – and soon what this attendant did was apparently administer treatment – which THEN quickly came to mean “to treat, to cure”. (here i imagine someone bringing a glass of water and an aspirin). so, to be honest, if i want to be etymologically correct (i.e. stick to the word origin), i have two choices: i can go with the “attendant” or i can go with the “treatment”. for now, i feel more comfortable with the word “attendant”. i don’t feel comfortable with the connotation of authority that goes with the idea of “treatment”. stay tuned for further developments on this idea … )))))))

sooo … what do i do? do i talk the way i usually talk or do i start talking keyword talk? i hope that this blog will help – kind of be a bridge between the keywords and me. let’s see ….so for today we have

keyword – depression treatment

isabella’s words: depression is something that i’m very familiar with, both personally and professionally. people who deal with depression speak a language that i understand. i remember how surprised i was when i found out that there were people who had never thought about suicide. oh, and how very surprised i was when i realized that there have been (and still are) times in my life when the word “depression” applied to me, too (and how very, very surprised i was that the word “manic depression” or “bipolar” applied to me even more – but that’s a different story). so i have a bit of an ambivalent relationship with depression. on the one hand, i totally get it – i know the feelings of confusion, paralysis, panic, dread, darkness. on the other hand, not having wanted to be “one who is depressed” for such a long time, i am also very familiar with the coping mechanisms – the denial, the escape, the numbing, the “beating it down” and “pulling up by the boostraps”. by some lucky turn of fate, it seems like this ambivalence works quite well for my clients. it often allows me to sit and listen for a long time (yes – often; not always; perfection still eludes me). and when it comes to the time when we have a conversation, it allows us to talk about different ways of looking at depression – one of them, by the way, being the connection between creativity and depression.

isabella mori
counselling on vancouver