Clinical Depression
& Postpartum Depression

How Depression Impacts Our Lives

We all know what it feels like to be depressed. We are plagued by negative self-talk and self-doubt. We worry about how others view us, or that we won’t be able to perform the way that is expected of us. For some of us, these feelings are ongoing and debilitating. We have deeply seated feelings of failure and believe that life will never get better. We may have been feeling this way for months, years, or nearly our entire lives.

When people are depressed, they find it especially difficult to visualize a happy life and to conjure up the motivation to make changes that would lead to a better life. This lack of change, on the other hand, is what contributes to feeling hopeless.

Hypnosis and Integrative Therapy for Clinical Depression

To break this cycle, Dr. Sera Lavelle, Ph.D, Dr. Noah Kass, DSW, LCSW, Dr. Samantha Gaies, Ph.D, Dr. Sara Glazer, Psy.D and Dr. Sacha Zilkha use hypnosis to help a person visualize positive outcomes and focus on achieving tangible goals while also using integrative therapy techniques to resolve underlying feelings of depression. Much of depression is a focus on the past. This approach helps a person quiet depressive thoughts so that they can focus on how they would like to feel and envision a future that they would like to attain.

This approach is particularly useful in treating difficulties that both stem from, and perpetuate, depression such as:

  • Weight problems and eating disorders
  • Habits and addictions
  • Anger and frustration
  • Difficulties in relationships and social interactions
  • Lack of confidence and motivation
  • Indecisiveness about career
  • Losing touch with our creativity
  • Feeling “stuck” in life

Hypnosis and Integrative Therapy for Postpartum Depression

Postpartum blues, depression, and anxiety can be extremely upsetting for new mothers. For some women, this comes as a complete surprise as it’s the first time they have experienced debilitating depression or anxiety. Others may have had episodes of anxiety and depression in the past, however, these feelings arise suddenly and intensely in a way that they didn’t anticipate. This can feel like a negative mood that they just can’t seem to shake or an unsettling thought loop that seems to be set on repeat. Either way, this leaves a new mother feeling helpless, hopeless, and extremely disappointing, particularly when they had envisioned they would be feeling very differently.

Our therapists utilize hypnosis and integrative therapy to help women with postpartum depression and anxiety and the stress associated with the transition into parenthood. They understand the many emotional hurdles that come with this transition and help women to move past these difficult feelings so that they can live happy and fulfilling lives.

Postpartum blues are extremely common, with up to 70% of new mother’s experiencing some form of it in the first few weeks after giving birth. Postpartum Depression, on the other hand, occurs for 1 in 9 new mothers, lasts for extended amount of time and is much more severe. It can include feelings of worthlessness, fears of being disconnected from your child, worry that you are a bad parent, anger, sadness and crying. 

While the exact cause of Postpartum Depression is not clearly defined and can vary from one person to another, we do know that there are several factors that contribute to anxiety and depression in the months following the birth of a new child. These include hormonal fluctuations, loss of identity, lack of sleep, conflict with a spouse, frustration and confusion over caring for a new infant, concern about physical changes in the body, lack of freedom and feelings of isolation. By combining hypnosis, mindfulness and therapy, our therapists are able to identify the contributing causes of depression and anxiety, while using hypnosis to help a person visualize a more uplifting future and set tangible goals to help end the cycle of distressing thoughts and feelings that accompany postpartum depression.

Research on Hypnotherapy for Depression

Research demonstrates a variety of benefits from using hypnosis in conjunction with therapy for treating depression, such as that it encourages a sense of empowerment and reduces depressive symptoms (Yapko, 2002). Further, it has been shown that a combined approach of therapy and hypnosis alleviates depression to a greater degree than therapy alone, and that this effect is maintained even after therapy has ended (Alladin & Alibhai, 2007).

Read more about hypnosis and integrative therapy for depression:
Hypnosis and Depression (Yapko, 2002)
Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Depression (Alladin & Alibhai, 2007)
Hypnosis and Treating Depression (2006)
Essentials of clinical hypnosis: An evidence-based approach  (Lynn & Kirsch, 2006)

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