Doing what he wanted to do instead of what she wanted him to do was associated with a reduction in his symptoms of depression. His moving out was more consistent with his long-term goals than staying in a tense situation (because he got free rent for helping her around the house). Long-term, he wanted a new girlfriend, and even a long-term relationship. Living with his ex-girlfriend was not terribly consistent with being able to bring someone new home.
I have another client in which the activated behavior is to walk for one-half hour. This client believes that everyone stares at him when he ventures outdoors and that people think he is a pervert. He is also in one of my groups and I have noticed that he tends to stare at people for longer than most people like. He also has some arthritis and some narrowing of the arteries in his legs. This makes it more painful for him to walk than it would be for some others, but, paradoxically, walking is among the most helpful of therapies for arthritis and for narrowing of the arteries in the legs (peripheral vascular disease). Previously, when he tried walking, he walked down Main St. in the direction of a crowded bakery, popular among many in town. We settled on the smaller step of walking away from the center of town toward a relatively uncrowded park and away from the throngs of people. We also practiced his staring at people's shoes instead of higher on their bodies. This has been a more successful strategy and he is also learning how not to look threatening.
Catch me at Kripalu next week for Cherokee bodywork, April 28th to May 3rd. Join our Wednesday, narrative lectures at noon, or come to narrative case conference on Thursdays at 1215, all on-line. For details, see http://www.mehl-madrona.com and go to the tab for "My Online Meetings". For information about Kripalu, go to http://www.kripalu.org, and search for "Mehl-Madrona Cherokee Bodywork", or email Email address removed .
"Articles of the Week, mentioned above"
1. Kirsch, I., Deacon, B.J., Huedo-Medina, T.B., Scoboria, A., Moore, T., Johnson, B.T., (2008). Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. PLoS Medicine, 5(2), 260-268.
2. Dimidjian, S., Dobson, K.S., Kohlenberg, R.J., Gallop, R., Markley, D.K., Atkins, D.C., Hollon, S.D., Schmaling, K.B., Addis, M.E., McGlinchey, J.B., Gollan, J.K., Dunner, D.L. & Jacobson, N.S. (2006). Randomized Trial of Behavioral Activation, Cognitive Therapy, and Antidepressant Medication in the Acute Treatment of Adults With Major Depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(4), 658--670, DOI: 10.1037/0022-006X.74.4.658.