Evolution, depression and counselling

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In this paper a framework of evolutionary psychology is used to develop a model of depression. In this model depression is seen as not normally a biochemical illness or disorder, but instead as usually due to the person becoming trapped within a psychologically activated but unwanted and inappropriate suite of natural emotions, with the activation coming from a perception of a major decline in personal usefulness that can include failure, guilt, shame or perceived rejection. A neuropsychological observation that supports this model is described. The implications of the model for counselling with depressed clients are outlined in terms of a multi-dimensional approach, oriented around perceived usefulness. It is predicted that clients receiving such counselling will recover more rapidly and be less likely to suffer a relapse than those receiving just drugs or a form of counselling that covers fewer dimensions.

Keywords: counselling; depression; evolution; suicide

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09515070500304508

Affiliations: Living Life Centre, Bray, Co., Wicklow, Ireland

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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