Depression Counseling

San lady

Counseling & Psychotherapy in SLO / the Central Coast / California

One of the most common problems people have today is some form of depression.  It isn't always severe and obvious; sometimes it's mild or moderate; but it's still like trying to swim with an anchor tied around your leg, always pulling you down and holding you back.  Sometimes, people don't even recognize that they are depressed.  They may feel chronically frustrated, or they may just feel dead inside, or they may no longer enjoy the things they used to enjoy. 

In recent years, we have been given much to feel depressed about; the virus, the social upheaval, the fires, wars, and the political conflicts are all taking their toll on people's minds and emotions.  It looks like there will be more challenges and difficulties on the road to come.  For as long as our world is in crisis, there will be a lot of heavy issues to face and to deal with.  And yet, you still have to carry on with your individual life, with all of its challenges and demands.  Maybe you were already struggling with depression before all these new problems appeared.  Now more than even, it's time for you to take that step and get the therapy and counseling support you need to come out of the depression that holds you down.

There are times when life feels like it's just too much work.  Today's world is complex, fast-paced, competitive, full of daunting challenges, and even frightening possibilities.  Listening to the news doesn't help!  Sometimes it gets overwhelming, and you can feel the light going out of your eyes, the joy going out of your spirit, and your will to go on at an all-time low.  There's no energy to do even the things you want to do.  Maybe there's an obstacle in your life that just won't budge.  Or maybe you've felt this way for as long as you can remember.  There are so many things that create frustration, discouragement, sadness, regret, despair, and grief.


"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." Maya Angelou

Let's spend some time together and talk it through.  I'm Erik Edler, a therapist/counselor located in San Luis Obispo (SLO).  I am able to meet with local clients in person, and I see many local clients by video as well.  Let me know what you prefer, and we can talk about our options.  In addition, I can see clients from any part of California by video.

Together, we can get to the bottom of things, and find a path out of the dark woods.  You can have hope and know what it means to have your energy back, ready to enjoy all the good things that life has to offer.  Please don't put it off any longer; start the healing process here and now.

Many people believe they can deal with their depression simply by doing health-based and behavioral interventions, with meditation and exercise, or medication, and there are many therapists who take this limited perspective.  Those things all have their value, but it always leaves the client in a perpetual state of simply "managing" their depression and giving up hope of ever being truly free of it.  To really be free of depression, you have to get to the root cause.  The essential truth about depression is that you are holding something down.  "Depression" means that something is being pressed down.  It might be chronic frustration with your life, goals you can never seem to reach, a bad memory, a terrible feeling, a truth you can't face, anger you can't express, grieving you've never properly done, or something only half remembered, long forgotten, or pushed out of your mind intentionally.  It's probably something that has been pressed down for so long that keeping it down has become second nature, and it may take some work to find it and bring it out.  

Whatever it is, your depression can't be cured until the thing that is pressed down is no longer pressed down but brought to the surface and dealt with successfully.  I think it's so important for clients to be able to get to the root of their depression and finally deal with what lies at the core, and then become truly free.  I am a therapist who addresses causes and not just symptoms.  Treat the fire, not just the smoke! 

The Real Causes of Depression | Johann Hari

This video is about 90 minutes long, but it's really good information.  Johann Hari is also the author of the new book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression -- And the Unexpected Solutions.  So much has been said about the "brain chemistry" cause of depression, and the necessity of taking medication to manage depression.  But depression actually has some pretty straightforward causes.  No medication is going to be able to fix your life, if problems in your life are the true cause of why you're unhappy and you've lost your vitality for life.  

Lost Connections book

In his book, Johann explains seven causes of depression:

1. Disconnection from Meaningful Work

2. Disconnection from Other People

3. Disconnection from Meaningful Values

4. Disconnection from Childhood Trauma

5. Disconnection from Status and Respect

6. Disconnection from the Natural World

7. Disconnection from a Hopeful & Secure Future

Certainly, genetics and brain chemistry play a role in depression, but we can't overlook the obvious factors that are harming people emotionally and impacting them negatively, in our individual lives and in our modern society in general.  These are the fundamental things that we really need to address if we want depression to start going down in our society, rather than going up more and more with each passing year, as it has been.

I want you to feel hopeful and encouraged about dealing with your depression.  It can be more than just "managed."  When you take the time to really work through the root causes, depression can lift in a way you never might have expected or hoped for.  I would be happy to talk with you about your specific difficulties and how best to go forward. 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions; I would be happy to help. You can call me at anytime at 805-868-0767.

Erik E

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Erik Edler LMFT