Clients who are struggling with depression tend to believe that they have to be motivated in order to do something.
Whether it’s getting ready in the morning, cleaning their living space, going out to see friends, or exercising (the one thing that can help them the most!)—these tasks often seem impossible. And if you work with clients experiencing depression, you probably have heard statements like, “I just don’t feel like it today.” Or, “I don’t have the energy.” Or, “Once I feel better, I’ll start doing things.”
The problem with that kind of mindset is…it often doesn’t work.
Clients have likely been waiting for this motivation for a long time. And if they haven’t gotten it before, they probably won’t get it in the future. The truth is, you don’t have to have energy, you don’t have to not be depressed, and you don’t have to feel like it… in order to do something. Because doing something requires one thing: action. Action precedes motivation.
This is what we have to help clients realize.
But how do we do that? Well, by showing them they already have done it.
My guess is some of your clients with depression aren’t always enthusiastically-motivated to come into your office for their latest session. Or, for those who do home visits, I’d also bet your clients didn’t want to get out of bed to talk with you.
If they can do it in this instance…they can certainly do it in others.
Check out this 10-minute clip from my new CBT course to learn more about this topic, as well as discover:
- What happens to clients who aren’t sleeping
- What to do before you focus on behavioral activation
- Two activities that make the biggest difference in boosting mood