People with depression, one of the most common problems we see, are sometimes stuck and challenging to help change. Medications don’t help all depressed people and, even when it helps, it often comes with uncomfortable side effects and only works partially. Sometimes working with depressed people gets therapists depressed and discouraged.

Bill O’Hanlon is an accomplished psychotherapist and author of 36 books and more than 60 articles. He has appear on The Oprah Show, Today and has presented over 3000 times around the world. He recently published a new book called Out of the Blue: Six Non-Medication Ways to Relieve Depression.

In this interview, you will learn six hopeful and innovative approaches for helping people with depression to get some traction out of it. Because depression has multiple causes and factors, there are many ways to shift it. These approaches draw on respectful, strength-based models as well as the latest brain plasticity research. The latest research casts doubt on traditional explanations of depression and shows a whole array of new angles on treating it. Bill, who has suffered and recovered from depression, is a lively presenter with a fresh take on this topic.

The six strategies for relieving depression are:

  1. Strategy#1: Marbling. Acknowledgment of suffering, uncovering non-depressed moments and times. Mapping the contours of depression and non-depressed times and moments to find some traction and hope.
  2. Strategy#2: Undoing depression. Challenging patterns of depression to break its grip.
  3. Strategy#3: Changing your relationship with depression. Externalizing, noticing and valuing depression.
  4. Strategy#4: Challenging isolation. Connections as important healing and preventive elements in recovering from depression.
  5. Strategy#5: A future with possibilities. Connecting to a future with meaning and hope as way out of depression.
  6. Strategy#6: Re-starting brain growth. The neurogenic/neuroatrophy hypothesis and how to use it to get traction out of depression.

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

About Bill O’Hanlon:


Bill O’Hanlon, MS, LMFT, has authored or co-authored 36 books, the latest being Out of the Blue: Six Non-Medication Ways to Relieve Depression (W.W. Norton, April 2014). He has published over 60 articles or book chapters. His books have been translated into 16 languages. He has appeared on Oprah (with his book Do One Thing Different), The Today Show, and a variety of other television and radio programs. Since 1977, Bill has given over 3000 talks around the world. Bill is a Licensed Mental Health Professional, Certified Professional Counselor, and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Find out more about Bill at his website

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