Treating Depression for Adults, Teens and Children

Depression is much more than feeling sad.

Depression is considered a mood disorder.

Most of us consider it to involve feelings of loss, sadness, even disinterest in things in life.

People experience depression in different ways. It may interfere with daily work, result in lost time or lower productivity; it could impact daily living, through sleeplessness, low energy, low motivations, brain fog.

Depression also affects some chronic physical health conditions, for example arthritis, pain, asthma, cancer, heart disease, obesity.

Depression is more than being sad or anxious. Rather, it is persistent and intense. The emotions and behaviours last almost continually for longer than 2 weeks.  These emotions and behaviours are intense and many present at the same time

  • Everyone experiences depression episodes during their life time.

What is important is what we learn from them and how we learn to manage them to reduce the impact depression has on our whole life.

For children, tweens and teens, it is even more important to acknowledge their  feeling AND then teach them the skills they can use  to manage their episodes.

What causes Depression?

The research currently being published  is really exciting. It is successfully, scientifically and consistently breaking down many of the myths associated with depression. This means more effective treatment is also now more available and more accessible than every before.

Dr Michael Yapko  has been pushing the boundaries of understanding and teaching Depression treatment for more than 30 years.

He, together with many other current researchers have shown clearly that depression is:

  • NOT a result of a chemical imbalance, particularly serotonin – this means most anti-depressants and pharmacological treatments do not work – certainly not on their own.
  • NOT a result of having defective genes – family genes or serotonin trasmitter genes.  It is not the genes in the family which creates the onset of depression.
  • NOT  a guaranteed consequence of  excessive alcohol, drug use  – legal or otherwise,  insufficent levels of vitamin D, medical illnesses, gender identity.

Depression …

  • IS a socially based experience – so it is learnt within our social settings
  • IS a learnt response – based on our skills to manage and reduce it’s impact
  • IS  a result of life experiences – so we need to learn how best to manage ourselves within those life experiences we have 

In Australia we are seeing

  • Anxiety is the most common  and leading mental health condition, with Depression being a close 2nd. The World Health Organisation shows Australia is 2nd in the world of the highest rates of Depression – 5.9% of our population 
  • COVID – 19 lead to a 25% increase in  anxiety and depression
  • almost 19% of Australians aged between 15 – 24 have had anxiety,  14% have had depression as shown in the 2020 -2021 ABS National Health survey (2022.03)

So we see, Depression is far more common than we we might think.


What is exciting and reassuring is that non pharmacological  treatments for Depression are being studied vigorously, and are  showing effective  results for clients to manage their depression experiences.

Lets do something about this, together 

I am Barbara and I have successfully treated Depression conditions for children, tweens, teenagers and adults.

I am a qualified psychologist and psychotherapist. I have  practiced in Southern Africa and Australia.

As a registered Strategic Psychotherapist and accredited Clinical Hypnotherapist, I support those experiencing depression to find and implement solutions which work for them successfully .

The stresses people are facing today as a result of 3 years of  COVID,  global financial threats, expanding zones of  conflict, as well as ever increasing break ups of families, means we have more people of all ages experiencing anxiety which if left unsolved often turns into depression.

I combine different therapeutic approaches  to give clients  a treatment approach which suits them individually.

This means  they are able to get quick, effective  and lasting results as they build lives where depression no longer holds them back.

Who says I am qualified – click here to see where  I graduated and how I maintain my professional expertise.

How to treat Depression

Depression is real,  it feels overwhelming and often seems to invade all areas of our life. It is characterised by repetitive thoughts about the past. Almost as if we are still stuck in those past experiences. 

Research and decades of shared best practice have given us the know-how  regarding the best way to respond to depression.

It does not have to include medication and drugs, as research published in 2023 shows anti depressants alone, i.e. WITHOUT  therapy does not change depression experiences. 

It is totally possible to learn how to reduce the impact depression has on your everyday life.

Treating Adults with Depression

Clinical Depression is not caused by specific genes or low brain chemical levels. 

Depression is complex and it develops as a result of a number of different factors all seeming as if they happen at once. 

In Australia, 1 in 6 adults experience depression, unfortunately too few seek therapy to resolve it.

Adults experience depression by:

  • have low moods -“don’t feel like it”
  • loosing or gaining weight
  • low levels of interest in activities – “can’t be bothered”
  • trouble sleeping – too much or too little
  • withdraw from others
  • cannot concentrate for long
  • have difficulty thinking or making decisions
  • feel guilty, or not worthy

When depression is left untreated,   it always gets more intense and harder to leave behind.

Treating Adults with Depression

Depression is multi factored,  which means it’s treatment  depends on the person, their circumstance, their skills to manage their thoughts, beliefs and attitudes.

YOU are so much more than your experiences of depression. This is why it is so treatable, and getting better is a real possibility.

It is useful to use different psychotherapy techniques, including  Psychotherapy, hypnosis,  hypnotherapy, education and counselling

Treatment plans focus on enabling the person to understand  and change their thinking patterns which cause and maintain their depressive episodes


Treating Teenagers with Depression

 If serious anxiety is left untreated in teenagers, it can have long-term effects which continue into adulthood, and is often expressed as depression.

Teenage depression is most often associated with relationship challenges across a range of relationships – social, family, friends, internet and social media, sports, religious, etc.

When combined with performance pressures, school challenges, “normal” hormonal experiences of being a growing teen, it is not surprising that  anxiety so often changes into depression.

In Australia, 1 in 4 teens experience depression. They tend to change the way they think, feel, behave and respond to situations. 

Teenagers experience depression by:

  • being constantly tense, restless, agitated
  • having noticeable physical signs eg: sweating, headache, trouble breathing, sore muscles, 
  • being angry and irritable
  • much more sensitive to criticism
  • often extremely self-conscious
  • being irrational, having negative thoughts all the time, 
  • become withdrawn from everyone
  • show a clear behavioural changes compared to how they were when younger 
  • avoid people, situations and difficulties
  • struggle to concentrate, start and finish projects
  • have poor sleeping habits

Treating Teenagers with Depression

Teens respond well to combined counselling and hypnotherapy. It focuses on:

  • confirming depression is an experience, and can be managed,
  • lifestyle patterns eg eating, sleeping, avoiding substances as  quick fixes, 
  • improving their ability to self manage their stress and anxiety,
  • uses story telling, creative activities, mindfulness, relaxation techniques, hypnosis and education

Treating Children experiencing Depression

The link between childhood anxiety and childhood depression is well established.  The first step is always to acknowledge the anxious feelings and physical sensations children describe – and then e4nsure they learn how to handle them effectively.

Prevention is key – it is simpler  to learn to manage anxiety than it is to learn how to deal with anxiety.

These experiences are real to the child after all.

Being afraid and nervous is normal behaviour for young children- they are facing new situations all the time. They have to learn what to do, when to do it and what might happen through all their experiences. 

When your young child starts to exhibit constant anxiety and changes their behavour, thoughts and emotional actions, it is time to uncover what is happening for them.

Children show depression through:

  • trying to avoid the situation they are worried about
  • complaining about being bullied or picked on by other children or teachers
  • often consistently have headaches, stomach aches 
  • poor sleep or vivid nightmares,  reoccurring bed wetting 
  • become clingy, worried, need lots of reassurance
  • worry often – about the past happening again
  • get angry , cranky, aggressive
  • say negative things about themselves, including feeling guilty
  • loose confidence in themselves and their ability to learn and cope.

Treating Children with Depression

Treating depression with children under the age of 10 always:

  • needs the parent to recognise the issue and do something about it
  • starts with their presenting issue first, eg sleeping better, reducing bed wetting occasions, returning to school, etc,
  • focuses on helping them to learn how to recognize, describe and manage their thinking and their feelings
  • involves their parent or carer
  • uses story telling, play therapy, acting, singing, creative activities etc.

Children respond well to treatment and tend to learn how to handle their thoughts, emotions and behaviours quickly.

Free, No Obligation Discussion - 20 minutes

The purpose of this discussion is for you to determine if our approach is going to work for you. 

It is also for us to determine if we are able to help you.

Depression presents in different ways

Anxiety and Depression are often experienced simultaneously 

Everyone experiences deep feelings during their life time, some even experience it regularly in their lives.

How we think, act, and feel when in this state is the real issue.

Some of us regularly believe that:

  • our situations are really worse than they might be
  • our emotions are so strong they affect our ability to concentrate, sleep, and even complete daily tasks.
  • We feel stuck, out of control and permanently on edge.


This is the same for us all, irrespective of our age.

It is also far more common than we we might think – recent studies continue to show depression in some way affects 5.9% of total number of  Australians every year.

Depression is treatable using psychotherapy and pychoeducation across many therapy forms.

Pre Natal Depression - Adults

Occurs before a baby is born. It is usually associated with high levels of worry, sleeplessness, fears about caring for baby properly, the birth itself and "brain fog". It is longer lasting than Pre baby blues or anxiety

Post Natal Depression -Adults

Occurs after baby is born and is felt by men and women. Feelings of being restless, moody, sad, hopeless, afraid of hurting baby or feeling disconnected for longer than 2 weeks means some support could be useful.

Major Depressive Disorder - Adults, Teens

Feelings of deep sadness, no energy, no interest, suicidal thoughts need to be taken seriously. Contact us Now
This is a serve form of Depressive experience which lasts longer than 2 weeks and includes feelings actively depressed most days, loss interest in most activities, significant weight changes, fatigue, feeling guilty. Must seek support

Family Breakdown & Separation Depression - Everyone

The effects of family breakdown last for years, as they impact on every member's ability to recreate long lasting trust based relatinships. The higher the conflict and destruction, the greater the risk children develop depression in their later years

Family Abuse - Everyone

Domestic family violence in any form is not accepted nor OK,
Abuse and Violence between family members leave everyone anxious, upset and often traumatized - setting the scene for poor relationships in the future. Abuse never stops by itself. It only stops when an intervention - therapy - is followed.

Excessive Bullying- Teens, Child

Excessive, consistent bullying leaves children feeling powerless and overwhelmed. Their anxiety, hurt, and uncertainty moves into depression quickly. Learning how to reduce its impact quickly is important.

Grief - Adults Children, Teens

Grief maybe both a very private, and a very public experience for most people. It is a response to the loss of a loved one, or loved situation. When unresolved, grief changes into depressive experiences.

Research for Depression.

  1. World Health Organisation: Depression and other common mental disorders: Global Health Estimates ( Jan 3rd, 2017)
  2.  World Health Organisation: Scientific Brief  released March 2 2022 on Covid – 19 triggers and depression.
  3. Dr Michael Yapko, 2022 Training session, Australia
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Health Survey, released 2202.03
  5. Serotonin Theory of Depression – a review of the evidence; Joanna Moncrieff, et al,