– Dr. David Denborough, in “Collective Narrative Practice”, p. 192.
“The person is not the problem,
the problem is the problem
and… the solution is not only personal”.
How can people who care about
the person who is struggling with
depression, participate in the
practices of anti-depression?
What can be done to counter-act
the lies of depression?
Creating Material for Potential Unique Outcomes
(exceptions from the story about the person and their
life that Depression is trying to tell)
The predictable “time-bombs”
that depression can use as triggers
• The New Year
• St.Valentine’s Day
• birthdays and anniversaries
The (Un)Happy New
How Depression uses
the usual modes of
“celebration” as triggers:
• “Taking stock” of the past year (practices
• Staying at home for NY as a failure to
• Anticipated lack of the “miracle of
• Anticipation of “same ol’, same ol’”
• Anticipation of things getting worse in
the coming year
How we can engage in
practices of Anti-
• Make sense of the past year in
the narrative way (the “Christmas
Tree of the Year”)
• Deconstruct a good NY party and
reconstruct it online in a funny
and lighthearted way
• Create a miracle of renewal a
little bit ahead of the New Year -
“hijack” the New Year
Christmas Tree of the
Year (can be used
before birthdays, too)
1. What did you come into the
past year with? What was the
focus of your attention then?
2. Which of your skills and
character strengths supported
you most through the last year?
What new skills have you
learned this year?
3. Into which projects and
relationships have you been
putting your time, energy and
heart during the last year?
4. What were the most
magical, sparkling and
meaningful moments of the
5. What were your
successes in the last year,
however small or big? What
are you proud of?
6. What did you pleasantly
surprise yourself with in the
last year? What good things
you didn’t expect, but they
7. What gifts have you
received in the last year -
from people and from life in
8. What have you lost, had
to let go of or had to put on
pause in the last year?
9. Who has been a really
good friend to you in the last
year? With whom you would
like to celebrate together?
10. What are your dreams
for the coming year?
What are your wishes for
11. What were the good habits that you tried to
learn/create in your life during the last year, that did not
fully "stick", but while you were doing the routines, it was
If we abandon the idea of writing grand, "all or nothing",
New Year resolutions,
if we decide not to force ourselves into committing fully to
doing something for the whole year, but instead look for
shorter time increments (a week, a month at the most),
which good routines that did work for you for a while
during the last year (and earlier, too), you would like to try
to do again in the coming year?
The (Lonely) Day of Lovers
How Depression can use it
as a trigger:
• only one phase of only one type
of relationships is celebrated
• in a rather kitsch
• all other experiences are
• many people are excluded and
this can trigger feelings of
How we can engage in
practices of Anti-Depression:
• celebrate St.Mel’s Day (February
the 6th) - the day of singles, the day
of being in a good relationship with
• richly describe and celebrate other
“facets” of relationships
• explore our own preferred ways of
celebrating St.Valentine’s Day
• create alternative cards (“against
the hegemony of hearts”)
“…St.Mel's Day, which falls upon the 6th of
February, is the day of celebrating good
relationships with oneself.
For me it is the day when I do my "audit" of
expectations - am I grumpy because I am not
giving myself the care, the fun and the pleasure
that I need, because I wait till somebody else gives
them to me, and they do not oblige?
It is the day when I stop being grumpy and go and
take care of some of my own expectations by
fulfilling them myself”.
The e-book “Always Chosen” with some
descriptions of different types of
relationships can be downloaded from