Therapist
Susan Quinn has been serving in Beverly Hills for over 20 years as a Psychotherapist and Life Coach. She combines the mind-body and energy therapies such as EMDR, EFT, and Somatic Psychotherapy. These approaches help people clear…
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How To Get Rid Of Depressing Thoughts In 15 Minutes A Day Or Less
Posted in Depression by Susan Quinn on Apr 22, 2011
We all have depressing or negative thoughts flowing through our minds in a constant stream throughout the day. These thoughts are sometimes called “monkey mind” because we all have them swinging from one tree to another, and they are self-perpetuating.

The secret to managing the effect these depressing thoughts have on you is based on how you handle them. The worst way to handle them is to get involved with them. What I mean by that is to listen to them or even believe them. Do you really think all your thoughts are trustworthy and should be taken seriously?

In this exercise, you will be doing a very unique thing with these thoughts. Dr. Michael Yapko is a psychologist and author known for treating depression using short term therapy. In his book Depression Is Contagious, he describes some powerful exercises that people can use to manage their depressing thoughts. This is one of his favorite techniques:
• Tell your depressing thoughts as they sift through during the day, that you will reserve a specified time for them in the evening... lets say from 7:00pm till 7:15pm every night and during those 15 minutes that you will give your full attention to these thoughts. You are inviting them in and welcoming them from 7 till 7:15. During this time you will commit to being fully there and attentive to them only.

• What you will find if you carry out your end of the bargain is that they will wait to come in at that time (and leave you alone during the day) -- that is if you do truly honor them as promised. You will probably find that after you have done this for 6 to 10 days that they will need less and less time. It's sort of like when you give a child quality time and attention, they start to require less of it.

After doing this diligently for a few weeks you will feel a shift in your depressive thoughts ...TRY IT and let me know how it works for you.

- Susan Quinn


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8
I am so depressed and gain a tremendous amount of weight. i have lost a sister 3 yrs ago and another that fighting for her life to cancer also. It kills me to see my sister suffer. It is just unbearble. Out of four sisters, (including myself) three has been stricken with cancer. One passed away one is cancer free 5 yrs and one is fighting for her life with multiply mylenoma. I do not have any cancer (thank God) but i am so scared. everyday my heart hurt for my sisters, i love them so much! Any rash or sickness i have my mind goes into the "It might be cancer" scare. Please someone tell me how to cope?
By beauty054  Jul 02, 2011
7
To the person who said that Susan said you can cure depression in 15 mins a day... What I see is she says you can get rid of "depressing thoughts" in 15 mins a day. Very different. Just thought I'd point that out.
Verna J. Avarell, LCSW (severely depressed, and I have the "degree" too)
By Voina  May 04, 2011
6
I use Christian meditation to overcome depression and intrusive thoughts. God told me "no more pity parties" and it has done wonders. But we should not be afraid to seek medical help for depression, whether it is circumstances causing it or chemicals in the brain that are out of balance.

I agree this is a simplistic approach to defeating depression, I think major depression would not even be touched by this technique.
By Angela53510  Apr 25, 2011
5
Yeah I guess it won't hurt to try this, but if it doesn't seem to be working, I think it's best to give up on it after about a week. Some thoughts command way more attention than 15 minutes. And suppressing them when "it's not their time", hardly seems like it would do more good than harm.
By bjejvj  Apr 25, 2011
4
Be careful of thinking this advice is a cureall as it is extremely simplistic. If you are experiencing depressing thoughts because of something that is occurring continuously (e.g. daily abuse, chronic illness) this cannot be time-slotted into 15 minutes as it is impossible to not react to the abuse/illness etc occurring throughout the rest of the day.
I am not saying that it cannot be used as a tool, just that it is not going to work in all situations.
By Wendykiwi  Apr 25, 2011
3
Susan I wonder if you really have a degree. Last time I read one of your articles you stated people should have fun with their therapy. It is insulting for you to say depression can be rid of in 15 minutes a day. Spoken like someone who has never been depressed.
By amy58  Apr 24, 2011
2
I think one must be careful when taking this approach. If the depression thoughts are about real things that need attention, then dismissing them or limiting them to a 15 minute time slot may be counter productive.
By ThePepperMan  Apr 24, 2011
1
I've been trying positive thinking which is working fine so far. I think 15 minutes is perfect. I'll have plenty of time to focus on other things. Thanks for the advice :)
PS: This may not work but we have to try our best!
By mariosa  Apr 22, 2011
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