The subconscious is irrational, unpredictable and highly specific to every single individual. Therefore my approach when working with those suffering with depression and stress related conditions is to teach them the skills they need to work with their own highly unique memories and personality. Self empowerment as opposed to dependency is something I take very seriously and encourage.
Most depression cures focus on the symptoms or nothing other than the future and totally ignore the root cause. This approach I have found works in many cases but generally only until the next hardship. This is because the root causes of a persons depression are left lurking in the background waiting for the right conditions to re-emerge. Like a healthy well cared for plant, most weeds present little or no challenge, but once hardship appears and the plant begins to struggle: bereavement, relationship break ups, bankruptcy etc. then those old weeds that have laid dormant during the good times are able to re-emerge. These old dormant weeds regain strength due to conditions changing in their favour and soon overpower the plant forcing it into survival mode. Therefore the only way to deal with those weeds that lurk deep within our subconscious is to search them out, pull them out, roots and all and move on.
A highly respected psychiatrist Milton Eriksson, concluded that the majority of mental illness is directly due to conflict between the conscious and subconscious mind. After years of my own research and training I have found that our brains are not just divided into the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious but thousands of individual parts that should work together to create one whole harmonious mind.
I describe this collection of individual parts that come together to make up our sub and unconscious minds as the employees of a large company and the conscious reasoning part of our minds as the board of directors, coming to conclusions and making decisions. This is where I believe depression and many other psychological complaints arise. If the board of directors are unaware of or consistently ignoring the problems, fears, complaints and needs of the employees then the employees may seek help from a trade union in order to make the board listen (frustration/anxiety) then if this does not work, tougher measures will need to be taken (depression). So if you as the conscious reasoning mind are constantly ignoring or unaware of the issues arising from your subconscious, then this will inevitably lead to deep emotional and physical disorders as this is the language of your subconscious.
So in order to get to the bottom of your own unresolved psychological issues and release all that ill feeling and negative energy that has slowly accumulated over the years, you have to start listening to and engaging with your subconscious and all of it’s parts. Therefore the good news is that your subconscious just like those unhappy employees wants you to get to the bottom of all the stuff that has been bothering it for months, years, even decades.
The next bit of good news is that you, as the conscious, reasoning part of your mind can learn how to respectfully dialogue with those parts that make up your subconscious and in turn your unconscious and finally put all those painful, unresolved issues to rest and bring harmony and a higher level of efficiency back to the whole system once more. Therefore depression (in my opinion) is simply your subconscious getting overloaded and very close to giving up on you as the conscious, reasoning part of your mind.
An other way of seeing depression is to imagine a glass bowl of crystal clear water.
Now imagine every now and then poring a small amount of dirt into the bowl until finally after some time the bowl is so full of muck that you simply are unable to see through the water.
So in the exact same way we are all born with a clean psychological landscape but as we develop and progress through life we experience puzzling things that disturb us which are never properly processed and resolved. This then finally (after many bad, misunderstood experiences) leads to so much confusion and bad feeling that the whole system simply can not function normally.