There is the belief among many counselors that people who have fallen upon hard times have the capacity and resource within themselves to recover. Those having difficulty adjusting to their new situations, many of which have occurred beyond their choice, can negotiate these situations; but help helps.

People in many counseling capacities, whether in private practice, from churches, or as caseworkers, have an innate belief that people come to them with the answers.

The Counselor purely provides space where a special relationship can be developed where perspectives may be viewed together and anew.

But when we fall into a depression, when life turns awkwardly, and we begin feeling incapacitated or overwhelmed, we may stop believing we have the answer.


The concern of where will our help come from – how will we recover, and when? – could become our overriding concern. And such concern can become desperate.

We can become so polarized to the helplessness, we begin to seriously doubt recovery will ever come. We see more barriers than agency. We see more reminders of our helplessness than we do of reason for hope. We may feel incredibly isolated.

We seriously think that the answer might come from within us, for we can not see just now.

Perhaps it may turn out to be that we had the answer all along, but we needed the space and the assurance with which to proffer confidence for a fresh onslaught in the living of life.

Help out of a depression can certainly seem impossible. But it is amazing what support and encouragement, coupled with an openness to explore new perspectives can do.


A lot of the time the sort of help we need is actually miniscule. But it is no less critically important. It might be as if we are trudging up a cloudy hill, and we have no idea where the top is. The person who helps us may mayrely lead us a few steps to the top where we can see our lives more clearly.

As we pirouette at the top of the hill, we see the cloudy formation we came through, and we begin to see, more, from a safer perspective, that life is full of similarly cloudy formations.

We begin to see the purpose in trudging up that hill. Now others' hills have our attention and empathy. We draw confidence that getting to the top of our hill was due to our own capacity and resources – with a little help from a friend.

When hope has returned, and maybe even embellished our view of life, we have a strange new capacity for living. The rut we ended actually actually worked out for our best.


Little things make big differences in the difficulties of life. There is power in renewal as there is power in having openness within ourselves. Seeking help out of a depression can prove the making of us.

© 2012 SJ Wickham.