Pardon me for "beating a dead horse." It was quite evident that hypnotherapy was not what I needed. From the "get-go" I realized that medications were not going to provide a positive sense of self. The psychiatrist "guaranteed" that his pills would releive my depression. He should have been informed of the 35% effectiveness.
Psychodynamic Therapy was also apparently not what I needed, either, as 50 sessions over 13 months provided no sense of progress. Therapist said that I was impatient and looking for a "magic pill."
As for Cognitive therapy, one must have the ability to communicate new /positive ideas TO THEMSELVES. I have spent 30+ years reading, studying, practicing "fake it 'til you make it." AND, I have "made it" (to some extent) by that effort. I have made life and career decisions that were not altogether consistant with my sense of self, because they were the "right" or necessary choices to conform to the cultural ideas of success and happiness. Intellectually I understand the "power of positive thinking;" the need for possibility thinking, and the need for accepting the power of the creativity in the spontanaity of human nature. All of my adult life my motto has been: "Life is what you make it, and what you make it is up to you." The DIFFICULTY has been: absorbing this intellectual understanding into my being. The only silent voice I hear still says, "You are just not good enough."
As a child my mother constantly told me how "hard headed" I was. She also referred to me as being "thick-skulled." I took her literally, and whenever I fell and banged my head against the cement or floor thought how fortunate I was to have such a thick skull. I was 21 years old before I realized that my skull was no thicker than anyone else's.
My life seems to operate in the upper, beta brain waves, with little or no connection to the alpha level. (I realize that is not totally true - the operative word = "seems"). I have read several books on hypnosis, and it is my understanding that there is a small percentage of the population that cannot be hypnotized. Just as I do not remember my dreams (except on RARE occasions), I am missing some channel of communication to my "inner self" which prevents changing the negative sense of self that plagues me. I am now 64. Just as the hypnotherapist could not reach that part of my subconscious that could affect change, neither can I. I have NO faith that a cogitive therapist can tell me anything that I don't already know - intellectually - that I would be able to "internalize."
The mental health community seems to take the position that Depression is a temporary condition. Just this weekend I attended a symposium at which Columnist/Humorists Art Buchwald spoke and gave his assurance that there is a "light at the end of the tunnel." It becomes more and more apparent that the only "light" ahead for me will be the light of the after-life.