Depression Treatment Seminar Handouts for Tehachapi

Douglas Cowan Psy.D., Counseling TehachapiDepression, Guilt Shame, PTSD, Seminar Handouts, Uncategorized

depression and self-injury

Download and Print this Seminar Handout in PDF Format:
Understanding Depression PDF

Douglas Cowan is a Marriage and Family Therapist providing professional counseling to Tehachapi and Bakersfield, CA.


Overcoming Depression

Leads to being more sensitive to being triggered again

Major Symptoms:

Activation of Stress Hormones, Over-Activation of Sympathetic Nervous System

Rhythmic Patterns to the Depression are common

Biology of Depression: Neuro-Transmitters


Reptilian – regulations of body functions

Limbic System – emotions, stress hormones

Cortex – complex processing of information

  • doesn’t make a difference between psychic pain and physical pain or danger
  • drives the rest of the brain to act “as if…”


    30% to 40% of Depressives can be treated successfully with just Medical-Biological Interventions. But 60% to 70% cannot. They will need Additional Interventions as well.

    Emotional – Psychological Factors

    Genetics: Depression Tends to Run in Families

    Twin Studies : If one twin is depressed, the other twin has a 50% chance of becoming depressed (but 50% do not).

    Siblings : if one is depressed, the others have a 25% chance

    Half-siblings : if one is depressed, the others have an 8% chance

    Genetics Are Important, But

    Genetics are important, but not more important than any other component.

    Genetics are about vulnerability, not inevitability

    The specific Gene related to depression: serotonin receptors and processing

    Only a problem gene if there is a history of exposure to major stressors such as the

    death of parent, divorce, abandonment, disasters, trauma, abuse. This increases depression rates by 30%, but it is not deterministic (70% don’t)

    This gene is powered by stress hormones (gluco-corticoids)

    Depression is a Real Biological Disorder

    But people don’t talk about it because it is seen as just a “mental disorder,” or “moral flaw,” or “lack of faith,” or “lack of pulling yourself up by the boot-straps.”

    Helpful Things to Do

    EEG Neurofeedback is another intervention that can improve the “dys-regulation” of the brain and improve sleep and mood.

    Cholesterol levels between 200 and 230 help hormone levels. Talk to Dr. Mensink.

    Nutrition: From David Nelson, Ph.D. Nutritionist

  • Parent Essential Oils – Essential Fatty Acids (“Yes” oils, or a broad spectrum variety)
  • Coconut, olive, sunflower, safflower, flax seed, primrose, borage, walnut, etc
  • Phosphatidylcholine (a phospholipid)
  • Butyric Acid – eat from ½ to 1 entire stick of butter every day
  • If thyroid is a problem, use iodine supplement (Ioderal or Lugal’s formula)
  • Multi-Minerals
  • Methyl B-12 and Methyl Folic Acid
  • Deprex and Extress by VAXA (

    Emotional Factors:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Supportive Counseling, Grief focused counseling
  • Read aloud the 23rd Psalm x5 per day, prayer

    Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., M.S.

  • Marriage and Family Therapist, Tehachapi, CA (661) 972-5953
  • Director of Ministry, KAXL 88.3 Life FM, Bakersfield, CA (661) 832-2800
  • DouglasCowan.ME

    Depression : Things to Do This Week

    Please visit your doctor to get a physical examination. We need to look at the following:

    • Thyroid hormone levels. Are they low? Are they low for you?
      Low thyroid hormone levels account for about 20% of major depressive episodes.
    • Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone hormone levels and ratios.
      Are these levels ok? Many episodes of major depression in women are the result of these hormones being too low, or not in the right ratios to each other.
    • Cholesterol levels. If they are too low, your body cannot make hormones as efficiently as it should. If they are too high, it is likely due to too much stress hormones in your system. A good target for right now is 200 to 230 until you feel better.
    • To lower stress hormones right now, consider trying Extress (an OTC).
    • Also, ask your doctor if there is something that can help you get a good night’s sleep for the next week. That’s all. Just a few nights for now.

    Please pick up a few things at the market and begin adding them into your diet:

    • Oils – coconut, olive, sunflower, safflower, flax seed, borage, walnut, etc.
      Add 2-3 spoonfuls per day into your meals.
    • Butter – cook with butter. Try to use ½ cube of butter or more every day.
    • Phosphatidyl-choline is a phospho-lipid. Available at health food stores.
    • If your thyroid levels might be a problem, an iodine supplement might help. Look for “Ioderal” or “Lugal’s formula.”
    • Use a multi- mineral supplement daily (liquids are good).
    • A methylated B-12 and methylated folic acid supplement may be helpful.


    Begin to make a list of people and events that have hurt and wounded you, and losses that you have suffered in life. Are there hurtful things that you think about a lot? Begin to make a list of each of them.

    Are there people that need to be forgiven by you? Not that they deserve it, but it just may help to set you free from the hurt, and allow some of the wounds to heal. Make a list of these people, and what they did to you to hurt you. Perhaps a counselor or pastor could help you as you consider this.

Connect with
Doug Cowan

Feel free to email us, phone us, or text us today at (661) 972 – 5953. We use Skype to meet with people anywhere around the world. You can find us in Bear Valley Springs using our map of Tehachapi.

(just scroll down a bit).

  • 661. 972. 5953
  • 27400 Oakflat Drive, Tehachapi, CA

  • Call Us Today

    Douglas Cowan Psy.D., Counseling TehachapiDepression Treatment Seminar Handouts for Tehachapi