Mental Health and Vulnerabilities to Depression

By Julie Le Franc – Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Psychologist



       One of the insidious diseases affecting many patients today to a lesser or greater degree is ‘depression’.

         Patients with certain personality traits, especially if dependent or obsessional can be more vulnerable to developing depression, however, depression can occur in the most well-adjusted and sturdy of us.

       A sense of identity, who we are, our purpose, spirituality and direction and feeling valued make up our sense of self.  Good mental health is synonymous with a coherent sense of the self.  Emotional conflicts and feeling emotionally vulnerable can occur due to the failure of the real self to develop and surface emanating in depression.

       For self-esteem and a sense of self it is important for the patient to obtain some understanding of the mechanisms which have been operative over the previous years, not only those which directly led to the illness for which treatment has been sought, but also in understanding all the components upon which the individual’s judgements have been based.  In psychotherapeutic terms ‘working through’ allows the patient to uncover the attitudes and feelings that underlie their vulnerability to particular symptoms.

       In psychotherapeutic treatment the patient is encouraged to consciously and unconsciously retrieve and reappraise their memories, effects and impressions.  By helping the patient to understand their psychological and emotional distortions by making the unconscious conscious and changing the patient’s convictions of that made conscious by interpreting and communicative matching, the patient is able to rehabilitate the impaired real self.

       Life is a process of education, understanding and finding a deeper meaning and greater purpose of our existence.


For further information, contact Julie Le Franc on 0407 385 005

The Medical Link August/September 2004 – issue number 036