From the moment Stefan started his presentation – I felt that he captivated his audience and it remained this way for the whole evening.


Stefan Charidge gave a very simple yet fresh view on emotions and how they can ultimately be used in supporting an individual struggling with depression.  Stephan boiled all dis-ease within the body down to four basic emotions – that each state had an effect of how we operated and obviously an opposite too.


His presentation style is very hands on – he showed us tools he uses to support clients for example. to illustrate the weight of depression/daily depressive thoughts/actions – a penny a day of an unhelpful (to client) action/thought etc adds up over time to many pennies and eventually ‘weighs’ the client down.  He also likened medication as a removalist trolley to support clients to move this weight (albeit a tad easier than carrying) which for the short term can prove very useful.  Long-term there’s a restrictive load that we need to leave and stop collecting as it were.  He also used the simple ‘pool noodle’ (floatation device) as a means of a client getting in touch with what the emotions feel like (eg knotted, how tight/big/small etc).


Stefan talked of some very basic resolutions for clients that are super easy to implement. Discerning when/in what manner a client says yes (when no would be more appropriate for him/her) and no (when yes is more fitting).  The crossing of the personal boundaries does not resonate well within the body and mind and so it feels ill at ease (dis-ease) and hence its owner does too.  The lack of congruence when continued has quite the negative effect on the human spirit and so depression can set it and remain well ensconced.


We also discussed that many clients we see have been medicated for over a decade – rarely if ever offered hope that this may cease some day.  The planting of the seed that depression/anxiety does not have to exist in someone’s life is incredibly empowering.


Strangely (I thought) many in the audience shied away from engaging with Stefan – which as a presenter I can confirm is rather interesting when no feedback comes from the audience.  I wondered if this was his gregarious nature, tired colleagues or just plain old shy folk.  But something struck me about the audience reluctance to step out of (my perception) their comfort zone.  If we want our clients to do so, perhaps we could help them out by practising what that might be like.


A wonderful presentation and I know more people would love to hear more of Stefan’s theories and ideas.


Sinead Mitchell



For more information about Stefan’s work, see his website,