A person-centered view of depression: Women's experiences.


Charlene K. Schneider


Openness to another’s experience is fostered by broad knowledge, not by ignorance. Diagnostic information can obscure a client’s experiences if it is taken as definitive, but it can enlarge a therapist’s repertoire of understandings if it is used tentatively. Knowledge of experiences that occur frequently among people who share a diagnosis can sensitize a therapist to experiences that a particular client may try to convey. Four women previously treated for depression were interviewed intensively in search for common experiences. Within their different personalities, backgrounds, and personal circumstances, these particular women seemed to share a constellation of emotional experiences that could be organized around their history of sexual and physical or emotional abuse.