Depression is Contagious: Australian Clinical Workshop with Dr. Michael YapkoWORKSHOP DESCRIPTION

Depression Is Contagious identifies the ways in which our social lives directly affect the way we think and feel. Scientific evidence highlights that the more we learn about the biology of depression, the more important psychology and social life experience become in understanding and treating it. The more we learn about the neuroscience of depression the more important well designed treatment processes become.
While the pharmaceutical and medical industries promote the idea that depression is a disease needing medication, scientific evidence lends only weak support to the notion. There is more evidence pointing to social factors than any presumed
biochemical cause.
In fact, addressing and understanding social factors may have the greatest impact on treatment.
Consider these facts:
  • As societies Westernize, their rates of depression go up
  • Therapeutic regimens that do not involve drugs at all have matched, even exceeded medication regimens
  • Depression’s severity increases with each successive
  • The age at which depression first strikes has been steadily dropping for a half century
How therapy can teach skills to reduce and even prevent depression will be explored. Participants will be encouraged to go beyond medical and psychological considerations in treating depression by taking into account social factors as well.
In this two day training program, Dr. Yapko will discuss:
  • The Social Context of Depression
  • How the pharmaceutical industry encourages us to ignore the social side of depression- and why they’re quietly leaving the antidepressant business
  • Why depression isn’t fated by brain chemistry, genes, diet, or personal weakness – and why people, not pills, are the solution
  • How our feelings can misguide us when making decisions, and why decisions should be made according to the result you want, not just the way you feel
  • What single factor most influences how you gauge whether your relationship with someone is good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, worthwhile or a waste of time – and how your awareness of it can ease major suffering
  • How to reduce your child’s “depression inheritance.”
  • Designing Active and designing Experiential Treatments
  • The Power of Expectations in Shaping Experience


Redefining what we know in light of new neuroscientific evidence

  • Biological factors affirming the power of social factors
  • Genetics, epigenetics and socialization as key variables to consider
  • Advances in the interpersonal model: Depression is contagious
  • The possibility of prevention requires us to shift our priorities

The social context of depression

  • Relationships as risk factors or buffers
  • Family and culture as the social context for shaping perceptions
  • Dating and marrying when depression is a factor
  • Depressed parents raising kids

Designing active treatments

  • How global thinking affects your outlook and level of life skills
  • Therapists as agents of reality: Errors in attributions
  • Ambiguity as a major risk factor: Being clear about uncertainty
  • Defining appropriate social targets of treatment
  • Illusions of helplessness and control

Designing experiential treatments

  • Mindfulness and Hypnosis: Parallel processes
  • The importance of building automaticity into treatment
  • Dynamics of delivering experiential interventions
  • Focus and dissociation as driving forces of change

The Power of Expectations in Shaping Experience

  • Expectancy: The strongest determinant of therapeutic responsiveness
  • Coping styles as risk factors and targets of therapy
  • Rumination and symptom severity
  • Avoidance and disempowerment
  • Decision making and stress generation


Brisbane 8–9 July 2013, Convention Centre Southbank

Melbourne 11-12 July 2013, Royce Hotel

Fee $695 (inc GST) 


Michael Yapko Clinical PsychologistMichael D. Yapko, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and marriage and family therapist, is internationally recognized for his work in clinical hypnosis and outcome-focused psychotherapy. He has presented his innovative ideas and methods to colleagues in 30 countries across six continents, and all over the United States.

Dr. Yapko has a special interest in the intricacies of brief therapy, the clinical applications of hypnosis, and treating the disorder of major depression. He is the author of 12 books, including Mindfulness and Hypnosis: The Power of Suggestion to Transform Experience, Depression is Contagious: How the Most Common Mood Disorder is Spreading Around the World and How to Stop It and Treating Depression with Hypnosis: Integrating Cognitive- Behavioral and Strategic Approaches, as well as numerous book chapters, and articles on the subjects of the brief therapy of depression and the use of clinical hypnosis in strategic psychotherapies. More information about Dr. Yapko’s works is available on his website:

Dr. Yapko is a member of several professional associations including the American Psychological Association, a past Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Division of Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine (in England) and a member of the International Society of Hypnosis. He is a recipient of The Pierre Janet Award of Clinical Excellence, a lifetime achievement award from the International Society of Hypnosis, The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Psychotherapy and a twice recipient of The Milton H. Erickson Award of Scientific Excellence for Writing in Hypnosis from the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis.

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