Feeling Sad in Winter?


I am a therapist who primarily values my clients lived experience as the basis for how they make sense of their world. This is a foundation idea in adventure therapy, person-centred counselling, and somatic psychotherapy (body centred therapy). These are the main informers of my approach. I am writing this first up because I am now going to mention a disorder that appears in the DSM5.

What is the DSM5??  It’s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.  This is the classification and diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), for mental health presentations that the publishers think fit into an identifiable disorder. In the United States, and Australia, the DSM serves as the principal authority for psychiatric diagnoses. It is used by psychiatrists and psychologists, and referred to by other mental health practitioners. Treatment recommendations (as well as payment by health care providers) are often determined by DSM classifications.

What do I like about the DSM5? It contains sound researched information respected by peers. It is therefore a very useful tool.

What don’t I like about the DSM5? It can be accepted as a bible and therefore narrow and blinker thinking. It suggests that mental health and healthy relationships are a technical scientific matter, rather than a personal, uniquely individual and spiritual matter. It tends to produce labels which can create stigma and reduce ones self reliance and therefore self esteem.

So what’s this got to do with feeling sad in winter?

SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, that’s what.

The name seasonal affective disorder refers to a type of depression which, in its most common form, strikes only in the autumn and winter months. Once spring and summer come along, those affected feel perfectly well and normal (There is a less common form where depression only occurs in the summer months).

Someone who may be affected by these winter time blues might be tired and lacking motivation and/or energy, feel anxious and irritable, have trouble getting out of bed in the morning and find they are eating more.

Check these links for more detail:



How can I help if someone comes to me feeling seasonally down?

Getting moving, having somewhere to go, being outdoors, most likely in the sunshine in Tasmania (over 80% of my walk and talk sessions have been in bright sunshine, year round), having someone who has an understanding of how you are feeling and what might work to remedy, having some personal time focussed on a solution, all of these things are evidenced to help move out of the depressed affect.

A regular personal walk mixed with a fortnightly professional walk and talk session through the time a client is affected is one approach I recommend. This is something I can support and provide.

Sunny days are better but do not necessarily wait for a sunny day, perhaps do it anyway.



To talk about counselling/therapy options, and to make an appointment, please call me.

Nick Hall – 0459413198 – 9am to 5pm – Monday to Wednesday.

(You could send me a text message at other times)

Hobart, Tasmania.

Counsellor Hobart Tasmania. Counselling Hobart Tasmania. Psychotherapist Hobart Tasmania. Psychotherapy Hobart Tasmania. Therapist Hobart Tasmania. Counselling outdoors. Bush Adventure Therapy. Somatic Psychotherapy. Psychology. Nature Contact. Life skills. Coaching. Walk and Talk. Psychodynamic. Mindfulness. NDIS.

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