Mental Health

How Therapy Sessions Have Helped My Mental Health

TRIGGER WARNING: This therapy post will touch upon issues of depression, anxiety and eating disorders.

As of last week I finished my therapy sessions with my clinical psychologist. She was still in training and coming to the end of her placement so couldn’t continue. She told me that she was sending me a summary of everything we’d been up to over the last few months at the end. I thought this would be a great opportunity to look back on my little therapy journey and chat about the different techniques we tried.

Some of this was both super interesting and very difficult.

Taking part in these kinds of situations and bringing up your past can be almost impossible to do. I’ll admit that I had a handful of weeks where I just couldn’t talk…at all. The thought of communicating hurt. That said, I don’t regret doing it at all and have taken steps on what to do next.

Hopefully this post will help you decide on whether therapy is the right choice for you or not.

therapyPhoto by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

According to my summary, we used the early sessions to try and make sense of how my ‘current difficulties’ might link back to the experiences I went through as a kid. It was incredible to see just how much I’d been affected by my childhood. We chatted about my severe bullying, the sexual harrassment I went through aged 11. That and losing my dad at 14.

It might not sound a lot but each of these experiences shattered me over and over again.

I told my therapist that they had left me feeling like I was different, worthless and unlovable. It’s probably why I really struggle connecting with or trusting other people. I’ve been trying to keep myself safe over the years by hiding myself away from others and wearing baggy clothes. I never realised how much of a bully I’d become to myself. Taking over from the school bullies and making my own life a misery.

As messed up as it sounds, these were my ways of coping. Obviously they had serious consequences: social isolation, depression, anxiety and an eating disorder.

Therapy taught me some really interesting theories regarding these issues such as the Set Point Theory. According to that, our bodies are controlled by genetics. Our parents gave us our looks, metabolism and apparently the possibility of weight gain/loss. My family weren’t necessarily the skinniest of people so it isn’t that surprising that I’m also plus-size.

Doesn’t mean I have to like though!!

We did a confidental questionnaire with questions we’d created and sent out to both her colleagues and some of my friends. I didn’t know who answered what but it shocked me that so many people had the same thought process as me. Knowing that I wasn’t alone did make me feel less weird. I was even concerned about a couple of people!

Other methods that we did to help were:

  • Doing a form of aversion therapy (looking at myself into a mirror, using Instagram filters and keeping a selfie on my phone).
  • Keeping a food diary
  • Reading documents in between sessions

To be honest I think this therapy only scratched the surface of what’s going on inside my head. It’s going to take me at least a decade of help. I’m currently on a waiting list for an Occupational Therapist to help me with my social issues and another list with an eating disorder clinic as an outpatient.

This pandemic has left me on the very edge but I’m still fighting.

If you want some of the documents that I received, I’ll leave a link to a couple of them below. Don’t be afraid to try therapy. It’s extremely difficult but it helps.

It’s different for everyone so what helped me might not help you. You and your therapist will figure out a plan together. I can’t wait to carry on my journey and to build on what I’ve learned over the last few months.

Have you ever done therapy? What were your thoughts?

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa
    7th September 2020 at 8:54 pm

    “It might not sound a lot” – I think you do yourself a grave injustice. Just one of those factors would be enough to tip someone over, please don’t put yourself down. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your experiences to help others.

    • Reply
      Daisy
      11th September 2020 at 6:17 pm

      My teachers used to write ‘don’t put yourself down’ in my reports a lot! xDD Fingers crossed therapy gets me thinking more positive!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    8th September 2020 at 12:37 pm

    I’ve gone to therapy a few times and it helps so much! It gives you a bit of clarity and a good psychologist can also give you guidance on how to move forward.

    All the best from South Africa, Michelle

    • Reply
      Daisy
      11th September 2020 at 6:09 pm

      Oh wow! Never chatted to anyone from South Africa so welcome to my weird little blog, Michelle! Clarity is a great thing and something I desperately need.

  • Reply
    Jenny in Neverland
    8th September 2020 at 3:26 pm

    So glad to hear that your therapy sessions are helping. I love therapy and I’d totally pay for private therapy every single week of my life if I could!

    • Reply
      Daisy
      11th September 2020 at 6:00 pm

      YES! I wish I was rich enough to have my own private therapist but we make do, don’t we? Hope you’re doing okay, hun!

  • Reply
    Sophie
    8th September 2020 at 11:54 pm

    ‘It might not sound like a lot’ – Daisy, one of those things alone is a lot to deal with, all three is more than many people could cope with. Don’t but your own strength down! I’ve never been in therapy personally but I know a few people who have had amazing experiences. It sounds like it’s been really beneficial for you!! x

    Sophie

    • Reply
      Daisy
      11th September 2020 at 5:56 pm

      Haha! Sorry! Self-doubting is one of the many things I’m working on! It has and hopefully the next therapist is just as nice! xx

  • Reply
    Lisa
    9th September 2020 at 6:30 pm

    So sorry for your experiences…. No one should have to go through that. It sounds like you are in a much better place now and clearly are a very talented writer!

    • Reply
      Daisy
      11th September 2020 at 5:53 pm

      Aw, thank you! I’m honestly trying but I guess that’s all therapists can ask for! x

  • Reply
    Lucy
    9th September 2020 at 7:02 pm

    I’m so glad that the therapy sessions helped you Daisy, I’ve been to see a psychologist and it did me good to talk things through with somebody who was professional and unbiased x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    • Reply
      Daisy
      11th September 2020 at 5:48 pm

      It definitely didn’t do any harm. I wish I could have had her for longer but hopefully my next psychologist will help in the next few months! x

  • Reply
    Kayla
    9th September 2020 at 7:38 pm

    That’s really nice of you to share your experience with your therapy. I honestly have been contemplating seeing a therapist myself for the past year. I’ve just had so many dark, depressing thoughts throughout my life and virtually no one to talk to them about because I come from a family who doesn’t necessarily “believe” in the idea of seeing a therapist, rather they see it as a sign of weakness. I don’t believe any of that of course, but seeing what it’s done for you so far is very aspiring. Thank you again for sharing.

    • Reply
      Daisy
      11th September 2020 at 5:46 pm

      Just take it at your own pace, hun! The only problem with therapy is that you usually have to be on a waiting list for a while, but it’s worth it. I’m sorry that you’ve had no-one really to talk to and I’m sure a therapist would be more than happy to help! Good luck!

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    9th September 2020 at 8:07 pm

    I’ve thought about it a couple of times but never been brave enough to go through with it, so both the fact that you’ve done it and shared your experiences here is such a powerful thing to do and I really admire you for doing it. It can be really hard facing up to what is going through your head and how you see yourself but it sounds like pinpointing some of the reasons why is a great first step, and you’ve got some incredible second steps in place in regards to continuing to tackle those issues. This is a fantastic post and I hope it helps others feel more at ease about seeking help when they need it.

    • Reply
      Daisy
      11th September 2020 at 5:44 pm

      You’re one of the bravest people I know, hun. The thing about therapy is that you can do it at any time. You know from experience that I have a bunch of stuff inside this head of mine but I’m trying. I really hope it helps someone a little bit because that would be amazing. xx

  • Reply
    Lorna Liza
    12th September 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Very informative. I am sure this post will help many people.

  • Reply
    Marissa
    13th September 2020 at 4:27 am

    I always wish I had the opportunity to go to therapy for my anxiety when it was at its worst about 5 years ago but because of how expensive healthcare is in Singapore, I couldn’t and still can’t afford it. I’m so glad therapy has helped your mental health – it is a very important thing to protect!

    🌿 Marissa Belle × marsybun.com 🌿

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