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.
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?