Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image
Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image
To my client who is struggling in therapy
by Harriet Frew on September 11th, 2015

I know that you feel like giving up right now and as though everything is unravelling. You are suddenly experiencing a heightened awareness of your feelings and it is not pleasant. Sadness, anger, despair, and self-loathing dominate your moods and you can almost physically feel these, cutting like glass through your body and stirring up a storm inside that you could never have envisaged being there. Pandora’s Box has been opened and you have no idea how to manage the deluge thrown out. You would like to slam it shut again and have it taken away.
I understand that every day recently has felt like another Everest to climb and just get through. You can’t even see beyond base camp and where the path is going.  And how hard it is to trust that someone else is going to help you climb this mountain and support you on the twists and turns.  How can anyone else really know what it is like for you?
When you started therapy, you may have held high hopes that I was going to tell you what to do and to dispense some sound and constructive advice. It may feel frustratingly disappointing that I haven’t come up with the solution. You might wonder if I am holding back with a golden nugget of information, leaving you stuck and unable to move on. Instead, I am encouraging you to talk about how you feel and become more accepting of this. This does not meet your expectations and you may feel dismayed and confused.
Understandably you desperately wish to be making progress and seeing results. Therapy often doesn’t feel like that – more like sand running through your fingers with nothing very tangible to cling to. In other areas of your life, when you decided to learn a language or master that skill, you just planned it out and got on with it. You are perplexed as to why you can’t simply transfer that approach to the therapy room

Before you run away, please do take a step to pause, stop to breathe and be kind to yourself.

You have taken an incredibly brave step in wanting to address your current difficulties. Many people never even begin this journey. Acknowledge yourself fully for doing this.
As your therapist, I recognise that therapy is incredibly difficult at times. It is understandable that you might want to run away and hide to protect yourself. That is okay. You don’t have to conceal your apprehension or fears. At times, we all feel unsafe and unsure.
I appreciate that it is not easy to experience distressing feelings, whilst trusting that this is going to be a helpful undertaking to do. I understand that you might feel ashamed or upset in opening up to me. Maybe you haven’t been able to bring your whole self to relationships before due to fear of judgement or criticism. You may fear if I can fully accept you and metaphorically hold you in the counselling relationship. It is not surprising that you may have doubts.
Some of your feelings and thoughts may have been buried for a very long time. It can be an extremely uncomfortable ride when we lift the lid and start to explore the contents. Slowly and surely though, at a pace that feels right for you, this can be the very beginning of healing.
I will not always get it right, but I will endeavour to be with you and support you on your journey.
As you begin to accept your pain; your shame; your sadness; your upset; your guilt – this actually then allows you to also tap into your joy, contentment and happiness on a far deeper level than you may ever have experienced before. Freedom to be your true authentic self can be liberating and worth every pitfall along the way.
It is often only when you look back on therapy, that you begin to notice how far you have come. So hang on in there with all the hope, faith and belief you can muster. It will be worth it.

Posted in Counselling, Motivation and change, Therapy, Emotions    Tagged with therapy, counselling, when therapy is hard, to my client who is struggling, emotions


Leave a Comment

10 lessons 10 principles of intuitive eating 10 tips 10 ways therapy can help 10 ways 12 days of christmas 20 ways to stop bingeing now 3 steps 5 things to learn 5 ways to silence inner critic 5 ways ACEs Bingeing CELEBRITIES AND SELF ESTEEM CELEBRITY BODY IMAGE Childhood adverse experiences Christma Control DEALING WITH PRESSURE ELLEUK ELLE Easter Eating Disorder Eating problem HOW TO COPE WITH PEOPLE COMMENTING ON YOUR BODY Inside Out Louise Chunn Managing emotions NO DIET New Year Parenting tips Perfectionism RECOVERY FROM EATING DISORDER REJECT DIETS SELFISH MOTHER Sleep Spring about counsellors action alcohol all or nothing anorexia nervosa anorexia recovery anorexiarecovery anorexia anti dieting antidiet anxiety eating anxiety appetite assertiveness assertive beach body beautiful people behaviours being authentic being kind to self bikini body plan bikini body binge eating disorder binge eating recovery binge eating bingeeating bite by bite body confidence body dysmorphia body image workbook body image body love body neutrality body positivity book recommendation boost self-esteem boost selfesteem breakthrough buimia bulimia nervosa bulimia recovery bulimiarecovery bulimia cake can counselling help caring what others think cbt challenging negative thoughts change childhood experiences childhood children and eating disorders children christmas clean eating cognitive behaviour therapy comfort eating comparing self to others comparing with others comparions comparisons compulsive eating compulsive exercise confidence conflict about body size connection contribution counselling critical voice criticism dads deception developing awareness developing healthy relationship with food diet binge cycle diet culture dieting cycle dieting diet disordered eating does self help work dolphin early experiences eating disorder prevention eating disorder recovery eating disorders eating when hungry eatingdisorder eating elizabeth gilbert embracing change emotional eating emotional intelligence emotions envy evening eating exhaustion expectations expressing emotions feelings florence and the machine florence welch food obsession food freedom with food friendship fulfilment fullness fun geneen roth giving up dieting giving goals guilt habit happiness harriet frew healthy eating healthy food healthy weight help for disordered eating helpful help hope how counselling can change your life how to stop binge eating how to stop bingeing how to stop emotional eating how to stop overeating hunger identity improve body image improving body image inferior insulin intuitive eating iphone is your weight your worth janet treasure jealousy jellyfish joy judgement kids and eating disorders kind to body letting go lies listen to body listen to your body loneliness lose control around food lose weight losing control food love body low self-esteem male body image manipulation maudsley model media meeting your needs men and eating disorders mental health mind body connection mindful eating mindfulness mirror mood mothering motivation mums mum my story new year diet new year resolutions ninja warrior no dieting nodiets nodiet not dieting obesity obsession with food obsession on eating orthorexia ostrich over-eating over-exercise overcome binge eating overcome bulimia overcoming fear overeating at Easter overeating overevaluation of shape parenting people pleasing perfect philippa perry pixar film pleasure poor body image positive preoccupation with food pressure problem psychodynamic psychological approach psychology reading about eating disorders reading recovery relapse relationships resolutions restriction binge cycle restriction rest rhino role model root of problem roots of behaviour roots of problem rules about eating rules around eating sabotage satiety saying no secret eating self awareness self conscious self esteem self help books self worth self-acceptance self-awareness self-awarness self-care self-compassion self-confidence self-criticism self-esteem self-help book self-help self-kindness self-loathing self-love self-worth selfcare selfesteem selfworth shoulds social anxiety social eating social media and body image social media song starve stop binge eating stop bingeing stop comparisons stop dieting stopping dieting stress striving success summer support for carers support surviving Christmas susie orbach tablet television therapy thin idealisation things you didn't know thinking about food thinking styles thinking thinner self thin thoughts about food thoughts tips to boost self-esteem tips to love your body tips tired to my client who is struggling trauma tv and body image ulrike schmidt undereating unkind to self validating emotions values value vulnerability wants weighing scales weight conflict weight loss weight wellbeing what is counselling what is therapy when food is love when therapy is hard work
Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image