What guarantees recovery in psychotherapy?

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My informed consent form that clients sign before working with me states that no guarantees come with psychotherapy. Yet psychotherapists and clients strive together for healing and recovery. Five phases for the work create the strong possibility for success.

Despite the lack of a guarantee, clients have hope and willingness to work as do psychotherapists. The client puts energy and commitment into her work because she wants health, freedom and happiness. The psychotherapist puts energy into the work because she’s seen healing and recovery in others and has a growing framework of what makes that possible.

When the psychotherapist sees the commitment of the client energy the psychotherapist’s commitment and energy for the client’s wellbeing grows.

What powers our dedication, commitment, relationships and career choices? Meaning versus sensation

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An eating disorder forces a person into the body. The sensations of eating, starving, purging, exercising, chewing on sweet or salt, pull a person away from internal experiences of emotion and thought. The person plunges into raw sensation or keeps that plunge in reserve, always knowing the plunge will take her away from what she can’t bear to experience.

Choices of how she will use her time are based on the sensational needs of the body to thwart awareness.

Yet she will despair over her behavior, her body and the quality of her life. She wants happiness.

Facts based on reality, not preferred reality, but actual reality, become difficult to grasp. Happiness is fleeting, sporadic and often not recognized when it occurs. Recogning what is meaningful grounds her in reality and can provide satisfaction throughout her life.

Stress Pandemic and You: symptoms that signal you need help

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We are not living in ordinary times. Our reasonable adaptations for stress may not serve us well when stress comes every day and sometimes ever hour. When the stability of our economics, our politics, our relationships, our health, our physical safety and the safety of those we love is continually challenged, finding balance and reasonableness can be difficult or impossible. 

When we live in a pandemic of stress, tempers flare. Tears pour. Relationships suffer. Self-awareness dims and self-doubt increases. Old coping mechanisms for stress control like eating disorders, smoking, drinking alcohol, raging, binge watching, shopping, hoarding return.

These behaviors signal that your normal coping behaviors don't work in abnormal conditions.  Yet, in this stress, you have opportunity.

Support When You Are Down in the Dumps

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When you are alone and down in the dumps what supports you?

First, naturally, you cry or moan. You look to who or what you believe or expect to carry you through your trials. When they don’t show up for you or are inadequate when they do you feel unknown and abandoned. You may lose sleep or get angry or overeat or storm around your home. You may  experience all these things and more.

But when you calm down, either through despair or just plain fatigue, and none of your expectations for rescue come through, where are you?

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