Help from a Real Person

A woman I'll call Sierra, struggling with an eating disorder and difficulty in finding help, wrote to me this week. Sierra said she hopes my blog is real. She said she hopes I am a real psychotherapist. Her brief post goes on to say she has no place else to look and is in a desperate search for help with her eating disorder situation.
Real or automated help? Sierra's post disturbed me, not because of her question, but because of what seems to be an increase in automated websites and blogs that makes communication confusing and painful. Sierra suffers from an eating disorder, wants help and is using the internet as the fantastic tool it is, to find a way to begin her own personal eating disorder recovery.

Challenges in finding personal help via the internet
Not only does she need courage and initiative to work her way through the maze of options given up by search engines. On top of that, she has to discern which sites and blogs represent flesh and blood qualified people. I can only imagine the frustration and sense of futility she must have felt in the past when she discovered she was sharing her feelings and personal situation with what turned out to be electronic hardware.

Please perservere: Real people are on the internet
If you have ever had this hope draining experience when looking for help on the internet, please persevere. Some blogs and websites represent real and conscientious people who are committed to their own recovery or are mental health professionals committed to helping others recover or, like me, are both.

For the record
And for the record, let me say to Sierra and to you: Yes, I am a real human psychotherapist living and working in Los Angeles. I'm so sorry you are in pain and have no place close to home to find help. Where are you and what is your situation? I don't know if I can help you, but I'd like to try. warm regards, Joanna Poppink, MFT

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