Have you been on the fence about whether or not you should try therapy to help with your body image and self-love journey?
If so, this one’s for you!
You might have talked yourself out of trying therapy because it seems like something that other people do, or you’re fearful of what it would involve, or you’re hesitant to make changes in your life, or you’re not sure if you’ll be able to open up to a therapist.
And those are all valid feelings!
But, here’s the thing: therapy is awesome for everyone. Because truthfully, we all struggle with stuff and require maintenance to keep ourselves thriving.
Think about your car for a second: when the air conditioner doesn’t seem as cool as it should be, you take it to a mechanic to see what can be done.
And, if you’re a responsible vehicle owner, you take your car to the mechanic every time it’s due for a maintenance service to ensure that everything stays working and your car is able to get you from A to B to its fullest capacity.
Your brain is the car, and therapy the mechanic. And it’s important that we be responsible brain owners and ensure our brains can help keep us happy, healthy and alive!
If you’re struggling with body image, self-esteem, eating disorder recovery, food and exercise issues or simply have a few problems that you’d like to straighten out, body image therapy can help you.
Here are 10 reasons why body image therapy is awesome:
1. Body image therapy helps you regulate moods and emotions.
If you often find yourself feeling like your emotions are out of control – maybe you’re constantly irritated, or feel like your mood can be easily changed entirely by looking at yourself in the mirror – these can all be red flags that there’s a deeper issue at hand. The sooner you get onto solving these bumps in the road, the easier and happier your life can be!
2. Body image therapy gives you a safe space to replay/rehearse scary conversations.
Maybe you need to tell your grandfather to stop commenting about your weight. Maybe you’re working up the courage to finally tell your parents about your eating disorder. Maybe you need help finding the strength to walk away when your coworkers talk about their diets. Maybe you need to tell your partner that they’re contributing to your insecurity… body image therapy is a great place to explore those feelings, find guidance on what to say and process the emotions in a way that will leave you feeling confident and empowered.
3. Body image therapy helps you work through trauma.
If you’ve had a trauma (such as mental illness, abuse, or other significant life events that left a scathing impact on you), therapy is the ideal setting to heal your feelings and talk about what happened in an environment free of expectation and judgement.
4. There are no ‘stupid’ questions in body image therapy.
All that stuff you’re too afraid to ask people you know – like whether your thoughts are normal, how to feel more positive around sex or how to be more confident? Don’t leave it to the advice section of a magazine column that leaves you with more questions. There are no silly questions in therapy and your therapist wants to help you understand whatever you need assistance with in a personalised way that makes sense to YOU!
5. In body image therapy, you can leave your guilt and shame at the door.
Regardless of how bad of a situation you’re in, how badly you think you’ve screwed up or how utterly confused and lost you are, your therapist is there to guide you and offer a helping hand. They’ve seen it all before (and much worse!) and they’re invested in helping you feel positive and whole again!
6. Body image therapy helps you step back and examine what you really want.
Having an outsider examine your situation can make you realise things about your personality, your life and your emotions – I call these ‘aha! moments’. These moments are amazing, because they’re launch pads that help you see what you want to change in your life and how to get there!
7. Body image therapy helps you break toxic patterns in your life.
Because sometimes, you’re the problem. And sometimes, it’s others. And sometimes, it’s your situation. Whenever there are toxic patterns in our life that contribute to disarray or lack of mental wellbeing, that pattern will continue unless we firstly recognise it and secondly take action to alter it. A therapist can help you find the pattern and work out the best way to change it in a positive way. Additionally, most of us have self-sabotaged at one point in our lives, whether intentionally or subconsciously. A therapist will help you see why you might be making some of the choices that you do, and how to alter your inner discourse to help you meet your goals and move forward positively.
8. We all have secrets that we’re carrying, and it feels damn good to tell someone who won’t use them against you.
We all have a past, we all have skeletons in our closet and we all have events that have shaped us. Many of us choose to keep certain life events or thoughts/feelings a secret from those around us…. and sometimes, the burden of carrying those secrets can feel incredibly heavy. Therapy helps you know that you don’t have to carry that burden alone, and talking about it with a therapist can offer a new perspective and healthy ways to deal with your burdens so that you feel free.
9. Body image therapy will help you feel more ‘normal’.
Contrary to popular misconception, you don’t need to be ‘crazy’ to go into therapy. In fact, body image therapy is a great place to find reassurance that you’re not alone. It can also help you find others who struggle with similar issues as you, and find strength in that sense of community.
10. Body image therapy improves the rest of your life, too!
Therapy will give you tools, tips, strategies and instruction manuals that you can improve not only to improve your mind/body relationship, but also that can be applied throughout your life! And you’ll be surprised what a massive impact our self-esteem has on our entire lives.
BONUS: 11. Body image therapy is AMAZING and feels WONDERFUL!
You might have it in your head that therapy will be negative or scary, but I promise you it’s not. It’s something that you have to feel to explain, but talking to a therapist is liberating and safe and empowering. You can make a bad life good, or a good life awesome… and you’ll walk out of each session with some new revelations and new motivation to make your life awesome. Because you deserve that (which therapy will help you see, too).
If you’re reading this and nodding your head, thinking “Yep! Therapy sounds like it might be worth a try!”…
YES! It totally is! I’m proud of you!
From the perspective of someone who regularly visits a therapist, I want to tell you this: It’s not always easy to open up to a stranger. You have to trust the process and know that it’s up to YOU to guide how much you want to open up to your therapist and ultimately, that will dictate the quality of therapy that they’re able to give you (as without the utmost honesty, they can’t fully explore how to best guide you to the fullest based of their training and capabilities). But although it feels unnatural at first to expose all your secrets and truths to a total stranger when you’ve likely previously dedicated so much energy to secrecy and mistrust… fight through those feelings. Be honest anyway, in spite of what your fears tell you. The more you practice it, the easier it will become.
And, from the perspective of someone who is now a therapist, I want to tell you this: We understand your nerves, your hesitation, and your fear. We’re trained to help you overcome that, and it’s our job to make you feel as comfortable as possible. We don’t want to intimidate or scare you and the last thing on our minds is judging you. We don’t sit around with friends over coffee after sessions and spill all your secrets, we don’t gossip about you to strangers in the grocery line. But we do think about you after our sessions are finished – we lay awake at night and think about how best we can help you in our time together. We feel compassion and empathy and we hope that you’re starting to feel better with our help. We brainstorm ways to make your life better and ways to make you feel more at ease. And although our relationship is strictly professional, you become part of our lives.*
There are squillions of therapists out there and it’s important that you choose someone who gels with your personal style. Each therapist has a different way of approaching things, so feeling comfortable with them will help immensely.
But, if you’re on this website and you like the way that I go about things, I want to let you know that I’m a Body Image & Self-Esteem Coach. My therapy is different in that I work exclusively with clients wanting assistance with body image and self-esteem. If you’d like to know more about my services in coaching & therapy, please click here. My services are available worldwide via Skype, and payment plans are available.
Whoever you choose to help guide you through therapy, please know this:
- You’re important;
- You matter;
- You’re doing the best that you can, and that’s always enough;
- It does get better;
- It’s okay if you don’t know how;
- It’s okay to ask for help;
- You can do this.
With love and body positivity,
*Taken from my article for Recovery Warriors.