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Walking the path from struggle to strength  
 

I asked my clients to write a few words of feedback, advice or encouragement for people thinking about whether to start CBT, as they are the experts from experience. I’m sure you’ll be inspired about possibilities for change, when you read how far others have come!  I hope it also gives you a more detailed sense of how I could help you on your life journey, from those who have walked the path from struggle to strength themselves. There are no identifying details, not even first names or initials, as, to me, it‘s of utmost importance to protect peoples’ total confidentiality.
 

Transforming body image, eating and weight issues

I took the leap of investing in CBT because I was wanting to make a difference to my self esteem and confidence, to change my body image, eating habits and fears about food.CBT with Eleanor has helped me to talk through things and step back from my thoughts rather than believe that they are true. It feels like a big accomplishment to not buy in to unhelpful thoughts such as worries about my food, and now I’m much less obsessive about my appearance and weight and instead take healthy practical action that is well balanced.”

With Eleanor’s support, I’ve learnt how discover what is actually true compared to the stories that my head was telling me about myself and my appearance. I’ve learnt how to gently test out and explore certain situations in a much more aware way rather than make massive assumptions about what other people thought of my body. My confidence has grown because I used to think “I’m crazy” and that others wouldn’t want to be with me due to my relationship with food, but that’s all in the past now. And now I’ve learnt to appreciate the many qualities I do have, rather than obsess about what’s wrong with me and my body! And of course, I’ve learnt that I’m not mad, bad and crazy at all!  I’d recommend CBT to other people because it’s been a process that’s been so helpful for me and now it’s really quite exciting to have new challenges! To anyone thinking about whether to start CBT with Eleanor, my advice and encouragement is that you will feel fearful – it’s a very natural emotion to feel at the start– and once you realise that it’s very confidential and safe you will be able to make good progress on your goals.”

CBT has helped me in so many more ways than I expected it too; it has literally changed my life. At the beginning of my journey, although I had obviously read and been told that only you can change things from within, I did still have an expectation that Eleanor would fix my problems for me! Although I had not ever properly faced it, I was carrying around a lot of fear, doubt and inadequacy issues. Despite being told that I was beautiful on the outside, deep down I did not believe any of it until I went through the CBT process with Eleanor. With CBT, I started looking within, and addressing issues there which in turn change absolutely everything externally. I could have only started there! Even in my very first session I already knew that CBT was what I was looking for and I couldn’t wait to go back for the second! My encouragement to you is that it’s natural to feel apprehensive at first, and perhaps a little cynical about it, but it will change your life and provide you with invaluable tools to help you be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Before I started, I was worried about the financial impact for me but after the very first session I knew it would be a vital investment in myself and it has proved itself to be”

I was living in a really grim neigbourhood, spending my weekends in the bedroom eating cookies and being terribly frustrated about almost everything from big to petty: my stressful job, my unpleasant colleague, me not quite fitting in with the team, me not fitting in my jeans, my boyfriend not calling me, even my flatmate’s cleaning abilities! The most frustrating thing was my fast deteriorating eating habits – I binged on everything I could possibly find in the fridge as a way of distracting myself from my feelings, until I was so full that I lay on the bed and felt pain in the stomach and utter disgust towards myself. Well that coping strategy hardly helped with my emotions – it just made everything worse! Indeed if a friend called at that moment, I was in no condition to go out. I missed on a whole tanker of social events, refusing to show myself to the world. I came to the point when I was permanently in a bad mood, unable to take any action, ganging upon myself before everyone else would. Life turned into the river torrent just before the waterfall. I saw no way out as my own thinking process got me stuck in a loop, which only made me feel worse. I decided to go for the therapy. Looking back I think I should have done it years ago.

I came to Eleanor with a micro issue about some of my emotional coping habits and gradually moved to sessions when we discussed the macro picture – what it is I actually want to do with my life and how I can get there. At the moment, I still sometimes have a problem at times deciding what to eat and when to stop – I’ll keep working on this – but here is what I’ve gained: I wake up in a good mood! Every day! I found a meaningful and inspiring job, which makes me feel fulfilled, focused, driven and rewarded. I like my job! I rush to office in the morning, head full of ideas eager to get started. How much would you pay to get to this state?! This has been one of the most valuable experiences I’ve ever had in my life and I can’t tell you enough how grateful I am to Eleanor for her constant support and subtle navigation.”

I finally discovered the real reason to be alive: is to enjoy it!”

— Rita Mae West