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.
Building confidence, self acceptance and self esteem
With Eleanor’s steadfast encouragement, wisdom and humanity, I have made many profound changes in my life including showing others and myself much more authenticity and compassion, as well as genuinely recognising and expressing appreciation for what I do actually have. Another important change that I am now able to do, which is transformational, is to shift my thinking from negative self criticism to kindly self acceptance as well as realistic self appraisal that includes both strengths and weaknesses in a helpfully encouraging manner. I used to find this very difficult but it is now a much easier and quicker process.
By helping myself with CBT, my confidence has grown because I’m much more aware of who I am, so I’m much more confident in my own skin. Since I’ve accepted that there’s no such thing as perfection I’m not such a hard task-master on myself any more. I now accept myself, and others much more, and am able to laugh at myself. I feel so much more free to be me – imperfections included. I really hope you work with Eleanor to find more freedom in your own life. I used to think it was just me but I now have the empathy to spot where other people are getting uptight because they’re worried about getting it wrong and what other people may think. I’m glad that more and more people are getting CBT these days – I’ve been suggesting it to heaps of people because its helped me stop judging myself …or judging others make myself feel better.
Although it is a lifelong ongoing process, I am beginning to truly love myself and from there I can take the steps to fully and unconditionally love the other important people in my life. I have developed this love through actively practicing self-nurturing statements and actions that are so simple and yet have such a profound effect. They can change your sub-conscious mind and make new patterns that change your thinking and nurture the soul. This was a big step for me, transforming negative internal thoughts into healthy positive ones. CBT can instill a positive and healthy self-image and belief system, which can literally change your life! I think having someone as genuine, kind, encouraging, non judgemental as Eleanor was absolutely key to really internalize the work. I like the way Eleanor is not at all drippy though – she is a rare person who has both gentleness and a strength of focus in the optimum balance, in my experience.”
With the help of CBT my confidence has grown because I can recognise and embrace my strengths; I don’t need to buy in to a negative self image; I know I’m fine as I am and positive things I want to change can be changed. My sense of overall inner peace has increased because difficulties now look like chances to learn instead of impossible obstacles so I generally feel as though I’m on the right path, whatever I’m feeling or doing. I have the strength to keep building on my progress because I now realise that nothing is ever hopeless and if I just keep doing my best, things will work out fine in ways I cannot imagine!
From experience, I’d recommend CBT to other people because it provides a fantastic toolkit with which to approach all the messy rough and tumble of being human. I think that CBT is a simple, understandable way to overcome complex, seemingly impossible problems and come to deep and compassionate insights about our own humanity.
If you’re wondering about whether to start CBT, I’d like to suggest that you just take the plunge, try it and see what happens as I can’t imagine you will be at all disappointed! I found it highly beneficial in so many ways.”
I went to see Eleanor hoping to find a space to vent, it was exciting to discover early in our work to together that this was going to be a safe place to do far more. It feels cliché to say, it's somewhere you can really find yourself, but I have. With the tools we practiced together, tools that I continue to develop outside of our work solo, I constantly challenge myself to honour my boundaries, values and needs and much, much more. Eleanor helped me finally meet myself with the compassion I was happy to visit on everyone but me at the start of our journey, I say our journey, as these sessions are most certainly a collaboration.
Quite simply when I went to Eleanor I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, co-dependent, with a chronic back problem and significant anxiety and depression, barely able to leave the house without a struggle. Now I travel widely, love my single life, work as an actress and have a full and enriching social life.
I feel I made all of these choices for change myself but with a wonderful light shining by Eleanor helping me to realise my ability to make decisions and be on my own team. I used to scour the Internet reading testimonies like this one and think, yes but I'm too far gone, I won't change - but this time I really have and firmly believe, because of this work, with commitment, change is possible for us all. It takes courage to make the first step but having seen many therapists I have never felt so empowered and understood. I truly believe working with Eleanor is a privilege that has changed my life"
I finally discovered the real reason to be alive: is to enjoy it!”
— Rita Mae West