Counseling via Internet and the road to recovery
I remember that one of the first things I asked you when I emailed to see if we could work together was how you managed the delicate balance between nutrition counseling and therapy. Could you get close enough to my emotional issues without trying to do therapy? I was skeptical and worried since I know I carry an ample armload of baggage. I can’t fully express my amazement at your ability to point out really sensitive issues that are tripping me up and then coming to a full stop as you say, “so, take that one to therapy.” You don’t even know what all of those issues are, but we’re still managing to work with them and create positive change in my life.
Your approach is compassionate – how many times do you interrupt rather than reinforce self-blame, guilt and shame in each session? But your approach is also so respectful. I really have come to trust that you will treat me with respect. This makes it possible for me to let you see, and to help me change, behavior that shames me.
I have personal experience, through a good friend’s struggle with anorexia, of “support professionals” who regard the women they work with with barely hidden irritation and contempt. I’ve never heard a whiff of that from you, about me or about any other person who struggles with food and eating.
Your capacity to know where the painful parts are without overexposing me, prying, or offering solutions to those problems is truly unique. It makes our work together unbelievably safe. I’m learning so much about myself on this journey we’re on together that our sessions feel rich, interesting and meaningful. That’s something I never imagined I’d say about an RD!
My kids have a knack for expressing things in short, apt, phrases. When I told my eldest child that I was considering contacting you, she turned to me and said, “and what information is it that you will get that you don’t have now?” It’s true. I’ve read myself silly and could easily lay out many different theories about weight gain and loss. I’m a good and enthusiastic cook. What would I get from you?
This clarity about how my emotional challenges and patterns interact with my eating patterns is what I am getting from our work. I’m learning about self-care (and my own tendency to be harsh with myself) in a clear and tangible way. This learning is already carrying over to other parts of my life as I become more aware of how harshness undermines my ability to pursue my goals just as it undermines my ability to enjoy my dinner.
It’s hard for me to believe that we have managed to create this full and rewarding relationship about my eating patterns when I don’t even live in the United States! Our Skype sessions have been lively, connected and real. It’s a real gift to be able to benefit from your expertise even at this distance.
With great appreciation,