What Your Therapist Wants You to Know

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By: Dr. Michelle Mannia, PsyD, HSPP

Asking for help in recovery is difficult. Some people hide their struggles from friends and family or hesitate to meet with a therapist because of anxiety or shame. Fears about being judged, not being understood, or not gaining anything useful can prevent people from getting valuable guidance with managing disordered thoughts and behaviors. Therapists serve many different roles and can provide support and direction to help manage challenges at any stage of recovery. As a psychologist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, I have encountered many fears, concerns, and beliefs that people have about therapists.

So here are 5 things that your therapist wants you to know about eating disorder recovery:

We believe you can recover. We are working with you because we know you can make positive changes and have a more fulfilling life. Even when it’s hard for you to believe, trust us that recovery is possible. We are not angry when you have a setback in recovery. Lapses are a normal part of recovery. We view them as opportunities to learn about yourself and become stronger. What you do after a setback is important, and we want to help you get back on track. Honesty is important. Shame and secrecy can be barriers to making progress in recovery. It is easier to help address your concerns and struggles when we know what they are. It’s okay if you’re not sure you want to recover. Making changes is difficult! We are happy to help you better understand your ambivalence and figure out what to do next. You don’t have to be motivated all of the time. Recovery is worth it. We know that recovery is hard and that the things we ask you to do may be difficult or painful. But the chance to live a fulfilling life free from your eating disorder is worth the effort. Recommit to recovery each day and each meal, and you will not regret it.


About the Author: Michelle Mannia, PsyD, HSPP is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders in South Bend, Indiana. For more information, visit drmichellemannia.com

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