Vlog: Seeking Therapy/Counseling to Help with Weight Loss

This is another reader question that came to me recently:

I’ve thought about going to see a therapist about my weight issues, but am intimidated by it. Do you have any tips or thoughts?

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for over 16 years, and have shared some of those experiences. You can check them out here. To give you a frame of reference:

  • I regularly see a therapist for counseling
  • I see a psychiatric nurse practitioner who monitors my medications
  • In 16 years I have tried 8 different medications or combos of medications to try to reach a point of stability.
  • I currently take 3 different medications for my depression, anxiety and insomnia.
  • There are great days, good days, bad days, and tremendously bad days. The good news is that the tremendously bad ones are extremely far and few between right now.

Therapy can be really helpful even if you don’t feel depressed or anxious. It feels amazing to have an outlet to express emotions, feelings, and concerns without judgement and with someone who can arm you with tools to overcome them. The information presented below is based on personal experience only. Always follow the advice of a medical professional.

I hate that there is still a sigma around talking about mental health. If you feel like you may be in danger of harming yourself, please know you can talk to people. Call  1-800-273-TALK or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

Here are my suggestions about choosing a therapist:

Any questions? Let me know!

  • http://twitter.com/#!/nycpatty Patty

    Awesome advice! I loved the part about writing notes. I’m going to my appointment tonight and I just did that because I felt I didn’t know what to say. You’re a lifesaver! :)

    • http://www.authenticallyemmie.com/ Emily Sandford

      Aw, so glad it was helpful, Patty! I always sit down with the therapist and it’s like I suddenly forget anything that is wrong with my life, LOL

  • Maggie

    Do you have any thoughts about seeing a therapist specifically for weight issues?

  • http://www.estherfox.com/ Esther

    I was just thinking about seeing a therapist to help my anxiety and also with my weight stuff, so this post was just what I needed. Thanks!

    • http://www.authenticallyemmie.com/ Emily Sandford

      So glad it helped!

    • http://www.authenticallyemmie.com/ Emily Sandford

      So glad it helped!

  • Lauren

    I have wanted to see a therapist for many years now for PTSD from child abuse, as well as depression and anxiety. Money issues and lack of insurance have pretty much prevented it.

    • http://www.authenticallyemmie.com/ Emily Sandford

      I know how difficult it can be without insurance and the daunting cost of paying out of pocket. Have you checked with community-based therapy organizations? They’re usually non-profit and can provide assistance if it isn’t financially viable to seek mental health help on your own. I don’t have a lot of information on it, but this looks like a good resource: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/find_therapy

    • http://www.authenticallyemmie.com/ Emily Sandford

      I know how difficult it can be without insurance and the daunting cost of paying out of pocket. Have you checked with community-based therapy organizations? They’re usually non-profit and can provide assistance if it isn’t financially viable to seek mental health help on your own. I don’t have a lot of information on it, but this looks like a good resource: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/find_therapy

    • Marcie

      Bluegrass CompCare is one of the community-based services that can help. Also, there are free support groups available which – while not therapy – can help you deal with symptoms and begin to understand your feelings. NAMI Lexington can hook you up with those if you are local, or contact your local National Alliance on Mental Illness or Mental Health America (the two largest nonprofits centered on helping with mental illness).

  • vjtibbs

    I just wanted to 2nd the thing about don’t be afraid to go to different therapists until you find the one that is right for you. Don’t worry that you’re going to hurt their feelings if you go once or twice and don’t come back–they are used to it, they expect it, and they don’t take it personally!!! They all want you to get the help that you need, and they are all aware it takes relationship to do that.
    I think everyone should try it, if for no other reason than to better understand themselves. Thanks for addressing this topic!

    • http://www.authenticallyemmie.com/ Emily Sandford

      I’m so glad you agree with this. I can’t tell you how many sessions I’ve wasted trying to be nice to the therapist instead of just cutting my losses and going elsewhere.

  • vjtibbs

    I just wanted to 2nd the thing about don’t be afraid to go to different therapists until you find the one that is right for you. Don’t worry that you’re going to hurt their feelings if you go once or twice and don’t come back–they are used to it, they expect it, and they don’t take it personally!!! They all want you to get the help that you need, and they are all aware it takes relationship to do that.
    I think everyone should try it, if for no other reason than to better understand themselves. Thanks for addressing this topic!

  • http://twitter.com/anewertammy Tammy

    Great vlog Em! I’ve been thinking about seeking out a therapist, but still not quite there. I don’t have any big issue that needs to be worked out or deep dark secret, but lack confidence or more of a social anxiety due to my weight. I am so reserved and don’t know if I would be able to talk enough for it to be helpful. I was worried about finding a good fit, but your suggestions are very helpful. Thanks for sharing.