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Day Five: Reflections On My Psychotherapy…

My formal psychiatric psychotherapy is ending. I’ve been reflecting on some recurrent themes.

They won’t move mountains for you or transform your view of life. They’re not earth shattering. That’s a misconception about psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy doesn’t change you…

It’s gradual. It’s hard. It’s work. It’s a process that can change the way you feel about yourself, though you don’t realize it while it’s happening. You have to commit yourself to it.

You end up, I think, with a bit of insight.

People don’t change and you can’t change them…

This is perhaps the hardest, most challenging realization I’ve learned in my therapy. I’m constantly learning and relearning it. Really accepting it has made my life more peaceful.

This is as close to an absolute truth as any I know.

Whenever I try to make a little adjustment to my delightful husband and his ingrained idiosyncrasies, I upset him. So I’m working on not using the “should” word. Nasty word. Never works.

I’m teaching myself to embrace his curious little habits and keep my mouth shut. (Not easy!)

When he’s driving, I knit and try not to be a backseat driver. Sometimes, I sit in the back seat!

Emotions are more powerful than thoughts, reason and logic…

I am astounded at the power of emotions.

If the weather is dull and grey. If it’s raining. If I didn’t get enough sleep, I feel low.

Emotions can sap your energy and ruin your day. Or have the opposite effect. Laughter and humour are magical elixirs for feeling “the blahs? They can inject you with joy and erase every imperfection in your life, or help you feel that way. They help you to embrace them.

That’s why we love watching Murphy Brown reruns every night. She makes us laugh. We love going to bed laughing.

Taken to the extreme, however, depression, an emotion, a series of  feelings, a mood can range from unhappiness, sadness, grief and “the blues” to major depression.

It’s really hard to control your feelings. More often, they control you.

That’s why you can’t believe everything you feel.

Though often, you do. Feelings and emotions always seems to trump thoughts.

Reason doesn’t work. Logic doesn’t exist. Your mind doesn’t work according to any norms when you’re seriously depressed. Or manic. Your mind is out of control.

Sometimes the best way to lift or stabilize your emotions is simply to go for a walk if you can. That’s one reason why I must have dogs in my life. And no backyard. They need walking. They me to take them walking. And they love me for it.

I do my best thinking outside, wandering about the neighbourhood with my doggies.

Money doesn’t really improve the way you feel in any lasting way, either. Before I went through my eating disorder program, I was an impulsive spender. I got a palpable emotional “high” from shopping, usually for things I didn’t need. Now, that’s all gone. If I have an urge or impulse to buy something, I just don’t.

No one’s perfect and it’s liberating to accept being “good-enough.”

I always hated it when Dr. Bob questioned me about why I didn’t feel “good-enough.”

I used to hate the word, “enough.” I wanted to be better than just “good-enough.”

Enough wasn’t enough for me.

Somehow, that’s changed. I used to want to look like Audrey Hepburn (She died when she was 63, my age) or Katharine Hepburn. Now, I like being me. Imperfect, but good enough.

Whenever I use my debit card and it’s “approved,” I always feel a spike of pride. At least something “approved” me.

Sad, isn’t it?

Now, I am beginning to “approve” myself. No machinery necessary.

That really feels good. Have a great weekend. I’ll be here. Trying to get ahead with my blogathon.

Would you believe I started this post first thing this morning? I do not know what happened to the day.

Image via Pinterest: Ashley Stevens


Day Five: Reflections On My Psychotherapy…

Sandy Naiman

Sandy Naiman is a Toronto freelance journalist.

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APA Reference
Naiman, S. (2012). Day Five: Reflections On My Psychotherapy…. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Jun 2012
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