Therapists I Like and Life Lessons Learned (alliteration unintended)
I wish I could do more for the world. If you are struggling with stuff, here’s a list of the therapists I refer to:
Melissa DiFonzo [email protected]
Individual and group counselling for eating and body issues
Erin Byron. My sister. She has an MA in trauma counselling and is a published yoga therapist, incorporating breathing, movement, and mindfulness into therapy.
Karen has been in the business a long time. Also has worked extremely hard on her nutrition and fitness.
Gerry Gange, M.A. – Registered Psychotherapist
I know a few people who have worked with Gerry and recommend him.
Five things I learned from my therapist (From 2002-2017).
1. Non therapeutic experiences can be therapeutic.
What she meant was — we can learn from mentors if we are paying attention. Or even movies, books, etc. Some of my mentors growing up were pro football players who I never met, or characters from movies. Now I turn to other dads when I need advice.
2. Go slow.
Many problems in life can be solved by slowing down and not reacting immediately to stimulus. Namely people being jerks or situations with multiple stimuli (screaming kid and phone ringing and pot of water boiling over). We are usually not obligated to respond immediately, or in some cases, at all. Eating slowly releases satiety hormones that help us eat less food and control our weight.
Many people have issues here, for example, trying to fix your friends or partner is invading their boundaries. Instead, just let them make mistakes. It’s their life. Another example is letting people influence what you eat — that’s an erosion of your boundaries. Instead, just say “No thank you,” and let them feel however they need to feel about you not eating their cake. Another example is how working from home has eroded some work/life balance boundaries (many people are working more hours than before).
4. Treat yourself like you would treat a small child that you care about.
The first time I thought of this it was weird, but it’s such an bang-on metaphor. For example, we instinctually nurture children, but also we do not let them eat junk food every day. We try to be patient with children, and we don’t berate them for mistakes — instead we ask them to learn from mistakes. Be kind AND disciplined with yourself.
5. Every day cannot feel like you just scored the game-winning try in the Ontario Semi-Final.
(Actually I set-up the game winning try by blocking a kick, catching it on the way down, running 20 meters, and sending a diving one-arm pass while being tackled on the goal line — but I was the hero for about five minutes). Real life can be boring most of the time, but boring can also mean peaceful. Seeking a constant high is a set up for feeling really low. Every meal cannot taste like ice cream if you want to live long and be fit.
Therapy was pretty much taboo when I started and some folks close to me felt I was weird for doing it, but it made me the super-successful person I am today. A lot of people don’t have the resources I did, so I would like to acknowledge that.
Good luck and stay positive. Reach out if you need anything.