Client Testimonials

quote66Ahead of my first session with Tania, I was very sceptical that she would be able to help me in any way. I had been suffering from anxiety for all of my adult life and was convinced that it was a problem I had probably been born with. I had always been a worrier since I could remember and it had got progressively worse to the point where it was making even the thought of carrying out the smallest task unbearable. I was plagued with physical anxiety, intrusive and obsessive thoughts and as a consequence was struggling to function or see any way out of it.

Meeting with Tania for the first time, she was able to allay my initial fears; that I wasn't crazy or beyond help. Immediately, she reassured me that my symptoms were all classic signs of anxiety and that, if I was willing to put the effort in, it was something that could be addressed. We also discussed the advantages of taking an anti-depressant, something I had always been fearful of, but Tania was able to explain how they would be able to help in addition to our therapy sessions; anti-depressants weren't a magic cure but they would help to balance my emotions enough that I would be able to focus and take in the therapy.

To start we looked initially at CBT. The most enlightening thing I discovered was that anxiety wasn't a life sentence; a chronic condition that I had to learn how to control. Tania explained that I had learnt or picked up negative patterns of thinking and CBT would be a useful tool to help break down my thoughts and change the patterns that were leading me to feel overwhelmed, anxious and scared. Working through this with a book with weekly exercises also provided a structure to the therapy which was invaluable.

As my therapy progressed and I was feeling an improvement, we started to establish that there were several issues in terms of the environment I had grown up in and how this would have led to certain thoughts and feelings and eventually anxiety and panic. Tania also felt that I had difficulties with dealing with my thoughts; a large part of my struggle was what I perceived to be unacceptable thoughts and I was prone to trying to push them away and therefore creating a vicious cycle of unwanted thoughts- anxiety and panic- and therefore more unwanted thoughts and more anxiety and panic. This had also caused me to try and gain more and more control in order to minimise the chances of having these unwanted thoughts- I would avoid anything that might make me worry and therefore adopted a rigid routine of sticking to what I considered 'safe' places or people and I avoided being alone at any cost. I considered my partner as my safety net and ensured that he was with me as much as possible. In turn, I therefore felt like a failure and constantly compared myself to other people and what they had been able to achieve and how strong they were in comparison. As we completed the CBT therapy and moved onto Mindfulness, I was able to understand that it was completely normal to have a range of thoughts, positive and negative. I had assumed that everyone else that I perceived as 'happy' and 'normal' never had negative thoughts or felt sad; that they were just the lucky ones that could cope with life.

For me, the mindfulness therapy was pivotal in my journey. Tania guided me through a book about mindfulness and acceptance and from the start it felt like it had been written about me. It explained that everyone felt sad sometimes and so this wasn't about finding a cure to stop uncomfortable thoughts and feelings; it was about learning how to accept this as a part of being alive and that it was ok. It challenged my belief that I had to control what I thought and therefore felt and keep any negativity away at all costs in order to be happy. Over the next few months it took me through a variety of exercises that taught me how to accept all thoughts and feelings and that I could lead a fulfilling life with or without these. I began to put myself in situations I had previously avoided oblivious to whether I felt anxious or sad and soon learnt that the more I did this the less power I was giving to these thoughts and feelings that had previously dictated my life. Although they were still there on many occasions I was able to sit with them like any other thought and feeling and so it was breaking the anxiety/panic cycle I had previously been stuck in.

Six months on, i've built on the skills I have learnt and I'm experiencing a life that is so much more fulfilling and richer than previously. I don't feel happy every minute of the day and I have ups and downs like everyone else but i've learnt that that's ok. It's the same life but where it was black and white before it's now very much in technicolour and so much more rewarding for myself and the people around me as I'm less on guard and so much more open.

quoteMy therapy with Tania has been invaluable and literally life changing and I can't be thankful enough. Throughout the entire process, I never felt 'weird' or 'wrong' and was able to talk about whatever I was feeling without the fear of being judged. There is a massive stigma still attached to mental health and I only hope that by sharing my experiences that it will become accepted like any other ailment. Like Tania explained, if you broke your leg then you would go to see a doctor and get it fixed so why should it be any different with your mental health. I really hope that people going through similar experiences will see that there is support out there and it's not just their cross to bear.

quote66I arrived at the first sessions depressed, with an in-built sense of never being good enough and continually looking at the empty half of the glass.  Without knowing it Tania, started rebuilding me one piece at a time. The sessions were like sitting down with a friendly, wiser companion who gave a different perspective on how to look at the world.  Small seeds in the form of ideas would be gently dropped into the conversation and allowed to germinate.

As part of my coping with depression I cut myself off emotionally. Unfortunately it wasn't just the negative feelings I lost.  With it went feelings of love and joy and hope.  As my sessions continued, I started to re-establish contact with those emotions and at times it hurt.  Tania was always there ready to accept whatever was arising.

I now know that the patterns of thought that used to lead me into darkness are just thoughts.  Although they sometimes try to get going I've learnt to see them coming and let them go.  I've grown to accept I'm not perfect, nor is the world and as uncomfortable as that might be at times, I can still enjoy it.

Tania, thank you.  You've given me so much. For me the most valuable piece of knowledge is that there is no end to the journey and I will always be changing, growing, getting it wrong, carrying on and that I will never be perfect.  

quoteI can tell you that's a much better place to be.

quote66Dear Tania,

How long has it taken me to write to you? So very far too long. How are you? I want to write down and express my thanks to you for your help in making me understand I have the power to believe I am worth something and that my thoughts and ideas have a value and that I can't, or at least, have the choice, to not be put "back into a box".

Your therapy has helped me in volumes but one doesn't realise it during the process because it's such a subtle and gently paced process. I know I have forgotten a few gems, which I hope will be jogged in my memory as and when they need to be recalled, BUT the main difference is that I can say 'no' because I have the right to do so which helps build self esteem because I am encouraged by having some self respect. I hadn't realised how my issues have been drip fed over my life and, regardless of feeling sorry or sometimes feeling in need of sympathy, I need to deal with the cards I've been dealt with.

I feel my sessions with you have definitely helped me live a better, fuller life in terms of my great family I've created and how I behave with them and for me personally. I know I would still benefit from some sessions, but I also understand that you are wickedly successful and therefore busy. Thank you for changing my life. For someone who is rubbish at spending money I consider the money I spent with you is a quotelifetime investment.

Much love and best wishes

 

quote66Seeing Tania has helped me to see the brighter side of life. I was feeling frightened and insecure and although I knew this was without much rational reason, I seemed unable to change my thought patterns without help.

The supportive relationship that I have developed with Tania has allowed me to find a better way to view my everyday relationships and to look ahead to the future.

The process has not always been easy, but when I made the effort, I have experienced the difference in my emotions and as a result realised that there is an alternative way to feel.

quoteThe therapeutic relationship has been the basis for the emotional changes I have made, as Tania's consistency has been unfailing.

quote66Therapy is a safe and nurturing space in which you can get all the buried anguish out, see your problems or fears for what they really are and get shot of them forever.

I never believed that I could ever like myself deep down as I was taught to be worthless by an early age, but seeing Tania has changed that.

Seeing Tania has literally turned my life around, and now - after 35 years - I can finally accept me for what I am. Therapy with Tania has been hugely rewarding and by far the best investment I have ever made. Therapy is a space in which you can be totally supported as you open up the hurts you carry no matter how stupid or insignificant you may think they are.

Hating yourself ruins your life and alienates you from those who love you. It's quite easy to put it quoteright with Therapy, and the rewards of feeling worthwhile can't be measured in gold. I would urge everyone to see a good therapist- it's the best thing I have ever done.

quote66When a friend first mentioned Tania to me, I was sceptical to say the least. I was at the stage where I just did not know what to do, or how to get out of the hole that I was in without resorting to my final resort option of suicide. It actually seems strange to use that word now, as it is the furthest thing from my mind.

During our first initial meeting, I was under the impression that you would be able to read minds, I will never quoteforget that during the later part of that meeting, Tania said "remember I am not a mind reader".
I can honestly say that realising that fact broke the whole stigma that I had attached to seeing her.

quote66The most important thing seeing Tania has done for me is to let me see I have a choice. I have changed my behaviour. Where I had given up I have taken back control.

I think less about my weight than ever and more about looking after myself. Tania has given me an insight into why dieting hasn't worked for me (30 years of yo-yo dieting).

It isn't just about food. I now have some powerful strategies which enable me to cope with many situations without resorting to comfort or binge eating.

quoteI feel better about myself than I have for years. I have realised I am the only one who can change 'me' but I needed the guidance, support and encouragement of a person who understood to allow me to see that.

quote66In June 2007 I was signed off work by my GP for 5 weeks as a result of clinical depression and anxiety. I have experienced one previous episode in my adult life, which had necessitated a similar period off work. On reflection, I can see that there were a number of circumstances which may have contributed to my sickness in 2007, in addition my personality which I consider to be somewhat predisposed. My work is quite demanding and at times highly pressured and I had recently experienced the breakdown of a long term relationship.

After being signed off sick in 2007 I experienced several weeks of feeling pretty desperate - convinced I would never be able to return to work, that I would be unable to pay my bills, that I would "lose everything" etc, etc. My GP suggested that I might benefit from CBT because many of my anxieties seemed to be based on an irrational and overly negative outlook. So in July 2007, I attended my first CBT session with Tania Blom with a number of specific goals in mind:

• To build up self confidence ahead of my return to work. My confidence at this time was at rock bottom and this was important to me;

• To learn to challenge my negative thoughts;

• To learn to live with my predisposition to anxiety and depression and to manage it better and

• Provide support in the longer term.

After my first session I felt somewhat unconvinced about how beneficial CBT might be but was resolved to give it a chance. Indeed over the next few weeks I was able to return to work and I have no doubt that CBT was an important factor in my successful return to work. Within 3 months of returning to work I believe that I was functioning better than at any time previously in my 15 year career and was certainly happier. A high point at this time was when I presented a technical presentation, which was very well received.

I have now been back at work almost 18 months and with the help of CBT and some lifestyle adjustments (encouraged through CBT) I have stayed fit and healthy, have enjoyed my work, advanced professionally and remained resilient in the face of challenges and setbacks. The last 18 months may not have been always easy but I firmly believe that CBT has helped significantly in my recovery and helped me to stay well.

There are a number of aspects to CBT which I consider have been most helpful to me. These are:

• Recognising that it is healthy to take on reasonable challenges whilst being philosophical in the face of setbacks and challenges;

• Making some lifestyle changes which have been important, in particular reducing my working hours (I now do a 4 day week);

• Recognising the symptoms of unhealthy levels of stress or un elpful behaviours and being proactive in dealing with both the symptoms and the root causes.

quoteWould I recommend CBT?

Yes I would.

quote66Tania's communication with her client is precise and down to earth. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy allowed me to "realise" my situation and gain an independence to deal with issues with confidence and independence. Over time, a therapeutic relationship built between Tania and me.

Working with Tania enabled me to recognise that I have the ability to instigate a fresh start. I really do have the ability to hold down a friendship without the negative influences of their life's baggage. Personally, I feel that I have begun to get to know myself better, pre-empt how others or I should deal with demanding situations. I now accept that I can be my own judge without automatically punishing myself.

Seeing Tania has taught me that it is far more constructive to express feelings than to allow them to build up inside. People have all sorts of pre-conceptions about Psychotherapy. None of these are true. Psychotherapy is simply a totally confidential safe place where no one judges you and where you can find the way out of the maze you've got lost in. As a private client, nothing is put on your medical records. No-one need know, though I prefer to be open about it and let people know, so that they can understand why I am looking and behaving so much better know.

I thought that Psychotherapy was for ill people and I felt embarrassed to be fixating my little problem on anyone. But guilt, regret and old hurts are like splinters, burned too deep to remove on your own. They keep on hurting you, and they change the way you behave so that you avoid anything that risks touching the hurt. Psychotherapy allows you to dig them out, get rid of them and so allow your mind to heal properly.

It feels wonderful to be free of chronic pain - and the mind is no exception. You couldn't go through life in chronic pain from toothache or a badly broken leg - so why allow it to happen if your mind is in pain? It's no quote99different. Psychotherapy is a secure and fostering area in which you can get all the suppressed pain out, see your distress or fears for what they really are, and get rid of them once and for all.

quote66I have never been so happy with myself than I am today. For the first time in my life I control food, it no longer controls me.

quoteTania has empowered me to make the right choices about what I eat. Food no longer is the main interest in my life, I walk tall with my head held high, and I feel good about myself.

quote66What I love most about Tania is her unfailing ability to open my mind to always see the best path for me to take. Our Psychotherapy session is the best part of my week.

quoteThat one hour with Tania is enough to positively dictate the events of the week to come; by the end of the session my mentality seems strengthened. I am inspired by the fact that Tania is there to walk the road with me.

quote66I have had my first period in 14 years - it's an incredible feeling to be a woman again. As a result of improved eating habits, my cholesterol has come down to almost normal. Last week my husband said I look sexy! He hasn't said that for years!

quotePeople in my office are commenting on how well I look and how my attitude towards others is changing. I am becoming a lot more confident. Thank you for giving my marriage back to me.

quote66The thing I love most about Tania is her ability to detect what mood I am in and her knowing exactly what to say to make me feel better.

For me, Bulimia was a control issue. By vomiting I could control my calorie intake, little did I know that soon it would control me and everything I did. Tania has been my lifeline at the lowest point in my life.

quoteThe longer I have suffered with my eating disorder, the worse my mental state has become. I used to wake in the morning with my first thoughts being food and suicide.

quote66When someone first mentioned you to me to try and help, I was sceptical to say the least. You get so used to hearing all the stories about seeing your shrink etc etc, but I was at a stage where I just did not know what to do or how to get out of the hole I was in without resorting to my final resort option of suicide. It actually seems strange to write that word now, as it is the furthest thing from my mind.

During our first initial meeting, I was under the impression that you would be able to read minds, and can remember specifically not mentioning things, for example my Dad, as I thought that would be a test to see how 'good' you were by spotting it because I hadn't mentioned it! I will never forget that during the latter part of that meeting, you said, 'remember , I am not a mind reader', and I can honestly say that realising that fact broke the whole stigma that I had attached to seeing you in the first place.

In my mind, and mentioned from the few people who initially knew I was seeking your help, I was convinced that my whole illness was related to my Dad passing away 9 weeks before mine and my partner's wedding - but I was wrong, that may have been a little part of the issue, but there was much more involved mainly around my job and non ability to let anyone down (in my eyes), which had already begun to affect things between Andy and I.

There are several things that helped me on the road to recovery:
1. The Yes and No experiment - never would have thought that this could have such an effect, and I really struggled with this for the 1st couple of days, it was far easier to say 'no' to the washing up, but less easy to say yes to something I would always have said no to!

2. Walking in my new shoes, this helped as a 'quick fix' if you like, I would feel good for the rest of the day, but after I had slept, the feeling was gone, and I could not get it back unless I had seen you again.

3. A self-help book - working through something where there was a start and a finish was a big help - I have always enjoyed reading, and liked the idea of almost being back at school and doing 'homework' each week. It gave me something to aim for, and as soon as I had read the first chapter, I knew it would help, because I met 'Vic', and until that point I just thought I was a freak and that nobody would ever really be able to understand me, so that helped alot. The thought records, although I found them really difficult for the first few weeks, once I had reached the end of completing a record and worked through them with you, they were a massive assistance, and I could get worked up, complete a thought record, and my mood would improve, sometimes only a little, but just enough to not lose hope and sight of where I was trying to get to!

4. The stones - as you know, the day you asked me to pick stones depicting the way I felt, that I could keep in a room and look at everyday, and be able to clean / polish. I cannot even explain quite why they had the effect they did, but they made me be unable to lie or hide how I was feeling. If I felt a bit lower, I could not go to bed with the 'best' feeling stone in front, so I altered them - this then meant that I could not now go to bed until I felt better to be able to swap them back to the 'optimum' position again! Still now those stones have not actually moved at all fro a few months - but I would never get rid of them!

5. Medication - as much as I did not like the idea of taking tablets, I needed them to help me be able to analyse things a bit more. Moved onto another antidepressant in September and started working off them in January, and have not taken any since the end of January - a few side effects, but nothing drastic.

6. Realising my core belief - once I worked this out, things started to make sense in a strange kind of way. All the feelings I had were directly related to the fact that I truly believed I was a failure in every aspect of my life. Once you can understand a little more about why you get the feelings, it is easier to work through the thought records to establish that actually, I am not a failure!

 

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Jung, in his autobiography, portrays his appreciation of the uniqueness of every client's inner world and language, a uniqueness that requires the therapist to devise a new therapy language for each client.

More so, the therapist ought to endeavour to create an innovative therapy for every client.

 

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