What is Healing?

by | Mar 4, 2020 | Healing, Taking Risks | 0 comments

When it comes to IBS, what is healing?

In last week’s blog, I encouraged anyone with an IBS diagnosis (or a diagnosis for any other functional GI disorder) to stop seeking and start healing. The truth is, there’s no clear cut cause or cure for IBS. (Tell that to your symptoms, right?) 

Through my own experience of healing and recovering from IBS and through working with patients who want to heal their guts, I learned that seeking a root cause only creates more frustration on top of already challenging psychological symptoms. It’s time to shift your thinking. It’s time to embrace the idea that healing is available to you right now, even without knowing the cause of your pain. 

And that brings us to the topic of this week’s blog: when it comes to IBS and other functional GI disorders, what is healing?

Healing From IBS Involves Risk

In short, healing involves taking risks. To find healing solutions that work for your unique body, you have to try approaches you haven’t tried before. These new approaches may or may not help your body shift from where it is now (in pain) to where you want it to be (pain-free and at peace). But you can’t find out what works until you take a risk and try something new. 

Today there are many avenues that people can take to start finding relief from their IBS symptoms. But for me, working with a psychotherapist was the first and only real treatment option available. Working with a psychotherapist for one full year of weekly sessions was the first approach that helped me to finally find relief from my symptoms. Beginning psychotherapy wasn’t easy, though. I was scared of the process and skeptical of the possible outcomes. Still, in the end, I took the risk and went to my first appointment. And then I kept going. The risk paid off. 

During that year of psychotherapy, I never even talked about my IBS. I just talked about myself, my life, and the struggles I was having. At that time in my life, my body apparently just needed someone to care, to listen deeply, to understand, and to treat me with kindness and respect. I didn’t know that I needed it. But I did. That first year of psychotherapy got me 50% of the way to a full recovery. 

Every Body is Different 

Will psychotherapy do for you what it did for me? Maybe. Maybe not. Everybody, every body, is different. But your healing depends on your taking a risk and trying something new and different. Doing the same thing you’ve already been doing is only going to lead to the same outcome. If that same outcome means that you haven’t found relief from your symptoms, then it is really time you do something else. 

During that year of psychotherapy, I never even talked about my IBS. I just talked about myself, my life, and the struggles I was having. At that time in my life, my body apparently just needed someone to care, to listen deeply, to understand, and to treat me with kindness and respect. I didn’t know that I needed it. But I did. That first year of psychotherapy got me 50% of the way to a full recovery. 

I did nothing else differently other than starting psychotherapy, and that alone got me 50% of the way to full recovery from IBS. The other 50% of my healing journey was a long process of discovery and (you guessed it) more risk-taking. It took me 10 years to go from acutely symptomatic to fully recovered, and I learned so much through that process. Thanks to my work with patients and my ongoing professional development, I’m still learning every day. 

As a psychologist specializing in IBS and FGIDs who has also suffered from IBS, I now feel compelled to share what I’ve learned about these frustrating disorders. I want to help you learn more expediently what took me two or three decades to learn as a result of healing my own body and helping my patients to heal theirs.

With the information I can provide you and the information you already have—you are, after all, an expert on your own body —  you can discover what needs to happen for your body to heal. And as is the case with healing from IBS and FGIDs, you won’t know for sure what is going to help until you take the risk of trying something new. You will learn and discover which shifts, changes, approaches and treatments have potential as you learn and discover more about yourself, your body, and your relationships.

To learn more, subscribe to the Don’t Hate Your Guts® YouTube channel and visit the Don’t Hate Your Guts® website, where you can sign up to have blogs sent straight to your inbox. Through the newsletter, you’ll also receive updates about the exciting webinar series I’m about to launch.

Don’t hate your guts. Instead, learn what your body needs to heal. 

Watch the “What is healing?” video here:

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