In 2012 I went through a nasty breakup and fell into a horrible depression. I literally felt as if I was losing my mind. I was sad, depressed and anxious all the time. My inner dialogue was so bad that I felt worthless and damaged. Because I was so depressed and anxious all the time my relationship with my son (who was 10 years old at the time) was suffering badly. My son who has an ADHD diagnosis was also having terrible problems at school with bullying (being bullied and sometimes being the bully) and his self-esteem was very low. I am a recovering drug addict. I have been clean 10 years, but at that time, I felt that I needed to reach out for professional help before I went into relapse mode.
At first, I was seeing a therapist that never said a word to me during our sessions. She was a great listener, but she never really gave me any insight into anything I said to her. I always left those sessions feeling upset and confused. I felt I had gained no greater understanding of myself than I did when I first walked into her office. I also felt that this therapist couldnt really connect with my son. That is when I began looking for a new therapist and I found Patrick on Psychology Today.
After seeing Patrick for the first time it was a totally different experience. He listened intently, but he wasnt just listening, he was actually hearing what I was saying. He has such a subtle yet, very effective way, of helping me look at the things I was thinking and saying in a way I had never done before. During some of our sessions, I have felt the lightbulb go off in my head; Ive had revelations about myself and the things that have happened in my life. I finally found someone to understand me, but also help me to understand me, and accept me, in a gentle, non-judgmental or threatening way. After several meetings with Patrick my harsh, inner critic, was almost made silent and even though it rears its head every so often, I have learned to be kind to myself, to accept myself, flaws and all. Patrick has an amazing memory. He seems to remember lots of the little details from the things Ive shared with him in previous sessions, which makes me feel important during our time together.
Patrick is wonderful with my son who is now 12. Patrick is a safe place for my son to unload all the things that are bothering him. Now that my son is a pre-teen I feel that it is more important than ever to have someone he can bounce his feelings off of and get positive, supportive feedback. Whenever my son, is having an emotional time at school or with friends, he looks forward to the visits he has with Patrick and afterwards I notice that my son is willing to be more open with me about what is going on in his life without me having to pry.
I still have a long way to go in my journey of self-discovery but I can say that I now feel hopeful about my future. My outlook on life, myself and my relationships have improved so much that I am in awe of the mental and spiritual growth I have achieved in such little time.
If you are thinking about reaching out to a therapist I would highly recommend that you contact Patrick Cleveland. You wont regret it.