"For me, being mentally healthy means being in control of your own life instead of just existing."

Portrait series "The universe inside me" with Giorgia | 12th Dec 2023

It was a single argument with her father that was to become a turning point in her life. The otherwise calm and level-headed Giorgia literally exploded. "At the time, I had an outburst of anger towards my father that I felt was very out of character for me. I think everything was pressing: I had to finish university and didn't know what to do next. I felt a bit lost, misunderstood and also felt like I hardly ever got any recognition from my parents, so it just burst out of me."

Help, what's happening to me?

Giorgia had reached a point in her life where she no longer recognized herself. The idea of therapy was an obvious one for her, as she was studying psychology herself and many of her fellow students regularly spoke to a psychologist anyway. This meant that Giorgia had no problem gathering recommendations, which led her to her first therapist: a young man in his 30s, but she wasn't to stay with him for long.

"I didn't feel comfortable at all. Maybe I saw him as too similar to my father, who isn't really empathetic, and so I could never fully trust him to understand what was going on inside me. In hindsight, I have the feeling that I was imagining it all. But I'm still glad that I switched to a woman. We had more in common and I had the feeling that we were better suited to each other."

"I always struggled with a bad relationship with my parents and a low self-esteem that literally paralyzed me. "

In therapy, Giorgia worked with her psychotherapist to get to the root cause of her pent-up anger towards her parents, until she suddenly came across a much deeper, broader issue: her low self-esteem and her feeling of being worthless and unworthy of love.

"At the beginning of therapy, I felt like I was just giving endless monologues. I was desperate for answers and solutions and not happy with how things were going. I saw no point in my sessions as I talked and talked until one day my therapist asked me a simple question about a topic I was talking about and I burst into waterfall-like tears. That was the moment I really started to trust the process."

#####"Therapy also helps with everyday problems "

In her sessions, Giorgia not only got to know herself better, but also learned to take the perspectives of the people around her and thus better understand their behavior. Thanks to her studies in psychology, she was already convinced by a wide range of therapy methods and their successes. But when Giorgia saw how much her quality of life improved as a result of her sessions, she began to recommend them even more.

"My family's initial reaction was: 'But there's nothing wrong with you'. That's the classic misconception about the subject. Many people still think that you have to be 'crazy' to go to therapy. That's why they don't think it's necessary for themselves and don't really believe in it. I think it's difficult to overcome the mistrust and prejudices that have developed over generations. There is also the underlying fear of what it could mean for your own life to express your worries and fears out loud."

However, many of Giorgia's friends, including her sister, took her advice and sought professional help. Sometimes all it takes is one person around you to break the taboo. "The relationship with my sister has improved a lot since we both went to therapy and worked on ourselves. I'm proud of the progress I've been able to make and I like to talk about why psychotherapy or psychological coaching can help anyone."

"We are constantly trying to change something about ourselves that we think is bad. In reality, these are often character traits that others love about us. "

Many of Giorgia's views have also changed thanks to her therapy. "I went to therapy to stop crying so much about everything. Now I've learned to accept that I'm very sensitive and empathetic, which many of my friends and family members appreciate. I have also realized that my own self-esteem is subject to fluctuations. It's not about everything being perfect - you have to take the rollercoaster ride as it comes and accept the stressful phases as part of life."

Giorgia is currently no longer in therapy. She has moved to Spain and now lives with her partner, which gives her a lot of joy and support. "I had the feeling that I was in a phase where I no longer needed therapy, so I stopped. But I would still like to start again because I can see how much the sessions help me in my everyday life. I can address small things and prevent them from becoming bigger problems."

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About Giorgia

Giorgia is 27 years old and studied psychology and criminology. She loves being out in nature and enjoys hiking, climbing and traveling. Giorgia enjoys trying new things that take her out of her comfort zone. She is vegan, nostalgic and cooks - or at least she tries to. She prefers to spend her free time with her boyfriend and her cat, but also likes to curl up with a book. The bilingual Italian lives in Spain and is currently learning a third language: German.

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Sarah from Aepsy

Aepsy human creativity, aesthetics and technology for easy, stigma-free access to mental health. We tear down hurdles and set minds free. Until everyone can follow their dreams mentally liberated. For us, for you, and for the generations to come.

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