“I can now feel my own needs and organize my life the way I want to”.
Sandra, 66, has been struggling with her mental health since she was 24. The combination of frequently moving to different countries, an unpleasant relationship with her mother and a family trauma caused her to develop a negative self-image. She felt insecure about how to behave, couldn’t take good care of herself and suffered from depressive symptoms. At iPractice, Sandra learned to feel her own needs and set her boundaries. Now she can live her life the way she wants to.
“I grew up in different countries and got my identity from different cultures.”
My name is Sandra and I am a choreographer and I make theater. My father was from Asia and my mother was from the Netherlands. I was born in the Netherlands. I spent my childhood in Indonesia and went to high school in several countries. At 19, I started studying art history in Leiden. I grew up in different countries and got my identity from different cultures. My father expected me to take over his work as a researcher, but I had no interest in that.
“I began to adapt myself to others and set the bar very high for myself. This eventually led to burnout and depression.”
I had a difficult childhood with an unstable mother and a father with childhood and war trauma. The distant relationship with my father, bad relationship with my mother and moving around a lot meant that I had no safe haven in life. I was insecure and didn’t know how to behave. I began to adapt myself to others and set the bar very high for myself. This eventually led to burnout and depression.
“I was led by life, instead of deciding for myself what I wanted to do.”
I suffered from brain fog. I couldn’t think clearly or remember anything. I couldn’t make choices and felt languid and confused. As a result, I couldn’t get anything done even though I was very ambitious. I was led by life. Instead of deciding for myself what I wanted to do, I had no empathy for myself.
“It was not my first time seeing a psychologist. In fact, I have been dealing with my mental health for 42 years.”
It was not my first time seeing a psychologist. In fact, I have been dealing with my mental health for 42 years. I had been going to Janneke before she worked at iPractice. Because I had such a good click with her, I was eager to see Janneke again. At iPractice, I had eight sessions with her.
“We often talked about the issues regarding the relationship between me and my mother.”
We often talked about the issues regarding the relationship between me and my mother. As an exercise, I wrote a letter to my mother in response to her critical attitude. I asked if she could be nice for once. I also learned that I should not let my mother roll over me. It is okay to react angrily when she is annoying.
“The RDI exercise has helped me a lot.”
The RDI (Resource Development and Installation) exercise has helped me a lot. You go to a situation where you don’t feel comfortable. Then you go to a situation where you are very confident. The psychologist taught me to connect this feeling of self-assurance to a hand gesture by putting the tips of my thumb and index finger together. Now every time I walk down the street and feel insecure about what people think of me, I do that hand gesture. It makes me feel good again.
“For my trauma-related symptoms, we did EMDR.”
For my trauma-related symptoms, we did EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). I had to describe a traumatic experience I went through as a child with my mother. We went on to view this experience from a distance as an adult. I learned to put the situation into perspective and distanced myself from old negative thoughts so I suffer less from the bad relationship with my mother.
“I really liked how the Wire system helped me prepare for the sessions with the psychologist.”
I found the online part of iPractice difficult at times. For young people, I think the digital part is very convenient. I really liked how I could use the Wire system to prepare for the sessions with the psychologist and read back what we talked about. Furthermore, iPractice’s practice is very nice with a fresh and friendly atmosphere.
“I can now feel my own needs and organize my life the way I want.”
After the treatment, the effects worked their way into my life. The things I wanted to do and wanted to achieve were given a place. I can now feel my own needs and arrange my life the way I want. For example, for three weeks now I have been getting up at 6 a.m. for my morning ritual. I go for a walk, I chant, I study and then I go to work. This structure and habits help me a lot.
“iPractice has helped me respond differently to the same problems.”
iPractice has helped me respond differently to the same problems. For example, I have learned to be less angry with my mother. I also use the RDI technique every day. When I feel uncertain about how to behave, I put my fingers together and go back to feeling confident.
“I hope mental health becomes more accessible”
I hope mental health becomes more accessible. The people who need mental health care most often struggle to ask for help. Mental help is really an investment in yourself. It is also important to find a good match with a psychologist. With Janneke I had a tremendously good click which made the treatment very pleasant.
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- ✅ Reimbursed care with a rating of 9+
- ✅ Immediate help without waiting
- ✅ Free advice without obligation
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