I went to see my therapist today. It had been at least a year and a half since I’d last sat in Jeannie’s office and it felt good to be back. See, I’m a big fan of talk therapy, particularly if you can find a good therapist (and you absolutely can). I think he or she can become one of the most valuable tools you have for self-growth.

The first time I tried talk therapy was when I was 17 or 18. The perfectionist raging inside me was driving me to tears. It was freeing to talk to someone who was unbiased and in my corner; she genuinely wanted me to grow, let go, improve, get better. And she had ideas for how I could do that, which was a big relief.

Later, my husband and I went to couples therapy before we got married. Some friends thought we were crazy, wondering if going to therapy meant we were too troubled to get hitched in the first place. But for us, it was really healthy and eye-opening to work out the kinks before putting those rings on.

Several years after that, therapy literally saved my life after I had my first son. That’s when I found Jeanne, thanks to an astute OBGYN who urged me to see her. Jeanne and I spent a lot of time together in those early days. A lot. But she never gave up on me and she always believed in me. She pulled me through some rough stuff, earning my eternal trust and admiration.

So, whenever I feel a bit off-kilter, I know I can lean on Jeanne to listen, analyze, comfort and support me. And then, without fail, she pushes me to step outside my comfort zone. Today, she challenged me to step way outside the box to confront some of my issues with food head-on. It scares me half to death to walk down this new path, so I know I have to do it. Fear = Opportunity. I mean, I could ignore her advice and say the dog ate my homework. But then I’d just be stuck in the same place, stuck with the same old issues. If I take her up on it, and stretch myself to do more and be more, I know I’ll come out on the other side with more clarity and confidence…which inevitably leads to a more beautiful life.