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Not simply A to B, but the in between

This blog post has been written by staff member Zoe Cottrell. Zoe works as a Children & Young People’s Therapist. 


Beginning my professional journey with SWEDA

I started off my professional journey with SWEDA over a year ago. I was (and still am) a very proud counselling volunteer supporting adults with their issues around food, body image and relationship with themselves. There are many life lessons, humbling moments, and connections I took away with me during this special time. I got to know all sorts of wonderful people, with varying experiences, likes and dislikes, but all with the common battle of struggling with an eating disorder. 

It was within these differences of personalities that the understanding that eating disorders can affect anyone really struck me beneath the surface. The realisation that the difficulties a person can experience with their relationship with food, body and eating disorders can happen to anyone, really hit home. 

The understanding of this helped truly highlight just how incredibly important and essential it is to have a safe and supportive environment such as SWEDA. A place of warmth, empathy, compassion, understanding and a truly inclusive place that see’s people as their individual self with their own individual needs. Realising that while eating disorders may present similarly, the individual experiences will be totally unique. A humbling approach to treatment.  

Hands forming a heart around the SWEDA logo  

Moving on to the role of Children & Young People’s Therapist  

I have now moved to a new role as a therapist and support worker for our children’s team, allowing me to offer counselling and support to children and young people. What an absolute privilege!  

The factors of the last few years, such as the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a rise in the use of social media platforms and the need for home schooling, have had a huge impact on eating disorders and disordered eating within our young community. To be able to offer a safe place for those needing it to offload, reconnect with themselves and use creativity to understand their feelings has been immeasurably valuable. 


A therapist helping others on the journey to recovery

It is often in life we tend to focus on getting from A to B – but what about the in between? What about the journey?

The inevitable lows and highs, the lighter and the dark days and the joy of moving forward? It is here in the “in between” that allows me to walk alongside clients in their journey, to encourage them to keep their heads up, eyes forward and to stand tall, to take in all the sights while we face the challenges together. 

That is why, for me as a therapist with SWEDA, I look forward to the imperfect in between, as here is where growth and self-discovery takes place. I feel humbled and honoured to be part of this. To be part of SWEDA – a home. 

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