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Happy Twenty First Day of Thanks Everyone!

I am so excited. Today I have a special treat. One of my favorite people, hailing from Germany and who started the first Thirty Days of Thanks with us, Dr. Fabian Engelbertz, is going to be sharing his thanks for therapy. Family, please welcome him and love on him as he shares. . .

The other day I asked my mom what I was like as a young child, a time that precedes my conscious mind. What did I like to play with? What was I excited about? 

She struggled with her memory, but all she said was that I wasn’t particularly interested in anything. That left me pensive and disappointed. And then angry. Could that be? I refused to believe that. Could I actually have been a young child without an innate intrinsic motivation to play? What kind of child doesn’t play? Not a normal one, right? Only a sick one? But why?

After numerous hours of talking to by now several psychotherapists of different backgrounds, schoolings and viewpoints over the last 10 years, I am still not certain why I see and feel and think the way I do, but I have been lucky and privileged to learn a bunch more about myself. 

I understand that the type of attachment we experience as a newborn and infant, shown to us by our caretakers, determines the way we behave in our relationships with others, especially during stressful situations. Do I feel secure in my relationship or do I constantly fear, anxiously, a dooming rejection or abandonment? Am I worthy of love or do I have to fight for it? Do I have to earn it and prove my worthiness through achievements? Is it worthless? 

Many human beings including myself become depressed in their lifetimes regardless of how hard they have worked or they how much wealth and titles they have attained. Or they become anxious? Manic? Schizophrenic?

In the end a psychiatric diagnosis may put a label to a phenomenon that is in reality so much more complex, so much more human.

In my case, any situation that reminds me of feeling lonely stirs up a cascade of neurons firing and neurotransmitter secretion leading to havoc inside my brain and body. It is solitude that I subconsciously fear such that my 3 year old self takes control and makes me feel like a lonely child waiting for his mother to come back from work and wanting his siblings to play with him. My inner child rebels when I continue to force myself to endure a situation that I am too chicken to escape due to the fear of humiliation or disappointment. All that plus life itself adds up to a never-ending circle of over-exhaustion.

How could I possibly stop that hamster wheel from turning and churning?

The only satisfying answer I have come up with is: psychotherapy.

I am beyond grateful that I had the opportunity to find therapists willing to take me in, to listen, to be patient, to be kind and understanding, to accept, to reflect, to forgive, to explain, to support, to teach and to inspire.

They have helped me to resurface the bright parts that make up my personality. They have travelled with me to my darkest thoughts and memories losing themselves in a dark hole without getting lost. 

They have allowed me to reconsider the role I had adopted to play since childhood, rewrite the story I felt trapped in for so long, and finally tell publicly what had always lurked inside of me.

Today I would like to express thanks to every mental health counsellor, psychotherapist or psychiatrist as well as every human being who is suffering from mental illness and courageous enough to ask for help.

Please if you are in need of help because of your despair, let somebody know. Tell them your story and see where that story can take you.

Thank you for allowing me to tell my story.

Lots of love & gratitude,

Dr. Fabian Engelbertz

Today as we give thanks for therapy and mental health support, we ask that you donate to one of Dr. Fabian's charities,, which collects donations to improve medical services in Ethiopia.

Love Ya,

Have a Great Day of Thanks!

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