I had my last psychotherapy session.

I have seen a therapist since just before the CHI conference this year. Back then, I had chronic sleeping and addiction problems. I was also freaking out giving talks at CHI, and it was making the problems worse. I was tired, achieving less and unhappy about it, and less nice to people.

Then I came to listen to Tim Ferris's interview with Debbie Millan. (I like Debbie Millan's voice and her way of talking. Somehow this interview is heart-warming for me.) She was saying that her best investment in her life was in psychotherapy. She empirically changed her behaviors and life through the therapies over decades. After listening to the interview, I decided to try psychotherapy, and it worked quite well.

Through the sessions, the therapist helped me see both my mind and body more clearly. Paying attention to how I feel, what I want to do, and what I don't want to do was an interesting experience for me. I noticed that I had made so many decisions from social pressure (even when people don't care about my decisions,) not for myself. Also, he helped me see how my values, motivations and past decisions are linked to my childhood. My family and teachers from my elementary school were deep inside me and affected the adult me.

I learned how to be present and feel what my body tells me. This learning was entirely different from academic education, which was also fascinating to me as an academic person. It is about focusing on body sensations and breathing. It is close to meditation. Now I can more easily let things go, regardless good or bad. I feel calm and nice to people. I don't let things -- especially kinds of news that bothered a lot -- get into me. I became a more mature person. Moreover, I am even healthier than one and half years ago -- when I worried about my health. Since I paid attention to my body, I did not do something makes me over tired, and it gave me a lot more energy during the day!

I stopped the therapy to see what I can do myself and had the last session today. During the last session, my therapist and I walked through my problems, past experiences, and progresses. In short, I truly appreciate my decision about taking the psychotherapy, and I am sure that it changed the course of my life. I hope I can better understand and devote to myself throughout my life. I may or may not go back to the therapist, but there is nothing to worry about it at the moment. I just started a new chapter of my life!