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I began to see Samantha last fall, after my depression was at its worst. Not eating, not talking, not going to class, suicidal thoughts, and self-harming was becoming an everyday thing for me. I decided to seek help on my own and came across the Fox Valley Institute, where I met Samantha and honestly, where I believe I was able to turn my life around. I am writing this testimonial to thank Samantha for guiding me through my emotions and for believing in me.

I first started to see a therapist and psychiatrist when I was 12, and I did not like it at all. I felt no connection with my therapist and felt like I was being prescribed anything to numb my emotions. I did not like it and tried to avoid doctors and medication for years. So, walking into Samantha’s office for the first time I was very nervous, but within minutes I felt completely comfortable with her. The fact that she believed in me, and believed that I had the strength to continue on unmedicated showed me that she wants to help me.

I was always told, “people can’t change overnight” but I did, and Samantha believed that I did too. With many positive exercises and other techniques to help my anxiety and panic attacks, I was determined to bring myself up and work hard on turning my life around. Like I mentioned before, she truly guided me in the right direction and I was able to leave feeling comfortable with the tools that she gave me. If I could, I would continue to see her, however I had to move out of state, but with only nine months with Samantha, I feel more confident in myself, I feel stronger, and I can finally say that I am proud of myself — N.E.