about dr. rachel
Dr. Rachel Hesselbrock
Can we get really personal right off the bat?
For most of my life, I suffered from body dysmorphic disorder, which is a mental health condition that caused me to fixate on my appearance. I can remember being in grade school and hating what I saw in the mirror, berating myself with negative self-talk and feeling angry, frustrated and absolutely hopeless.
I’d burst into tears, wondering why me? Why did I have to look the way I did?
Here’s the truth: I didn’t want to look my like myself. Instead, I dreamed of looking like the girls and women I saw on TV and my female friends at school – beautiful, thin, perfect – and I felt so far from any of those things.
I was devastated because I was sure there was no way out and no hope for me to feel better because one thing was clear: I couldn’t stand the sight of my body.
I thought I was doomed.
This went on through middle and high school and into college, getting worse and worse… until something incredible happened that changed the course of my life.
I was in medical school when I received an email from an on-campus group looking for a volunteer. A doctor who specialized in holistic counseling was coming to host a presentation, and he wanted to demonstrate his style and techniques. I knew I needed help, so I signed up.
This is where my story starts to get WAY happier.
The doctor heard my story, during which I explained my unhealthy obsession with exercise due to my body dysmorphic disorder, and he asked me a simple question: Would I be willing to stop exercising if it was causing more harm than good?
At first, my answer was absolutely not. My body dysmorphia told me I NEEDED to exercise; I couldn’t imagine stopping. The very idea terrified me.
But before long, I realized I actually felt relieved by the thought of quitting exercise. This man was giving me permission to rest, and that felt amazing. I was so, so tired, and I knew something had to change. And when I sat back and got clear about the gym, I figured out that killing myself wasn't helping me to feel any better, so what if I did something else that made me feel good instead?
He and I started working together – and the rest, as they say, is history.
This is where my healing journey began, and because of it, I am now a holistic counselor, too.
Gone are the days when I look in the mirror and hate what I see. Gone is my fixation on my body. Instead, I get to live my life to the fullest, which has included graduating with my doctorate from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences and starting my own business, as well as a beautiful journey into marriage and motherhood.
The truth is I would never have been able to achieve all that I have – and certainly couldn’t have enjoyed it – if I was still struggling with my mental health and trapped in my pain.
I know this to be true because my mental illness stole so much joy from my younger years.
Can you relate?
If you’re reading this and are feeling unhappy, anxious, depressed or hopeless, I want you to know there is a way out.
You don’t have to keep living like this.
Through the process of holistic counseling, you CAN feel better. You CAN heal. You CAN become empowered. You CAN live the life you’ve always dreamed of.
That’s what I’m here to help you with.
Your struggle matters – and together, we can work to get to the root cause of your pain, and you can find peace and freedom.
I just wanted to let you know that I think you're amazing. Yeah, YOU! I have had some dark times in my life and found a way to come out on the other side, which is exactly what I want to be able to help others do. I believe in you, I know you are awesome, and I know you can live the life you never thought imaginable. I'm beyond honored to serve in anyway necessary to help you reach the goals and life you've always wanted. Thank you for visiting the website, and thank you for allowing me to live the life I've always dreamed for myself.
You Rule! Carpe Diem my friends!