Beauty in suffering: How one woman is fighting the stigma of therapy [CNA] Diego, Calif., Dec 22, 2015 / 04:59 pm (CNA).- Maura Byrne was terrified to go to therapy for the first time.

She knew something was wrong, and she knew she needed help. But she didn’t know if she wanted to revisit the ghosts of her past, particularly with a therapist.

“I was very reluctant to do it, there’s just such a stigma associated with therapy, and I didn’t know if I wanted to open up to someone,” she told CNA.

A young woman from northern New Jersey, Byrne experienced her share of trauma in the past, including abuse, an eating disorder and a diagnosis of depression in college. After visiting the Institute of the Psychological Sciences in Arlington, Virginia, she was further diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Them diagnosing me with those things was both hurtful but very helpful, because I knew something was wrong with me, but I didn’t know what it was, and I didn’t know how to fix it,” Byrne said.

Once she reached out for help, Byrne realized she needed to continue with therapy, which she did for the next two years. And that was when the hard work, healing – and inspiration – began.

She found a Catholic psychologist in Nashville, Tennessee, and within a matter of weeks transplanted her entire life from her home on the East Coast to the southern state in order to continue with counseling.

It wasn’t easy.

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