At the age of 17 (I am now 48), I was trapped in a kitchen fire caused by a gas leak. I was seriously traumatized and developed a phobia which generalized to a dislike and fear of all kitchens. When I found out that I would be on a week of kitchen duty, I panicked and called my boyfriend: “Come and get me” I wailed, “I can’t do this!!”
“No way kiddo, it’s time you faced your fears…” was his loving but firm reply.
I suddenly had to change my attitude and tackle this upcoming challenge. I decided to up the ante and cut out my Ativan (anxiety pill), and see if I could apply what I’d learned in the workshops.
Geneviève (Dianova’s home Chef) was calm and reassuring. At no time did she raise her voice or make harsh demands. They were always kind requests. There was constant chattering and the radio played in the background. I quickly learned to love being in the kitchen. The days passed quickly and I made some friends.
I went from visibly shaky when I walked past the stove, to stirring soup over the open fire. Taking a step back, learning to breathe and applying other techniques I had learned in the workshops all contributed to my triumphant therapeutic experience in the kitchen”