Recovery after therapy. Five ways to help you feel better.

Sometimes therapy is hard. The process of digging up old memories and sorting through them. The action of exposing emotions and learning to sit with them. Often the more productive a session the harder it feels. It can literally feel like you have run a marathon. Creating not just a mental but a physical exhaustion. At times after a session I can find myself having to motion through the day on empty.

In my experience it is very worth it and the level of impact a session has will depend on a number of factors. The exhaustion passes and gradually you will feel better, hopefully overall feeling better than you ever have in your life.

If you feel like you have gone ten rounds with Tyson even when all you have done is sit and talk. Be kind to yourself therapy can be taxing.

Here are some of the ways you can try to recover.

Create some space…

If you can take an hour off work after the session, perhaps time a session before your lunch break. Try to create some space to decompress, maybe go for a short walk. I find the change of scenery helps to ease the feelings and switch between tasks.

Share with someone else…

I am very lucky to have such a supportive husband. I often share with him the highlights and lowlights of a session. I don’t repeat everything (I often don’t have the strength). But talking about what ever I want to share helps. I think it also helps him to feel involved and useful. Sometimes he even gives me amazing advice.

Be kind to you…

I have to repeat frequently throughout the day “be kind to Row”. That could mean taking a bath, going for an extra walk, a yoga class, avoiding the housework. Therapy days are often days I force myself to be extra considerate of my needs.

Write it out…

You don’t have to share your experience for the world, although I would love to read it. You might find a simple journal to capture what you discussed helps. I also find it helps to go back to old sessions sometimes and remind myself of the takeaways and progress.

Bury yourself if the good stuff…

When I was struggling the other evening, I found myself watching reel after reel of photos on my phone. On the iPhone it automatically pulls together these little video collage of photos sorts, and they never fail to make me smile. Seeing the girls and Stephen and all our little memories. I must have sat there for a good ten minutes just watching the happy days whizz by.

Remember therapy is a process it won’t always be straight forward or easy, but at least for me it has been entirely worth it.

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