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Why Self-Care Is Important When You’re Attending Therapy


Therapy can Make You Cry

I remember seeing a woman leave the office of a therapist I worked alongside in the building. His name was Dave. She was visibly upset and still crying. That’s not out of the ordinary for a therapy session. It can bring up a lot of emotion.

But I think to let her leave the office still in tears was wrong. When I questioned Dave about it, he admitted that he often did it with his clients.

“Don’t you give them a window to settle themselves before they leave?"I asked.

“No, I don’t see the point really."He shrugged.

There is a Point, Dave

The point is, Dave, clients are supposed to feel safe and comfortable going back out into the real world. Not vulnerable and tearful. I allocated ten minutes at the end of each session to help my client calm themselves down and stop crying. It helped them carry on with the rest of their day a little better and feel less vulnerable.

Therapy brings about a lot of intense thoughts and feelings, and they are not confined to the session. They can creep into everyday life, so taking care of yourself is essential during this emotionally charged time.

Do Whatever Keeps You Calm

Staying calm nowadays is not easy. The world is full of noise, and some of it is very loud and scary. Finding a way to de-stress is a must, particularly when attending therapy. It does not matter what it is, as long as it is not hurting you or anyone else. If it keeps you calm, do it. Make time every single day for it. Even if it is only five minutes, find the quietest place possible and chill out there. If you have children finding a moment to yourself is not always possible. So you will have to steal those moments when they finally do arrive. Make the most of every single one.

Some calming activities include

  • Breathing exercises
  • Mindfulness
  • Yoga
  • Taking a walk
  • Listening to calming music
  • Stroking an animal

If none of these work for you, then develop your own calming activities and do them every day.


Be Organized

Being disorganized means you are more likely to get stressed out. And you need to eliminate as much stress as you can right now. If you are not much of a planner, now is a good time to become one.

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Having everything organized might not seem like a big deal. But the impact it can have on your mental health is phenomenal.

Sit With Your Emotions

You’ll need to put your feelings into a box while at work. But when you get home, be sure to open the box. Feel whatever comes to you, do not try to deny or repress it. That can have consequences for your mental and physical health.

Accept the emotions, feel them, work through them. Everything you are feeling is normal, valid, and okay. Therapy brings up a lot; you can’t be expected to keep it all bottled up.


Keep Taking Your Medication

If you are taking medication, do not stop when you start therapy. The medication is there to help you make the most of therapy. And stopping medication should be done slowly and under medical supervision. There are so many articles online about stopping your medication. These are irresponsible and dangerous. Please consult a professional before stopping your antidepressants.


Have Some Fun

Therapy is serious and intense. You can counteract this by having some fun. Do something that makes you laugh with the people you love. It doesn’t matter how silly it might seem. If it makes you laugh, go for it!

Laughter might not be the best medicine, but it is pretty close.

Be Honest

Sometimes a therapist and a client don’t work together. It’s not always anyone's fault; there are two people in that room. And occasionally, two people don’t get along with each other. If this is the case, you need to be honest, tell your therapist the truth. There is absolutely no point in sitting through therapy sessions with someone you don’t want to see. It’s counterproductive and a waste of time. They might suggest someone different, or you could find someone different yourself.

And sometimes, therapists can be downright rude. I once heard a therapist laugh at a client for one of his phobias! He got in serious trouble. But if your therapist is being rude or disrespectful, find a new one. Walk away from them because they will make your mental health worse.

Do Your Homework

A lot of counselors and therapists will set you homework. It feels weird because you’re an adult, and adults do not have homework. But they have set it for a reason; they are trying to help you reach your goals. Even if it seems silly, humor them and do it. You never know; you might be surprised at how effective it is.


Give Yourself a Present

I don’t mean buy yourself a present, I mean give yourself one. A nice cup of coffee in the bath, a fifteen-minute power nap. Allowing yourself something special is a great way to remind yourself that you deserve to be treated nicely.

Look After Yourself

As I said, therapy can be stressful, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Self-care isn't selfish.

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