In psychotherapy, you have been provided the space to gain new perspectives, explore and process emotions and relationships, and be in a space of safety to be all of you. So, what happens after you leave the healing space? If you want to learn more about Therapy AfterCare click HERE. There are a number of opportunities for continued growth and integration outside of psychotherapy. When you leave the therapy session, you are offered opportunity to practice and engage more thoroughly in the hard work of addressing your challenges.
It is important to take an active role in your personal healing, growth, and change process. In terms of real and enduring change, most of the work happens outside of the therapy room. As a psychologist, I play a specific role in supporting people’s change and healing processes. I am committed to providing ethical, empathic, compassionate, and research-informed clinical practice. I strive to "show up" to every session. Another big part of the therapeutic relationship is the role that a client plays in becoming empowered to fully address life challenges. Psychotherapy is an interactive and synergistic relationship, and there are dual responsibilities (i.e., the responsibility of myself as a mental health professional and the responsibilities of a client). A client's role is to fully participate in the therapeutic process, provide feedback, and also extend learning, insights, and new skills into your day-to-day. It's not always easy to integrate and follow-through with healing plans, and this becomes an opportunity to continue to invest in healing and wellness.
Tips for Actualizing Change In-Between Sessions
1. Attempt to Build Bridges
It may be helpful for some folks to take one or two learnings from a session and use those learnings as a guide throughout the week. The bridges could be about setting intentions/commitments for the week and reflecting on progress.
2. Integrate Instead of "Fitting In" Life-Giving Coping Strategies
We are busy people. It is sometimes really easy to forget or put things on the backburner, especially if folks have been avoiding addressing specific aspects of life, history, or other challenges. When it comes to wellness, however, you have the opportunity to integrate life-giving strategies as a part of your day-to-day and as a part of who you are and what you value. Life-giving strategies may include: mindful movement like yoga, creating art, journaling, connecting with friends, making healthy and delicious meals, meditation and/or prayer, etc. In this way, it is no longer a matter of finding the time or trying to fit things in, but rather, integrating life giving strategies into moment-to-moment awareness.
3. Develop Healing Rituals and Routines
As one integrates new learning, practices new skills, and engages in self-compassion, a person may become more open to developing intentional healing rituals. These routines and rituals can be developed and discussed in therapy and have the potential to provide new ways to approach life stressors and angst.