What to Do Between Therapy Sessions

6 Things You Should Do Between Therapy Sessions

 

Therapy is great way to confront issues and develop healthier patterns of thought and behavior. That said, much of your progress will occur outside your therapy sessions. While it’s perfectly ok for you to simply show up to your sessions without doing any intermediate work; it can be helpful to try a few things when you’re not at therapy.  Here is how you can do productive work between your sessions and meet the goals you have set for yourself.

 

Think about your session. Immediately after your therapy session, try to take some time to think about what you discussed. Consider any revelations you may have had and meditate on their significance. If your session revealed any unhealthy patterns of thought or behavior, try to be aware of these things going forward. It's common for people to engage in unhealthy or unproductive habits unconsciously. By paying closer attention to your thoughts and actions, you will have an opportunity to make constructive changes based on your discussions in therapy.

 

Plan your next visit. It's not uncommon for talking points to pop up moments after a therapy session. Take the opportunity to jot these things down, so you can bring them up during your next session. If you're not in the habit of journaling, make a list on your phone so you will have topics ready to go. Include any questions and thoughts related to current struggles, concerns and experiences.

 

Do some reading. Ask your therapist to recommend some constructive reading materials that might provide deeper insight into your issues. There's a lot of great material out there which can help you feel less alone and provide additional guidance. While you can't expect to solve all of your issues by reading a book, it can help supplement your therapy sessions.

 

Turn off your autopilot. Your therapy session may reveal ways you act mechanically in unproductive patterns you might have developed during childhood. It's important to pay attention to the behaviors and choices you make on a daily basis. Honestly assess whether these are healthy and productive. Once you become aware of patterned ways, you can get control of your life and take a more active role in your therapy.

 

Journal. Research appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that people experience both mental and physical benefits from writing in journals. It's also been shown to help people manage stress, reduce anxiety and cope with depression. If you're not in the habit of journaling, try to set aside some time to jot a few things down every day. If you don't have much to write about, try making a list of three to five things you feel grateful for. Studies suggest that gratitude journaling can help alleviate stress and promote greater well-being.

 

Practice what you learn. It's important to remember that therapy is just the beginning of your journey. If you want to reach your goals, you will need to do your own work between sessions. This means actively applying the strategies you learn in your sessions in your everyday life.

 

This may seem challenging at first. You might have difficulty imagining your life in any other way other than what you're accustomed to. Just remember progress isn't about perfection; you just need to make a steady effort every day. Your therapist will be able to help with this by proceeding at a pace that is appropriate for your unique needs, capabilities and situation.

The therapists at Foundations Counseling can help you live your best life.  Contact us today!