Therapy is one to work on your mental health, and it can help with many issues from ADHD to trauma recovery. We believe strongly in the life-changing power of therapy – that’s why we are dedicated to mental health here at Holistic Consultation.
Going to therapy on a weekly basis means that you spend 1 hour a week with your therapist. One session a week leaves you with 167 hours left in the week to support your mental health. Deciding how to use those hours can help you make the most of your time between therapy sessions and lead to better outcomes.
Therapy offers a chance to work through painful emotions, learn more about your patterns of interacting with others, develop new coping skills, build up your sense of self-worth, and improve your most important relationships. All of these things take time and practice. The time in between therapy sessions gives you a chance to take your new skills out for a spin.
In addition to offering new skills to practice, therapy can sometimes be emotionally heavy. There are times when we talk about things that are painful or that bring up distressing feelings. Taking time between appointments to reflect on what you talked about in therapy can give you a chance to continue processing how you feel.
Are you wondering how to support your mental health between therapy sessions? Here are 5 things to do between therapy appointments for you to try:
Journal about your appointment
It’s not always easy to remember what you talked about during your therapy session or to keep track of what your therapist has said. Journaling after your therapy appointment can help you organize your thoughts and keep a record of what you covered. It might be helpful to take notes during your session so you can remember the general idea of what you covered during your session, which you can expand on in your journal later.
Notice your self-talk
Lots of us are way meaner to ourselves than we realize. Therapy can help you learn to spot your inner critic or the judgmental voice in your head that tries to convince you that you’re not good enough. We all have moments of self-doubt, but the trick is to tune out the inner critic because what it’s saying is not true. Keeping an eye on how you talk to yourself can be eye-opening. Before you can work on changing how you talk to yourself, you need to notice that it’s happening. Try to keep track of when you start thinking negatively about yourself. You might be surprised by how you talk to yourself when you start to tune in.
Take care of yourself
Therapy is a lot of work. Make sure you’re treating yourself gently after therapy sessions. Do what you can to prioritize self-care. Drink lots of water, take your meds if you need to, do things that make you happy, talk to the people you love, get lots of rest, and make sure to get enough to eat. Talking to your therapist can give you more ideas for how to practice self-care between your appointments that work for your lifestyle.
Make a list of what to talk about next time
Sometimes it’s tricky to keep track of everything you want to talk about during your therapy sessions. Things may come up that you want to discuss with your therapist, or you might have an important realization that you want to make sure you share. Some people find it helpful to keep a note on your phone or in your journal where you can jot down important topics to bring up during your next appointment.
Another way to support your mental health between therapy sessions is to make space for a mindfulness practice. Many sources of distress stem from being removed from the present moment – either focused on feelings from the past or worrying about the future. The present moment is the only one we have any control over, and therapy can help you feel more comfortable tuning into what’s going on around you without mental distractions. The more you practice, the easier it will be to tune out the past and future and focus on the present.
The time in between therapy appointments gives you space to reflect on and implement what you learn in session. The work that you do in the therapy room is important and equally important is what you do outside the therapy room between appointments. That’s when you get a chance to practice new coping skills, have important conversations, and focus on enjoying the present moment.
Whatever you do between therapy sessions, make sure to give yourself a lot of credit for showing up. It’s not easy to work on your mental health, especially when things aren’t going well, and showing up takes courage and vulnerability. You’re doing amazing things.