It's Okay to Take a Break from Therapy
Although therapy has immensely benefited me, I've learned it is okay to take a break from therapy. There were times I did not want a break. Sometimes I counted down the days until my next appointment, feeling like it would never arrive. During my darkest days, I talked to a therapist every week, sometimes multiple times a week. However, I also experienced times when I didn't want to talk about my feelings or work through any issues at all. At times, I was not motivated to do the internal work I knew I had to do.
Moving through the healing process while using professional therapy is a technique that is mentally exhausting and physically draining. I often experienced being so tired and emotionally spent that I could barely complete simple tasks like choosing what to make for dinner.
It takes a lot of mental effort to work through and process traumatic events from verbal abuse. And although I wanted to do whatever it took to feel better and heal, I sometimes found the work was too much for me, causing me to step back and take a break from therapy.
Short Breaks from Therapy Can Help
Whether you are just starting with a therapist or have been seeing one for some time, exploring the option of a short break can help your healing process. I reached a point in my healing journey where I needed to step back and just breathe. Unfortunately, I couldn't muster the brain power to learn a new coping skill or process old memories.
However, I knew that therapy was helpful, and as much as I didn't want to do the work, I felt I had to go to my treatment. So, I took short breaks in different ways to give me the rest I needed.
During these exhausting periods, I would prolong my next appointment by a few days or a week. This additional time gave me a few extra days to mentally prepare myself for the next session. It also gave me some much-needed rest to process my emotions and have spare time to try some coping techniques I learned.
Take a Break from Therapeutic Work and Simply Vent
I occasionally didn't do trauma work during my appointments because working through abuse trauma is challenging. And since I built up a connection with my therapist over the past few years, I felt sometimes I just needed a venting session rather than therapy.
Instead of doing internal work at an appointment, I would talk about things from my present that I found irritating, helpful, or entertaining. That way, I could maintain that connection I needed while taking a short break from the hard work that I needed to do.
It's Okay To Rest and Take Breaks from Therapy
Anytime you work to better yourself, learn a new skill, or process feelings from a verbally abusive situation, you will need to rest. This is because the body and mind cannot sustain a constant state, making it necessary to take short breaks.
If you are burnt out from therapy, talk to your therapist about a short break and how you can rest to continue your healing journey. Every individual's process is unique, and you can take all the time you need to work through your situation in the best way possible at your own pace.
Wozny, C. (2022, November 10). It's Okay to Take a Break from Therapy, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2022/11/its-okay-to-take-a-break-from-therapy