I want to talk about some concrete ways you can get ready for your session. For some it’s a thing they do every time before or after session. For others it’s preparing time or space. This is really just to support you in getting ready in the ways that feel best for you.
- Set yourself up for success. If you’re doing virtual therapy, what are the things you need to do to ensure your space is private? What are things you want others in your space to know about this private time? Do you need anything special to sit on or with? If for example you have a work appointment right after your therapy session, how can you use the last few minutes of the hour to transition from therapy mode to work mode? If you have a shared space are there ways you might feel more comfortable talking about things? If you’re going to an in-person session what do you need around transportation, parking, and getting ready before and after session?
- Give yourself some love. I use to hold a warm cup of coffee and notice the warmth on my hands after going to therapy sessions. I now talk with people about reading books or developing their own playlist just for them and their needs. For example, people could make a soothing or anchoring playlist.
- Talk to yourself like you’d talk to a child on your nicest day. This is hard! Feeling feelings, let alone talking with someone about it can be super hard. I’m amazed that we’re all doing this stuff these days. This is like really hard. So please, pretty pretty please, be as easy with your self judgment and criticism as possible after session. You may not have gotten where you wanted or you may not feel the way you want to from session. Some of these things can be processed with your therapist, but some of these things are simply because we don’t always feel good from therapy. Sometimes we get in there and dig up the crap. So please talk to yourself as you’d talk to a child after a painful physical therapy session. On my best day I’d listen with gentleness and maybe even give them a hug or some fun time afterward ( : This can also help you be less scared/activated for getting ready for your next session. I also like to see if there’s a trusted someone that they can talk with in between sessions or who knows about the work their doing in therapy. If there is that someone then the person knows they have that resource should they want or need the support or connection after sharing and to help them keep engaging in therapy.
So it’s not all this easy, but I’m learning more and more about the ways folks care for themselves after session and how they kind of transition into their therapy. If you’d like more just let me know!