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What to Do After and In-Between Therapy Sessions

Your therapist wants you to know that whether you’re considering therapy or already immersed in the process, understanding what happens after and in-between therapy sessions is crucial for your well-being journey. It’s not just about the hour you spend with your therapist; it’s about how you nurture and sustain that progress beyond the therapy room.

After a therapy session, it’s common to feel emotionally drained or even raw. Your mind has just delved into deep, sometimes uncomfortable territory. In these moments, it’s essential to give yourself permission to decompress. Taking some time off and allowing yourself to process the session can be immensely beneficial. Resist the temptation to immediately jump into another activity or plan after a therapy session. Allow your mind to wander, reflect, and settle. This downtime is not procrastination; it’s an essential part of the healing process.

Imagine a challenging workout at the gym; afterward, your muscles need time to recover and grow stronger. Similarly, your mind needs time to absorb and integrate the insights gained during therapy. This could mean different things for different people—taking a quiet walk, journaling your thoughts, or engaging in a favorite hobby. Find what works best for you to unwind and recalibrate.

Let’s talk about what happens in-between sessions, which is something people often overlook or neglect. The work doesn’t stop when you step out of the therapist’s office. In fact, what you do between sessions can significantly impact the effectiveness of therapy. Again for emphasis, therapy isn’t just about the hour spent with your therapist; it’s about what you do with the insights and tools you’ve gained outside of that time. Even if your therapist doesn’t leave you with homework for the week, it’s important to reflect on what you talked about and what kind of shifts you would like to consciously make or notice.

Using my favorite metaphor for therapy, think of therapy as planting seeds in a garden. The sessions provide the nourishment and guidance for your garden, but it’s your responsibility to tend to those seeds between appointments. This might involve practicing mindfulness or grounding exercises, implementing coping strategies discussed in therapy, or noticing your self-talk (not an exhaustive list). Just as watering a plant regularly fosters growth, consistently engaging in therapeutic practices outside of sessions cultivates progress. It’s not always easy, and there may be setbacks along the way, but every effort you put in adds up over time. Consistency is key.

And so is collaboration. Your therapist is there to support and guide you, but ultimately, the change happens within you. Embrace the process, and be patient with yourself. Healing isn’t linear; it’s a journey with ups and downs, twists and turns. On top of the individual effort outside the therapy room, consider seeking support from trusted friends, family, or support groups.

Bottomline is, what you do after and in-between therapy sessions is just as important as the sessions themselves. Engage in therapeutic practices outside of sessions to reinforce progress and cultivate personal growth.

If you have questions about how long therapy lasts or why therapy may not work sometimes, check out our previous posts.

How Long Does Therapy Last?

Reasons Therapy Might Not Work


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