Returning to Therapy After a Break | When, Why & How To Make It Happen
Did your therapist just take a mini-vacation? Or Did you take one of those small breaks in your life? And now thinking of returning to therapy after a break and those antsy feelings and anxious nerves making you second guess your decision?
Well, don’t worry, that’s normal. It happens with almost everyone. Different individuals experience different emotions attached to the break in the therapy. If you are experiencing any emotions like resentment, jealousy, happiness, abandonment, or others, acknowledge them and share them with your therapist, they are indeed important.
In fact, they mark progress in your therapeutic relationship. While these emotions might be holding you back to restart your journey with therapy, we would suggest you take them as a sign and go back to therapy.
But, why do I have to Return to Therapy After a Break?
There are many reasons why you should return to therapy after a break. But, while your overwhelming feelings might hover over this side, we are sharing with you reasons to go back to therapy
To discover the unknown possibilities and strength. When you will sit back and evaluate what situations occurred in your life and how well you encountered them, you will see the change in your managing skills. While you might have discovered some of your strengths, coping skills, and powers, you can further use psychotherapy to discover more of what you got.
To make sure that you don’t have a relapse. Often taking a break from therapy might result in slipping into the old habits that you have resolved through it. This is known as relapse. To make sure that you avoid falling in the trap of these bad habits, you might have to return to the therapy and internalize your skills.
To add more to your accomplishments. You might have seen some or the other positive changes in yourself, in your life, and in your relationship with others, ever since you have taken therapy. These changes serve as an accomplishment and impact your self-esteem positively. To enjoy more such accomplishments and be pleased with your progress in your life going back to therapy is recommended. As it will help you learn more such tools that will keep you on this track.
Also Read: Life Coaching and Psychotherapy: What’s The Difference?
To complete your full healing. Therapy is a process that aims to heal you and the issues that are bothering you. Each session that you have with your therapist is a step towards your complete healing. So, while you have taken a break from therapy, you might find yourself feeling better but feel a need for betterment. That’s when going back to therapy and completing this healing circle of yours would be beneficial.
To address the new issues. During this break time you might have been able to dig a little deeper and find out what are the other issues or the deeper issues that you would like to work on and resolve. This will renew your motivation and you will be able to work on it with your therapist as you go back to the therapy.
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Now that you know all the good things that you will enjoy by returning to therapy after the break here is how you can make it happen.
How To Return Back To Therapy?
Whatever was your reason to take a break from the therapy it is completely fine. Now that you have decided to return to therapy let us focus on that. We understand that it can be a little overwhelming to start with your therapy session again. So, we are suggesting to you some points that can be taken into consideration here:
1. Communicate with your therapist
Have open communication with your therapist about why you decided to take a break in the first place. Don’t think of it as owning an explanation to the therapist rather look at it as a way to clear the air about the previous concerns. Also, it will put all the spinning questions to an end.
Next, you should communicate that you want to get back to the therapy. Be clear with your intentions and share them with the therapist freely.
Also Read: How Often Should you Talk to Your Therapist: Therapy Guide
2. Share your break time story with the therapist
It is suggested you share with your therapist how your break time went, and what all things you did? What you didn’t do? How the therapy lessons helped you? What new things you discovered? This will only aid your after break therapy sessions. According to the events that have taken place in your life during this period the therapist will further re-adjust the treatment process when you return to therapy.
3. Mention what you have explored
Maybe after the few therapy sessions that you previously had, your view towards life, your actions, thoughts, and feelings have changed in a healthy direction. Which is important for you to identify and communicate to the therapist. It will allow you to realize what you want or need now and further channelize the goals of therapy in the same direction.
It’s OKAY To Take A Break From Therapy!
There are so many stigmas attached to therapy still and many times, it’s the stigmas that hold us back from getting the help we need. One such stigma is that once you leave therapy, you’ll be better and if you have to return to therapy then there is something wrong with you (or your therapist).
Well, that’s not the truth. Therapy is a healing process that takes time and no one can expect a result in the first few months of therapy itself. I was recently talking to a friend and she told me that she left therapy because she felt better yet in a few months, she’s returning to therapy. Why? It’s not anything wrong with her but because between her busy work schedule, social commitments, and family responsibilities, she was unable to care for herself.
Whether we believe it or not, therapy just like going for a massage after a stressful week is a self-care practice. You are giving yourself some time and space in a non-judgmental, supportive room with a support system aka your therapist to just be yourself and let the unpleasant emotions out.
So once you feel better in therapy or more like in control of your emotions, you feel, “It’s okay to let go of therapy” but you can’t always control your emotions, right? One day, you’re bound to feel overwhelmed and you’re going to face the unpleasant feelings you thought you knew how to manage.
Here’s where you think, “I might need therapy again” which is OK! Returning to therapy after a break is OK. Because in this break from therapy, you put the tools and the strategies you learned to use. You saw and experienced (first-hand) how they helped you but now that things become too overwhelming, too out of control, you know that therapy will benefit you and yet you hesitate.
There are benefits of taking a break from therapy. This break from therapy allows you to gain some perspective on your healing journey. This break gives you time to improvise your goals and check-in with yourself, on your own.
Taking a break from therapy can be helpful and if you’re wondering, “Is it the right time to take a break from therapy?” well, don’t think much. Communicate with your therapist, plan a transition time, and gather the tools you might need to use during the break.
You don’t have to leave your issues behind or pause your symptoms when taking a break from therapy. You just need to plan and be ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
1. Why does a therapist take a break?
If you are questioning why a therapist has to take a break then should understand that taking multiple sessions for a long period can result in burnout for a therapist. Therefore, therapists also take breaks. Generally, they inform you beforehand are available for your help even at distance.
2. Can I work on myself during therapy break?
Yes. While you are on a therapy break you should not stop working on yourself as this might trigger the same issue again, bringing your progress to zero. So, till the time you figure the need to go back to the therapy just keep on applying the therapy lessons.
3. Is returning to therapy a sign of weakness?
No. Going back to therapy is not a sign of weakness. It is just a way to complete your healing journey and become self-dependent by acquiring the right coping skills.
4. Can I go back to online therapy after a break?
Yes, of course. No matter whether you have taken a break in online therapy or offline therapy you can also go back to it, enjoy the benefits, and talk about it freely with your therapist.
5. Is ghosting my therapist and taking a break the same thing?
Well, if you go on a therapy vacation without informing your therapist prior, then it might be a sign of ghosting. But, if you are willing to establish contact with your therapist in near future then it is more of a break. Remember ghosting a therapist involves, leaving without notice, no goodbyes, and no future contact.
Now, if you were on a break from therapy, it’s time to return to therapy and complete your healing journey now.
Do share with us what motive you have behind returning to therapy after a break. And if you are facing any other difficulties to go back back to therapy write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you resolve them.
Sending you good vibes…
More Interesting Reads:
Read: Is My Therapy Working? 7 Signs If Your Therapy Is Beneficial
Understand: How Long Does Therapy Last: The Science Behind Therapy
These are the best tips because after returning it is very tough but here you are explaining very well , keep sharing with us .
I think Recaping everything can be the best method one can opt for while returning to therapy after a break.. I myself did the same and this led us to create the coming sessions more specific and organized