If you have been checking this blog for new posts, you know that I haven’t posted anything for several weeks. Why not? My therapist has been on vacation, and I’ve been on vacation–as much as one can be on vacation when one is in therapy. She will return the day after Labor Day, September 4th, and then the neurons and the synapses will activate once again, but for now, it’s nice to be taking it a bit easy.

But I haven’t always been able to slow down the process while I wait for my therapist to return from vacation. In the beginning phase of therapy, slowing down has been hard for me. Now, though, I’d say I’m getting closer to the end of the middle phase, and it’s easier to slow down.

I’ve learned a lot about the therapeutic process over the years, for as you know if you have been reading my blog posts on my WordPress site (https://relievingptsdsymptoms.wordpress.com/), I have had a lot of experience as a client. So, considering my wealth of experience on “the other side of the couch,” do I have any tips for weathering a therapist’s vacation or any other break in the therapy routine? All I can give you is a list of the tactics that help me, and I do that gladly. Here it is:

  1. If possible, plan an activity that will fill the time when you normally have your therapy sessions. This week, for example, I have planned dental appointments for Monday and Thursday during the times I would usually be in my therapist’s office. Now, going to the dentist may not be enjoyable, but getting dental work done is important. I’ll get it over with this week and won’t have to schedule appointments for times that may not be so convenient.
  2. Get together with friends during the times you would normally see your therapist. Just have fun spending a time socializing. Relax and enjoy the other person. A word of caution: Your friend is not your therapist. Enjoy your friend for the person he or she is, and don’t use that person as your therapist.
  3. If you are retired or not employed, get away from home for the entire day on the days you would normally have your appointment. Go to the zoo or lunch and matinee of some film you really want to see.
  4. If possible, spend a day volunteering. Getting outside yourself really helps de-stress the day sometimes. Sometimes it’s difficult to focus on the external world and on other people when one is in deep psychotherapy, but it’s worth a try. Seeing the world differently can be therapeutic in its own way. See if the Salvation Army or one of the local food banks needs some extra help for a day. In these hard times, they may!
  5. Engage in something physical during the time you would normally spend in your therapist’s office. Do physical activities you truly enjoy, however, and don’t regard this time as a chance to beat yourself up with a brutal workout.
  6. Do something you have wanted to do for a long time but have never had the time to do. This can be something as inexpensive as taking a city bus to a part of the city you have always wondered about but have never visited. Or this can be something as lavish as getting a makeover. It’s your life, your decision.

The six suggestions above have gotten me through the breaks in therapy. You may think of more. In the meantime, I hope these ideas help! Namaste . . . Jean

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