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I no longer go to therapy.
I stopped going about a year ago because I just did not feel like I was getting anywhere. I was wrong. However, I have learned a lot over the last year and my life has changed as I have grown and gotten to know myself better.
I would not recommend stopping therapy for anyone who previously felt that they needed it, especially if you are in the midst of it. If you are thinking about quitting and things feel too difficult, it is probably because you need to:
- Change the pace of your treatment, go slower or faster
- Change the course of your treatment (move forward or take a step back or take a different path)
- Take a mini break (I would recommend no longer than one month)
- Stick with it because it IS hard
The biggest lesson that I have learned from taking this break is that I needed more time than I thought to process and really let everything that I was learning during therapy sink in.
It seems I am a slow learner, and a slow processor when it comes to emotional matters. It took me about six months to start to apply and regularly use many of the tools I learned over my years of therapy once I quit. I was surprised that I suddenly “got it” but realize now that I was trying to move too fast through the therapeutic process. I now like to give myself more time and find that I don’t repeat the same errors over and over again because of this.
I also learned another, probably even more important lesson:
“Nothing changes if you are comfortable.”
I allowed myself to stay comfortable too often during therapy, and in life in general. This is a big daily motivation mantra for me. I know now that if I expect anything to change, I have to step outside of my comfort zone and take small, safe “risks” emotionally.
Because of this change I have gained a lot in my life, such as:
- Ability to be social and enjoy social events
- Joined a sports team and actively participate
- More physically fit and active
- Less daily self-doubt
- Reduced anxiety
- Better daily living situation (reduced stress)
For the coming year’s recovery efforts I am going to try doing a little bit of self therapy. I have been working through The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook, and hope to share the full journey with you here. Stay tuned.