What do I do in between therapy sessions?

I realise this sounds ridiculous, but my issue is essentially that my problems stop me from doing too many things and so I essentially end up unable to do anything except wait for the next therapy session.

Sometimes i get really frustrated that I’m not making any/ as much progress as I would like to, especially after a therapy session. And a lot of the times, I feel more sad after attending a therapy session. I think this is due to all the bad memories that arise when I try to unpack my feelings and emotions during a therapy session.

I just feel physically unable, or too tired to, implement the coping strategies that I learnt during therapy IRL. I’m also finding it very difficult to socialise more, as I have essentially lost interest in pretty much everything and I don’t really feel comfortable meeting new people.

I know that I’m not supposed to be reliant on therapy, but it has become such a safe/ comfortable space for me, and I’m just constantly disappointed by my lack of progress outside therapy sessions. What should I do?

Hello there. First off, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeling this way. Therapy isn’t a cakewalk. In fact, a lot of people attending therapy sessions tend to feel worse before feeling better.

My first tip is to be gentle with yourself, and let your therapist know what you’re feeling, so that you can both work together to develop coping strategies based on your specific needs and interests.

Immediately after your therapy session, try to take some time to think about what you discussed. Consider any revelations you may have had and try to be aware of these things going forward. By paying closer attention to your thoughts and actions, you will have an opportunity to make constructive changes based on your discussions in therapy.

It also sounds like you’re finding it challenging to implement the coping strategies as they seem too big/ scary/ intensive. Try taking it step by step. And learn to credit yourself for every step of the way- no matter how small that step is. Eg: When you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with short, breathing exercises. Try to implement these breathing exercises every time you feel stressed/ anxious. After practicing this for a while, you’ll realize that taking deep breaths becomes intuitive. Then, you can slowly implement new habits such as writing down your thoughts in a journal/ taking daily slow walks outdoors etc.

Progress is never linear, and you don’t have to beat yourself up over not seeing the progress that you expected. In fact, signing up for therapy + going for regular therapy sessions are already great steps in taking charge of your mental health, and I’m proud of you for doing that! We are all rooting for you in this recovery journey.