A trip to the psychologist’s office is never an easy one. It’s not that I dread it, but it’s – as I’m sure some of you can relate – the hashing-up of all the traumatic experiences. Sometimes it feels like I do enough re-living of my own through the nightmares and random flashbacks that seemingly come out of nowhere. So, these sessions can wake the demon of PTSD and cause me to disassociate, lose focus and as a consequence, I don’t really get a lot of therapeutic benefits.
Of course, I can’t speak to the effectiveness of your sessions while in therapy because we are all different and what landed us on the therapist’s couch is as unique as you and me. What I find most perplexing is not what takes place during the session but rather, how I feel afterward.
My experience with the post-session psychotherapy time is this: some days I can barely make it to the office, I feel so despondent – but after the psychologist and I work through what we are working on, I walk out of there feeling renewed and wondering if I am cured.
OK, maybe not cured, but I do feel as though I can take on the remainder of the day with my authenticity. Meaning I see the world without the cloudy fog of PTSD, anxiety and depression. While others, I walk in feeling triggered, anxious or dark from depression, go through the therapeutic routine and come out feeling like I was just caught off guard by a mental-illness avalanche. I have yet to figure out why.
Has this ever happened to you? Tell me about it in the comment section below.
The aftermath of a challenging session sometimes puts me down and out for a few days and almost always takes me out for the remainder of the day. Sometimes I stress-eat to try and cope; other times I shut the rest of the day off with slumber.
Having a counselling background myself, I know that the patient doesn’t grow if not gently nudged to do so. In order to effectively get to the roots of the issue, one has to be challenged. So, if it appears as though you’re are feeling worse, perhaps it’s the therapists professionally guiding you towards the tools you need to get better.
Hopefully, through mindfulness training and coping skill-building, I can slowly start walking out of the session and right back into living, at least more often than not. I long for those times. I know they are coming; I just have to work on it, keep going to therapy so I can start to feel free after the sessions.
Please, hang in there. If you have found the right therapist, then I’m confident you’ll be on your way to a better you, on your way to healing. I’m rooting for you.
if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!