Is taking a break from therapy giving up, lazy or losing hope?

This comes up a lot in therapy with myself and for my clients who are committed to their work. As a client, you want to get better and move on with your life and the therapist wants to work with people that are committed who will see through the process. Thoughts may surface that therapy should take X amount of time or someone may feel like they must see X amount of change. Both are thoughts to throw out the window…

The journey of therapy is never a clear cut path.

If it is done right, therapy is a lot of work. It takes mental strength and power to dig through your stuff to create change. It is common to feel overwhelmed, tired and just plain ol’ wore out.

It is okay to take a breather from therapy for a couple weeks.

Giving yourself time to process everything you are learning creates room for change to happen. Sort of like when teachers give kids in the classroom “think time.” Your brain needs this same kind of time to digest, especially when dealing with years and years of pain.

I must include a caveat on the subject of taking a therapy break though.

Therapy done right is often uncomfortable and hard work. Mere discomfort does not necessarily call for a break. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself:

Am I avoiding the work or am I feeling like I need time to digest all the changes?

Discuss your feelings with the therapist.

Therapists are great people to have uncomfortable conversations with because they are practiced communicators. If you are working with a talented therapist, you should get an honest, empathetic response. Communication with your therapist is very important because everything is a part of the process, even time off.

It is better to take a respite than leave therapy all together because of burn out. 

Good luck on your journey and remember, break time is okay!