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Page Contents: How much to think about your psychotherapy.                    

 

As a person is trying to deal with all these issues, please advise on how to maintain the rest of his or her life. For example, since I am thinking non-stop about each appointment, my home life and career is suffering horribly. How does a person find balance, yet, still move toward feeling better?

 
When I tell the story about the philosopher on my Consultation page, I’m really serious. If psychotherapy is to be successful, it must be more important to you than anything else in your life. It really is a life-and-death matter because the rest of your life depends on it—and, if you are like most people, you’re stuck in a sort of psychological oblivion right now. So it is essential that you think about your psychotherapy all the time. Oddly enough, though, that is not the real issue here.

The real issue is how you think about your treatment. If you think about it as you describe, most likely you feel as overwhelmed as you do because you are secretly trying to control the psychotherapy process. You’re wondering about what to say. You’re wondering about what to leave out. You’re afraid that your deepest secrets will come to light. Well, all of these concerns and fears create nothing but anxiety.

But if you approach psychotherapy with joy in your heart because you have finally begun the process of true healing, then you can think about your treatment without anxiety. You will be thinking about it all the time, yes, but you will be thinking about connections. How are your experiences connected to your emotions? How is the present connected to the past? It will be a process of joyful discovery—punctuated with moments of pain and sorrow, of course—but with faith and hope in the process you will find the balance between ordinary, daily experiences and healthy emotional reactions to those experiences.

 


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Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.
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