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Sweet biscuit sugar plum. Halvah chocolate bar jujubes. Dragée donut candy.

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Sweet biscuit sugar plum. Halvah chocolate bar jujubes. Dragée donut candy.

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Like any journey, the journey to mental health and wellness might include detours, starts and stops, long pauses, and unexpected factors at play. Choosing to return to therapy is BIG and your dedication to your mental health doesn’t go unnoticed. Whether you haven’t spoken to your therapist in months and are feeling anxious about making the call, you’ve “finished” therapy and are considering returning, or you ghosted your therapist and feel awkward about reaching out again, this is for you. Here are 5 tips for going BACK to therapy.

  1. Stay curious about why you want to go back.

You might be feeling higher levels of anxiety or depression, you might have experienced a loss, breakup, or life transition, and for some, knowing what is bringing you back might not be so easy to identify. If this is you, first know that that’s okay! Your therapist will want to help you uncover this in your session. In the meantime, try brainstorming or freewriting about what is bringing you back. Notice any body sensations and any discomfort. Think back to what it was like when you stopped going to therapy. What changes have taken place in your life since then? What are your relationships like with your friends, family, co-workers, or romantic partner? What is your relationship like with yourself? How have you been speaking to yourself? What patterns can you identify? Feel free to write the answers to these questions down and reflect on what you have found. If you’re still struggling to identify how you are feeling, click here to use the feeling wheel and read more on how to feel your feelings fully.


2. Consider returning to your previous THERAPIST.

There’s a benefit in returning to your previous therapist for a few reasons. First, you already have an established relationship with this person, and they already know about your history and patterns. Also, your therapist WANTS to help you. They know that life happens and they don’t expect you to be perfectly fine all the time. Most therapists would be happy to hear that you’re reaching out again. 


3. Communicate with your therapist why you took a break and what brings you back.

Once you make the call, be clear about why you are reaching out, and remember, your therapist will NOT judge you for taking time away. They will likely ask questions about your time apart to gain insight into where you are now. If you ended therapy abruptly, this is your opportunity to be clear with your therapist about any unresolved issues that might have affected your decision to stop attending. If there was an issue with your therapist specifically, let them know. Be honest, your therapist will listen and want to help, not reprimand you. 


4. Discuss any new goals you would like help setting.

During your time away from therapy you might have discovered new insights, patterns, or unmet needs about yourself, you can use these insights to create new mental health goals. Communicate any new wants, needs, and goals to your therapist. This will help your therapist adjust their strategies and tailor your treatment plan to better suit your needs now. 


5. Be compassionate with yourself.

Choosing to go to therapy is already a courageous step to take. Choosing to go back to therapy can be even more courageous. Acknowledging this will allow you to have more compassion for yourself. Give yourself some grace, stay curious about your journey, and be clear and honest with your therapist. You deserve to feel healthy and supported. Click here to learn more about radical self-compassion and tips for practice.



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