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Having a rough day? Don't cancel your therapy appointment!

You woke up feeling lower than usual. You couldn't find your other shoe. Your child is screaming at the top of their lungs and you spilled coffee all over your white shirt. "Today's going to be a rough day, I can already feel it," you think. Work starts off rough and then on top of that you have a therapy appointment scheduled right after your lunch break.

"I'm just going to skip this week, I'm not feeling it today."

Don't do it! You may not be feeling it today, but that is when you need therapy the most! When we are feeling at our worst, therapy may help us to feel seen, heard, and validated. This alone can be an immediate mood booster and depression lifter. Many people think that if they go to therapy and they are feeling bad, they are going to feel worse because they "have" to talk about the "hard stuff."

First of all, you do not have to talk about anything you do not want to during your therapy session. You get to choose what you talk about. Now, your therapist may ask you to lean into the discomfort of talking about a tougher subject, especially if you use avoidance as a coping mechanism, but you still get to choose! You have the right to simply tell your therapist "I am having a rough day and do not want to talk about that subject today." A caveat to this to be aware of: if you do this frequently, your therapist will most likely confront you on this as this could be a sign of using avoidance as a coping mechanism, depression, anxiety, or something similar. But having a rough day and wanting to have a "lighter" session is totally okay and can even help enhance or maintain the therapeutic relationship. The heart of therapy is the relationship and connection between therapist and client.

Secondly, as much as we fear talking about the hard stuff... well, do we really fear talking about the hard stuff? I mean, think about it. Once you start talking about the hard stuff don't you typically feel better afterwards? I usually do. Traumatic events are exempt here, but day to day stressors usually feel less stressful once we talk about it. Examining the walls, curves, and dark spaces of a cave takes away the fear of what's in the cave because we know what is in there and what to expect. The same could be said of stressors. Examining our stressors by verbalizing them and having someone present to witness this and even help reorganize things makes the stressor less intimidating.

So, come on in. Bring a snack and a drink with you or get some from your therapist. Relax and let it out. So today's a lighter therapy day. That's okay. We're glad to know you better and we can hop right back into the deep stuff next week.

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