inabook

After therapy

12 posts in this topic

I guess I just want to know whether... everybody feels the same way I do after therapy, and how you handle it.

Almost every time, I leave exhausted to the point of shaking a bit, especially if I have "frozen" a lot during the session. My brain feels all blurry, floating, and it takes time to "reintegrate myself/reconnect with myself" (usually the cold air helps). And then I just feel physically tired/almost painful from all the shame/fear.

And, usually later, I get stuck with negative thoughts and feelings, from which I want to hide, because it usually sounds a lot like my mother telling me how I'm bad and should shut up and everything I say in therapy is "bad" because i should just stop letting myself have these emotions/make them exist by thinking about them. Anyway, I just feel stupid/bad.

I don't know how to avoid this, it is not too bad, but I often waste the rest of the day trying to get back on tracks.

Edited by inabook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, inabook said:

I guess I just want to know whether... everybody feels the same way I do after therapy, and how you handle it.

Almost every time, I leave exhausted to the point of shaking a bit, especially if I have "frozen" a lot during the session. My brain feels all blurry, floating, and it takes time to "reintegrate myself/reconnect with myself" (usually the cold air helps). And then I just feel physically tired/almost painful from all the shame/fear.

And, usually later, I get stuck with negative thoughts and feelings, from which I want to hide, because it usually sounds a lot like my mother telling me how I'm bad and should shut up and everything I say in therapy is "bad" because i should just stop letting myself have these emotions/make them exist by thinking about them. Anyway, I just feel stupid/bad.

I don't know how to avoid this, it is not too bad, but I often waste the rest of the day trying to get back on tracks.

I often feel the same after therapy... very often. I feel sad, exhausted, or more depressed than before i went in. I feel shaken up, and I must ground myself in order to readjust and go about my usual day.

Maybe you can tell your tdoc this & see what she suggests? She might have some specific ideas or skills you could use to silence the thoughts. It sounds like you leave the session feeling a great deal of guilt/shame - because your mom would not approve of you expressing these negative thoughts, feelings and emotions? You are taking care of yourself, there is no shame or "stupidness" in that.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you ever feel like you've made progress later? My kid has problems feeling shitty during or after therapy or forgets entirely what they talked about, but sometimes feels like she makes progress. 

I hope you can let your tdoc know this happens to you.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the replies.

I have made progress, even though I can rarely see exactly a "I've done A in therapy, so B is happening", but yeah. I have just started talking about a new topic that is very shame-full, more than I expected, and after the last 2 sessions I've felt down and almost sick for a few days from all the shame-repercussions it has everywhere.

I wish I knew what to do, even just for now rather thanin general, to feel better and be more functional. It slows me down. Sorry I am whining.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This used to happen to me.  It happens to me less these days, but it still does sometimes.  When it used to happen to me, it was important to make some kind of post-therapy comforting ritual.  Like when I was seeing my last therapist, I would stop at this tea place on the way home and get a nice tea, or a bubble tea.

I do like to make notes after therapy of things I want to say next time/responses to the session.  I especially like to write down positive/connected things that my therapist said to comfort me about our relationship, because when I dissociate I can never retain those and then when I feel really ashamed about whatever I did or said in the session I can check back for the evidence that actually my therapist likes me/thinks I'm okay/wants to work with me.  But I also just write down what it made me feel, or what the shame was about, or whatever.  Sometimes I share it sometimes I don't, but it makes me feel like I'm responding.

Shame is especially hard to deal with after therapy.  And always.  I hate shame.  I have no solution.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I write down as much as I can after therapy on my phone. Sometimes it's not much. I just try to remember the most I can but I don't push myself too much to remember it. 

I do things similar to @tryp. I write down a lot of those things as well. 

Shame is always there too. But guilt is the biggest for me. I try to force myself to share it even if it takes many sessions.

I don't always make the immediate connection but I realize how therapy has helped me. I like to thank tdoc for that if I'm able to do something I wouldn't have done before therapy. 

I always feel like shit after therapy even tdoc knows that I usually feel worse going out than when I came in. Sometimes I'm a bit dissociated so the shitty feeling doesn't hit me until a few hours after therapy. On Wednesdays it usually hits me on the bus to work and I just spend that time writing everything that pops into my head on my phone. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had difficulty with this. The therapist I have now will take the last 15 minutes of a session, or even half the session, to sort of reorient me to present reality. We do some grounding stuff and then she asks me detailed questions about things she knows I enjoy or am happy about. I still feel somewhat disconnected for the rest of the day, but at least I can function enough to drive home and present to everyone with a normal face. I still have bad thoughts, but no one else can tell I had therapy that day.

To tell the truth, I never consciously realized what she was doing until I read your post. Now I can see she has been doing this since I first started with her some months ago. That makes me think she is pretty good. I didn't realize how good she was. This is even better than my favorite old therapist who retired. I do know I've made more progress with her than I thought I could ever make. She also has me make notes, or often she makes notes for me during therapy to look at in between times. But the notes aren't details of bad things that came up, they are notes about things I can do or think about to help me feel better or do better or cope. I look at the notes a lot. Then I talk about that first at the next session, so the session is sort of a sandwich with positive stuff at the beginning and end and disturbing stuff in the middle. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, iaawal said:

I write down as much as I can after therapy

Same with me ... I write whatever is in my head and thoughts ideas about it.  It gets all the sludge out of my head of what I am thinking/feeling about (whatever) so I can move on until next appt.  And then throughout the week if I have things to add i will go back and add it in.  (I usually type it all out because I can type faster than I can write (legibly) and it allows me to edit when I need to/want to). 

Doing this relaxes me to an extent because it isn't all in my mind (all-consuming) until I get to the next appt. 

If I couldn't write/type out my thoughts/feelings I would be extremely stressed out with it all going through my head day after day for a week (or longer).

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the suggestions, I will try them!

I used to write after therapy, but I have been kind of... avoiding doing it because I feel too ashamed about everything I said/did in therapy :( But I suppose avoidance very RARELY helps. So I will try to do it again. I like the idea of recording notes, it might be easier.

I will try some of your ideas. Walking for 3 to 5 hours seems to help to get back to myself and improve my mood but it takes time!

I wish my tdoc would do notes, but I don't think I'll ask, I feel too needy.

Thank you all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a hard time after therapy too. I need time to come out of it and then time to process the session. I take a long/late lunch for my therapy appointments. I prefer to have them later in the day. I would like to get things set up so I don't have to go back to work afterwards, because it's just pointless - I don't get much work done. I used to have evening appointments with a different tdoc, which was better in some ways, but I found I was often wound too tight to go to bed right when I got home, I still needed time to come down.

Journaling helps some, with memory and so on of the session. Sometimes it makes it harder to come back to myself though, if that makes sense. 

I don't really have tips or suggestions, just empathy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to be a wreck after therapy, so I made a habit of getting a treat afterwards. Hot chocolate, a donut, something like that. Something small and cheap that'll make me feel a little better. I don't do it after every session anymore, as I've gotten more used to sessions and don't always break down after, but still do this after rough ones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/1/2017 at 3:56 PM, inabook said:

I like the idea of recording notes, it might be easier.

FWIW ... When I take notes, I type them all in the computer ... my handwriting is like chicken-scratch sometimes, and I can type faster than I can write, and it is legible :)

If I were to record them, all these thoughts would come out at once that wouldn't make sense all of the time because they'd be scattered.  Typing them I can edit as I think, making different paragraphs so when thoughts of one thing come I can add to one paragraph, and if other thoughts come, I can add them to another.

Also I have a hard time talking and understanding myself sometimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now