Life happens. People take leaves from their jobs for various reasons. Some of the most common ones are injury, illness and of course maternity leave. If you are in therapy and have been for some time, the thought of your therapist going on an extended leave might create some anxiety. The thing of it is, one of your therapist’s goals has been to prepare you for moments just like this one. When you can hear your therapists voice in the back of your mind, you are making exactly the progress they’ve been hoping you would. Usually, your therapist will prepare you for their leave ahead of time assuming there was not something unexpected. So what are your options while they are on leave?
Taking a break from therapy
Often, these leaves can be a few short weeks up to a few months. This might be a good opportunity for you to see how you feel without your regular therapy sessions. You might find you are able to cope with a variety of concerns better than you expected. During this break, you can utilize self-help materials, worksheets, workbooks and other resources your therapist will happy supply for you at your request. You and your therapist may also set up goals for you to work on during this time apart and check back in on progress once you resume sessions after the planned break from therapy.
Seeing a new therapist
Mostly likely you have developed a close connection with your therapist, but if taking a break from therapy during your therapist’s leave is not ideal for you, your therapist can offer you some referral options. They might even have other therapists in their office that can see you while your therapist is on leave, or take you on as a new client. This doesn’t have to be completely starting over with someone new, and can instead be a temporary solution to ensure you are getting what you need. You might see this new person for a short period or you might decide it’s best for you to completely change to this new therapist. Either way, your current therapist will support and guide you in this transition to make it as smooth as possible.
Maybe your therapist’s anticipated leave is coming at a time that makes sense as a natural conclusion for your current therapy journey. If that’s the case, you and your therapist can work together in your last remaining session before their leave to wrap up what you have been working on and reflect on the progress you have made throughout your time working together. Many therapists utilize 2 termination sessions to work through this process. This also may not mean your therapy journey has to be over forever. You might find yourself returning to therapy months or even years later. Remember that everyone’s journey is unique and the process is not always linear.
Modern Change provides mental health therapy in Durham, NC.
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