Channel 5 has recently run a reality TV series showing celebrities in therapy with psychotherapist Mandy Saligari. In Episode 2 we see Daniella Westbrook arriving an hour late for her session. Mandy challenges Daniella to consider why she was late to which Daniella reacts defensively (and avoids taking responsibility for it, blaming it on the production crew). Daniella reacts angrily and decides to leave saying she doesn’t understand why this is important to the work. Later, reflecting on the session she looks at what was going on for her and uncovers that she was avoiding uncovering some of the painful feelings that she had been denying and pushing deep down.
This highlights the point that often in therapy we learn something about the way we are from something that goes on in the therapy; either from our behaviour or from our relationship with our therapist.
Whilst in therapy we often place focus on what has happened in our past and the impact that has on the present, but...
To reduce anxiety and be more productive. If we are overwhelmed with everything going on in our lives and the to do list seems never ending, we feel a constant need to be on the go. If we never take time out for ourselves, anxiety builds which in turn makes us less productive. To take some time to ourselves away from external pressures allows us to clear our minds and revitalise body and mind.
To get your priorities straight. By doing the things we enjoy we are able to see what makes us happy (and what doesn’t). Having the breathing space to process this and to experience something that gives us pleasure helps us get perspective on what our priorities are (or could be).
To become more independent. We come into this world alone, we leave this world alone. An old idiom, but true. Spending time alone doing something we enjoy helps us appreciate our own company which can make us feel more confident at being independent.