What do I do if therapy is leaving me unable to function?

The art of therapy is a balancing act: you have to simultaneously push and support. You have to push a bit to do the hard work. You have to support the person so the work can be done at all. Here’s what I recommend to my patients—find a few anchor points, through lines in your life.

  • If you exercise, make your workouts non-negotiable. Make them daily if you can.
  • Don’t miss rituals that have worked for you in the past. These can be formal (like meditation group sessions, book club gatherings, Tuesdays at the Library, etc.) or informal (like buying coffee at a certain place or hour, a lunch routine, regular get-togethers with friends, and so on).
  • Find a form of self expression that works for you, whether it be dance, yoga, or journaling.
  • Maintain a consistent schedule — try to go to bed and get up at the times you need to. (This apparently has other health benefits as well.)

Above all, give yourself permission to have hope. Even a tiny glint of light can become a beacon that keeps you moving in the right direction.